A recent trip to the golf course was the inspiration for today's blog. While I don't claim to be the best golfer, I do enjoy a good 9 holes every now and again. Many athletes (golfers or not) believe nutrition has nothing to do with performance on the green. Let me tell you why good nutrition can make the difference between making par and making a birdie...or maybe even an eagle (okay well THAT might be a stretch purely based on my own experience).
Golf is a game of skill and technique. One slight adjustment can mean the difference between a beautiful shot straight down the green and a trek through the woods. When it comes to staying focused, hydration matters! In a game of golf, you should be drinking frequently. Take at least one gulp every hole and drink 8 oz. at the turn (hole 9) if you are playing 18 holes. If you are not a fan of plain water, try G2 or Propel Zero. G2 provides a small amount of energy and both drinks provide electrolytes as well as fluid. If it is an uncharacteristic hot or humid day, be sure to increase your fluid intake and plan on taking a G2 with you. You'll need the extra energy and electrolytes as your sweat rate will be much higher than usual.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
Concentration isn't just about staying hydrated. Think of the last time you went a bit too long between meals. How did you feel? Tired? Groggy? Perhaps had a hard time focusing? That is likely because your blood sugar (or the amount of available energy in your bloodstream) was dropping, causing these common symptoms. Clearly these are not optimal on the golf course. To assure you keep your blood sugar stable without also spiking it too high, take along snacks with complex carb and protein to munch on as you golf. Some easy snacks that fit neatly in your bag: granola bars such as Kashi or Clif bars, trail mix that has both protein and carbohydrate, or fruit with a small bag of unsalted nuts (though I wouldn't recommend a banana as it may get mushy if accidentally left in your golf bag for too long...). A good rule of thumb is to take a bite or two of your snack every 2-3 holes. Be wary of snacks such as candy, energy drinks or chips. Candy and energy drinks will often spike your blood sugar, giving you a temporary wake-up only to leave you crashing shortly after. Chips often contain a hefty amount of fat, which can sit heavy on your stomach, causing you to feel sluggish leading to a breakdown in technique and focus.
Golf is a sport of endurance (yes - it is!), so make sure you are providing your body with the fluid and energy it needs to get you through all 18 holes. Sink that putt with good nutrition!