Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Golfers: Sink your next putt with these two key nurition techniques
As the weather warms, many of you will start heading to the golf green. Because I am over-excited about the warm weather, I am celebrating by updating and reposting one of my first blog articles, written for all you golfers out there. 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).
1. Hydration Matters
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 (calories) and both drinks provide electrolytes and fluid. If it is an uncharacteristically hot or humid day, be sure to increase your fluid intake above typical and plan on taking G2 with you. Because your sweat rate will be much higher than usual, you'll need the extra energy and electrolytes that G2 provides.
2. 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 to surface. Clearly these symptoms are not optimal on the golf course. To keep blood sugar stable while golfing, munch on snacks that contain complex carbohydrate and protein. These include: granola bars such as Kashi or Clif bars, trail mix that has both dried fruit and nuts, or fresh fruit with a small bag of unsalted nuts (though I wouldn't recommend a banana as it will be messy 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, alcohol, energy drinks or chips. Candy and energy drinks will spike your blood sugar. This gives you a temporary wake-up, but leaves you crashing shortly after. Chips often contain a hefty amount of fat, which can sit heavy on your stomach, causing you to feel sluggish and leading to a breakdown in technique and focus. Alcohol contains no useful calories for your body and is digested directly into body fat.
Golf is a sport of technical endurance, 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!