3 Nutrition Tips That Could Help Your Golf Game

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Whether enjoying an 18-hole game or a 72-hole tournament, golf is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. For my father, it is the perfect mix of physical activity, mental challenge, and social interaction and he looks forward to league play a couple evenings each week. Holiday weekends provide a great opportunity to fit in an extra round or two with family or friends.

Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but for golfers looking to shave a few strokes off their scores this is especially true. These tips can help you facilitate a game day nutrition and hydration plan to maintain energy and mental acuity that may help you improve your game.

  1. Be sure you eat before you play. If you are playing first thing in the morning you may be tempted to skip breakfast; start a game later in the day and you may play through dinner. A nutrient rich and well-balanced meal will provide a slow, steady release of energy while you play. It is best to eat several hours before play so you are well fueled, but not too full or uncomfortable. A meal that includes complex carbohydrates with protein and/or healthy fat provides a healthy balance that will be digested slowly and limit the risk of rapidly dropping your blood sugar, which could leave you tired and lethargic shortly after your game has started.
  2. Eat smaller, more frequent snacks during play. The goal is to maintain a balanced glucose and energy level throughout the game by snacking on nutrient-rich food every couple of hours. Plan ahead before heading to the links and pack your golf bag with three portable snacks such as trail mix, half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, frozen berries or grapes (for a cold treat) or other fresh fruit. Shortly after your game starts, you may notice your energy fading because it has been several hours since you ate. The third or fourth tee is a great time to enjoy the fresh fruit or trail mix you brought to keep up your energy and blood sugar levels. In another couple of hours, at around tee eleven or twelve, you will likely be ready for the sandwich you packed as well. Take a few moments to eat your last snack at the sixteenth hole to be certain you are at your best for the end of your game.
  3. Hydration is a very important key to success. It is understandable that some golfers limit their fluid intake while on the links so they won't have to leave the course to visit the restroom. However, dehydration can sneak up very quickly especially on a hot, sunny day and leave you unable to play your best. Take a reusable water bottle with you to the course and be sure to drink and refill it every four to five holes. Even if you tend to sweat a great deal, the fruit you brought will replenish potassium and the salted nuts in the trail mix will replace sodium to maintain your electrolyte balance. Be cautious of drinks containing caffeine or alcohol since both would encourage fluid loss and add to risks of dehydration.
If you are looking to improve your golf game, review your nutrition and hydration plan to see if a few changes could be your key to success.

Is a nutrition and hydration plan part of your golfing routine? Do you think a strategy like this could improve your game by a few strokes?

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Thanks for this blog Jen. Keep us posted on your progress! http://www.squidoo.com/facebookfron
I usually take a bottle of water, but will add in the healthy snacks. (hubby usually brings a candy bar, may look at trail mix as an alternative.) Report
I think taking healthy snacks with you during your round is an excellent way of giving yourself that shot of energy when you need it the most. Report
I always freeze a couple bottles of water the night before and take some unfrozen, it keeps the cooler cold and when i hit the second 9 the frozen one's are drinkable. i take the trail mix but remember to remove the chocolate, i made this mistake once and had to clean my grips. at the turn we always have a quick snack, avoiding the beer of course plus it gives u a break from the sun too. this has not helped my game tho, probably cuz i suck...oh well still fun.. Report
I play A LOT of golf. I always walk using a self propelled electric cart for the golf clubs (a Powakaddy). I usually carry a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (no problem with the summer heat) and a baggie filled with grapes or a sliced up apple. I usually eat the sandwich during the walk from the ninth to tenth tee and munch on the fruit for the next two holes. My club's chef knows how to make me a plain grilled chicken sandwich with just lettuce, tomato and onion on it along with a side of steamed vegetables when I come in for lunch or dinner. Report
So THAT'S what's wrong with my golf game! I thought that I just couldn't play very well!!! Report
Thanx for the golf tips. I won both mini golf. And I play w/ my grandpa bunner. He's a good golfer-Rabbit Report
My husband and I went to the golf course for the first time at Heron Ridge Golf Club in Virginia Beach two weeks ago. We had a small breakfast and we both took a bottle of water with us on our golf cart and we played nine holes and we had a blast! Not too tired at the end of it either, like we used to be. I will keep your post as a favorite! Thank you! Report
I love the courses that have beverage carts that travel around when you're out there. They are always stocked with lots of water and little snacks. Unfortunately, they don't usually carry the best snacks, but crackers and peanut butter with a big water are my favorite! Report
For hot days on the course, I fill a water bottle to the halfway mark and freeze it. When I'm ready to go I top it off with water; then I have cold water for the duration. Report
I always eat a meal before I go, usually take some fruit and a package of peanut butter or cheese crackers. I like the idea of a sandwich, but never seem to have the time to make one before I go.

Jibbie - swinging a club actually is exercise, though not aerobic, and playing 9 holes of golf with a cart can burn over 400 calories and will have you walking 0.5 a mile! (If you skip the cart and walk the course, you can average 2.5 miles over 9 holes) Report
We have our breakfast or lunch before we golf depending upon what time we tee off. I have almonds with me to snack on and always have a thermos of water. Report
Have never played golf, but I laugh when I see all those guys riding around in carts at the Navy Golf Course. I think how little exercise they are getting, but I'm sure they think swinging the club is exercise. Report
I take sliced apple with cheese slices and/or nut butter sandwich, depending on the time I start and expect to finish. Report
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