The Best and Worst Food and Drink for Golf

Do you believe that what you eat and drink has an impact to your golf performance?

Food and drinks don’t just satisfy our hungry stomach, it can also give you the best or worst performance of your life.

You need as much energy and durability in playing golf, especially since the game runs for up to 5 hours. It is critical that you know what kind of foods and drinks that you should not consume before and during your game if you want to avoid feeling sluggish and tired.

What should you do the Night Before your Round?

Establishing a healthy sleeping routine and getting the adequate amount of quality sleep are important factors to have a healthy mind and body.

Playing golf is both an athletic and intellectual game, you need to have the sharpest mind and body if you want to perform great.

Get enough sleep the night before your game. Get at least 8 hours of sleep to give your body the ample time to recover and prepare for the big battle ahead.

Although some people drink alcohol to fall asleep faster, drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages a night before your game is not recommended.

Why should you avoid consuming alcohol the night before your round?

First, since alcohol is diuretic, it makes your kidney produce more urine and makes you thirsty to replace the lost liquid. You won’t be able to get a good night sleep if you constantly feel the urge to go to the bathroom or get a glass of water.

In addition, alcohol has a way of interfering in the energy-making process of your body. The liver will be having a hard time producing as much glucose when there’s an alcohol in your body, resulting to a low level of energy. You don’t want to wake up exhausted and sluggish the next morning.

Also avoid eating within 2 hours before you go to bed. Eating a heavy meal a few hours before bedtime does not only make you feel bloated but your body will also be having a hard time digesting those foods. This can lead to feeling bloated, tired and gassy the next day.

The Best Food before Your Round

A study shows that consuming 200 to 300 g of carbohydrates 3-4 hours before any physical activity can enhance your performance.

If your game is in the early morning round, have a healthy breakfast that will keep you moderately full. Avoid starchy carbohydrates such as pancakes, bagels and donuts since they can make your energy level crash.

Here are the recommended meals that you can eat before your game:

  • Bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with nuts
  • Vegetable omelet with fruit
  • Grilled chicken sandwich with soup
  • Grilled chicken or fish with salad and vegetables (Tiger’s choice)
  • Whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese
  • Whole wheat spaghetti and pasta sauce
  • Whole wheat toast and scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt and fruit

Maintain your concentration and energy levels by eating snacks in small portion throughout the round.

Here’s a little idea of what the pros are eating during a round:

  • Fredrik Jacobsen: Jerky
  • Bill Haas: Fruit and nuts
  • Yani Seng: Meiji bars (Chocolate covered almonds)
  • Adam Scott: Clif Bars
  • Jim Furyk: Lara Bars
  • Aaron Baddley: Almonds
  • Ben Crane: Back Nine Electrolyte Tablets
  • Steve Marino: Nuun tablets in water
  • Brittany Lincicome: Peant butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Matt Kuchar: Almonds
  • Martin Laird: Vitalyte Electrolyte Tablets
  • Ben Curtis: granola bars and Amino Vital
  • Keegan Bradley: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on multigrain bread, almonds, raisins, peanuts, trail mix, and always packs a few Clif Bars
  • Phil Mickelson: Bananas

Aside from eating the right kind of meals before and during your game, it is also highly important that you keep yourself hydrated. Drinking ample amount of liquid, water preferably, helps you achieve optimal muscle performance and brain function. You would be having trouble concentrating when you are hydrated and this can lead to a low performance.

Drink 16fl oz. of water with your pre-round meal and another 8 fl oz. (237 mL) 10 to 20 minutes before your round.

Since you will probably sweat a lot during the game, you will lose more electrolytes and the only way to remedy this is by making a habit of drinking water on every tee.

Meals and Drinks that You Should Avoid Before and During Your Game

  1. Hotdogs – Most hotdogs are high in saturated fat and sodium. If you want healthier alternatives, a bowl of chili or natural beef jerky is a better option.
  2. Most nutrition bars – Don’t be fooled by its name “nutrition bars” as they have little nutrition at all, instead they are packed with sugar and chemical additives. If you want something that is filling and delicious, you can have some apple or peanut butter on whole wheat bread.
  3. Granola bars – Though these bars can give you the energy, you will be more likely to experience a crash after the energy spike. Instead, snack on sunflower seeds, bag of nuts or chopped fruit.
  4. Pretzels – This is a perfect example of what many nutritionists call “empty calories”. If you want a good crunch, opt for some carrot sticks instead.
  5. Sports drinks – Though these drinks contain electrolytes, it’s still not advisable to consume sports drink due to its content of sodium and added sugar and chemicals. Get the same benefits without the added sugar by drinking water and eating a banana.
  6. Beer – Though there are lower calorie beers manufactured, beer is still not good for golfers as it is a diuretic, sedative and can affect your coordination. Drink water during rounds instead and save the beer after your game.
  7. French fries – They are high in salt content and saturated fat. If you are ordering fish wrap or chicken, ask for a small side salad instead of some French fries.
  8. Soda/Fruit Juices – They are high in sugar which can give you an instant energy high but you don’t want the many lows that will follow.
  9. Bowl of cereal – cereals are refined carbohydrates that can make you feel full for a short time but will make you feel hungry and tired afterwards.

Maximize the benefits of food and drinks that you can do not just to your body but to your overall golf performance. Follow the tips on this article and you may have the unforgettable win that you have been dreaming of.

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