Golfers, like most sports professionals, must eat well to stay healthy and perform optimally. The nutrition requirements for golfers are generally planned to ensure there is no fatigue or drops in concentration levels, when playing at a stretch. Balanced diets providing a whole gamut of foods and nutrition, including protein and carbohydrate and smaller fat amounts, are therefore essential. A balanced golfer diet generally includes:
i) Moderate Levels of Carbohydrate-Rich Food
Low GI (glycaemic index) choices like pasta, porridge, multi-grain bread, and baked beans could be better alternatives to prevent fatigue and support training requirements.
ii) Junk Foods Avoid/Minimized
Takeaway food items and processed snacks such as crisps, lollies, cakes, pastries and soft drinks must be avoided as much as possible. The focus must be primarily on low-fat, nutritious foods and must comprise small food amounts rich in polyunsaturated and mono fats; e.g. nuts, avocado, fish, and plant-based oils.
iii) Reduced Alcohol Intake
If you don’t drink alcohol, then that’s perfect. But if you do, go moderate on the binging. A small measure of alcohol is perfectly fine, but anything beyond moderate is likely to result in increased weight. Alcohol brings down the rehydration rate; it’s, therefore, not the best thing to have immediately post-exercise. It can also interfere with or impair recovery. It is, therefore, recommended to keep track of your alcohol consumption if you play golf at a professional level. Also, ensure you don’t drink at least 24 hours before play.
With dehydration, you can experience impaired performance, fatigue, and inability to concentrate and focus for longer durations. Since golf is primarily a skill-based sport, it’s critical for golfers to intake appropriate fluid to sustain hydration. The liquids must be lugged around in golf bags and special care must be taken to ensure they remain at lower temperatures, as cold liquids help with better intakes. Since golf is an outdoor, day sport, planning your fluidic requirements and staying on top of your body hydration needs are critical to performing well on the course.