Low Energy or Fatigue on the Back 9?
Lack Focus and Concentration on the Course?
These could be due to poor nutritional strategies when playing golf.
You go to any Pro shop and clubhouse and they offer the same types of nutritional products. They offer what golfers want, which is sugary foods and drinks or highly processed and carbohydrate based foods. Not what golfers should be consuming and not at all what they need!
Golf is physically and mentally demanding and if you do not consume the correct nutrition whilst playing you will not be at your full potential. If you have ever got tired or fatigued on the back 9, or you have lost focus and found it difficult to concentrate and even thrown a good score away, this is most likely due to poor nutrition or fitness.
Many amateur golfers might be looking to improve their golf but also lose weight. Now, diet for optimal golf performance might be a little different to a diet, which optimises weight loss. However, there are a couple of things, which can dramatically help achieve both goals:
- Education– knowing what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating, in what quantities and when.
- Planning and Preparation– planning ahead and being prepared can be the difference between putting on a few pounds and losing a few pounds!
With an 18 hole round of golf taking about 4 hours; walking about 6 miles, for many amateur golfers having to focus and concentrate up to (and sometimes more than) 100 times, let alone completing 40, near maximal golf swings, you can begin to understand why nutrition can play an important role with ALL golfers, whatever the standard of play.
Further to this, if you are carrying a few extra pounds (and I don’t mean a golf bag), you have to work harder! Not helping the cause are the many convenience foods available to us, including those available in Pro shops. And it’s easy to pick up a chocolate bar and coke before playing golf, especially if you are not prepared.
The difficulty is to know what exactly you should be eating whilst playing golf (i.e. being educated). Think of it as a balanced diet… You want to be getting good quality protein, some whole grain carbohydrates, some fat and fruit and vegetables.
Here are some foods, which I personally consume whilst playing golf. They are all easy to prepare, easy to consume whilst on the go and the ingredients can be found at any supermarket:
Apples, Bananas, oranges, Natural Yogurt, Carrots, Tuna or chicken salad sandwich (on wholemeal bread or bagel), mixed dried fruit and nuts and WATER.
If you have planned well and you are prepared, it is not difficult to consume the right foods. It’s not difficult to take a sandwich and banana or some nuts and water with you. It all comes down to good preparation.
Make sure the day before you play that you have fruit to take, or you have some nuts or a sandwich made. Most of all, prepare in advance a bottle of water. This doesn’t take 5 minutes, so there are no excuses! Put these items on your shopping list NOW.
During your round of golf, think about eating little and often, just like normal daily living. The same goes for drinking. Decide (plan) before you start when you are going to eat; whether it’s some nuts, a banana or a sandwich. This could look like the following:
Again, this is what my round might look like:
Hole 4: Half Wholemeal Tuna Sandwich
Hole 8: Handful of fruit and nuts
Hole 12: Half Wholemeal Tuna Sandwich
Hole 16: Banana
This is just an example. Choose good sources of protein, carbohydrates, fat fruit and veg, which you enjoy. Depending on the time of day you are playing and when you see fit for your game, make the right choices for you.
The key things to remember include:
- Poor nutrition can negatively affect your golf performance; it can cause fatigue and a lack of focus and concentration.
- Make sure you know of some good food choices to consume whilst playing golf.
- Make sure you are prepared and have those foods available to you, so you don’t have to pick up a Mars Bar again.
If you can add a good nutritional strategy into your golf game you will have a step up on the competition. Not only this, but you could play your best golf yet. Look out for the next articles, which will help you make the right choices for what to drink on the golf course and pre-round and post-round nutrition (available HERE)!
Please note that I am not a Registered Dietician or am I licenced to practise nutrition. For more on Fitness and Nutrition for Golf contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.