There is currently no research that has looked at the effect of nutrition on golf performance. This is interesting, because during a round of golf you will cover about 6 miles and be on the course for about 4 hours, have to concentrate up to or more than 100 times, not to mention the amount of calories you can burn.
Leading on from the last golf nutrition post (where I discussed ‘during-round’ nutrition HERE) this post shall discuss pre- and post round nutrition for optimal golf performance. For most weekend warriors, pre- round nutrition will be more important than post round nutrition. Therefore, this article will be bias towards pre-round nutrition.
Pre-round nutrition can help provide energy for a round of golf. About 3-4 hours before playing golf, generally allows enough time for a large meal to be digested. However, this will depend on each individual. A meal 3-4 hours before a round of golf should include the following:
- High in complex carbohydrates
- Moderate-high protein
- Moderate-low fat
- A portion or two of fruit and veg
This might look like:
- Tuna (wholemeal) pasta bake with veg
- Chicken sandwich and salad
- Chickpea and vegetable Soup and cup of mixed berries
If you only have 60mins of less before your round, there there is probably not enough time to digest a large meal. This might be the case if you have an early morning tee off. You should still aim to consume a meal or snack with carbohydrates, protein, fats and some fruit and veg, only with smaller quantities. Example meals might look like this:
- Breakfast – Eggs, wholemeal toast and an apple
- Breakfast – Porridge with fruit
- Snack – Dried fruit and nuts
- Snack – Salmon and cream cheese on wholemeal bagel
One thing you want to avoid during your pre-round nutrition is sugar! Things not to eat include:
- Many sugary breakfast cereals
- Chocolate bars
- Confectionary (or nearly anything your pro shop sells)
Take note that if you do have an early round, then your evening meal the night before can play an important role fuelling your performance for the following day.
Post Round Nutrition
Post round nutrition is important to kick start recovery and minimise the breakdown of muscle. Carbohydrates are the energy source of choice by the body, but when these run out, protein from muscles might be used. To minimise the risk of this muscle breakdown, it is important to consume enough carbohydrates and protein before, during and after golf.
Here are a few examples:
- Salmon with rice and vegetables
- Baked Potato with tuna
- Turkey salad sandwich and an orange
Take home points:
- Pre-round nutrition can help provide energy for your round of golf, helping to maximise performance.
- Within 3-4 hours before teeing off, consume high carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat, with some fruit and veg.
- Within 60mins before teeing off, make sure you consume something that you are confortable eating and digesting.
- Post round nutrition is important to aid recovery and consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein, with some fat will help this and inhibit the breakdown of muscle protein.