Golf nutrition could be the edge you need to reach peak performance. Golfers always look for any slight advantage in a game where inches matter. Here, we’ll discuss how fitness and nutrition can improve your game. And we’ll explain how a sports nutritionist can help you choose the right foods.
The Physical Demands of Golf
On the surface, golf doesn’t appear to be a physically demanding sport. There’s no clashing of shoulder pads or sprinting. Golf isn’t an Ironman triathlon or a UFC fight. But these other sports don’t demand the focus and concentration necessary to knock a tiny ball into a hole hundreds of yards away.
The average length of a golf course is about four miles. That’s especially tough for the PGA Tour players, who average 78 tournament rounds per year. That comes to 312 miles of walking — which doesn’t count the practice rounds.
Tournaments occur in the warmer months and usually during the hottest parts of the day. Proper nutrition is key to maintaining focus through these conditions.
What Golf Nutrition Can Do for You
Different nutritional techniques are necessary depending on your goals. And to reach peak performance in golf, you’ll have to meet several unique objectives. For example, golf requires using one side of the body more than the other. This can lead to asymmetrical muscle development. Physical training is necessary to reduce the chance of injury from repetitive twisting motions.
As with any physical training routine, proper nutrition is necessary for optimal results. But you also need the right foods to fuel you through tournament rounds. Improper nutrition and dehydration can affect your game more than you realize. Did you know that even mild dehydration can make you 93% less accurate and shorten your drives by 12%?
Your sports nutritionist will help you make eating and drinking choices while training and playing rounds.
Sports Fitness For Peak Performance
As with most sports, your physical training routine should focus on the following:
- Building strength
- Maintaining the ideal weight
- Cardiovascular health
With golf, you need muscle mass to power long drives. If you’re a professional, you’ll need
endurance training to withstand the grind of playing several times a week during the hottest times of the day.
The most important goals of golf fitness are to keep a healthy weight and be as flexible as possible. Golf swings require you to twist your body in ways that aren't natural, and doing this hundreds of times a day can hurt you if you are stiff or have a weak core.
For most golfers, injuries mean not being able to enjoy the game they love. For professional golfers, injuries mean lost income. You can’t win tournaments where you don’t play because you’re injured. And if you play but are not at 100% because of an injury, you’ll have a lower chance of winning.
Exercise takes away from other essential game parts — like actual golf practice. You don’t want to waste your exercise time with sub-optimal results. That’s why proper nutrition is so critical.
Nutrition to Support Fitness
The first step to proper nutrition is knowing the right foods. The best starting point is eliminating the foods that harm you. Highly processed foods, especially those with added sugars, are best avoided. These are often the most convenient foods.
Some of the worst foods for your game are candy bars (including many energy bars), donuts, and other sweets. These are called junk foods for a reason. Instead of nutritional support, they provide a quick burst of energy based on sugar consumption. They are more of a narcotic than a food. If you consume these foods before a round of golf, you may experience a sugar crash on the back nine.
Eating these junk foods regularly will add body fat. And you can exercise all you want, but you won’t get the best results if you consume junk food.
Consider these options when choosing meals:
- Nutrient-dense foods that are often called superfoods Foods that maintain a healthy blood sugar level to avoid sugar crashes; the key to weight loss nutrition.
- The super fats - Super fats are foods with high levels of essential fats — especially omega-3 fatty acids.
Some of the best super fat foods are wild-caught SMASH fish. SMASH is an acronym for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. These smaller cold-water fish have far less mercury than larger fish like tuna.
It’s essential to avoid the farm-raised versions of fish as they’re more likely to contain high chemical concentrations because they are held in a relatively small area. Other super-fat options include nuts, olives, olive oil, and avocados.
Golf Nutrition During Tournament Season
Now that we’ve covered your fitness nutrition, let’s turn to your playing nutrition. Pre-tournament meals and snacks on the course are crucial for optimal performance. One of the essential snacks everyone needs while playing golf is water. As mentioned above, even mild dehydration can have a massive effect on your game.
Blood sugar management is more critical during a round of golf than when exercising. That’s because a sugar crash will severely affect your ability to concentrate. Without proper focus, golf balls will land in the worst places. Your sports nutritionist will help you pick the right foods to eat just before a round and the right snacks while playing.
Your brain consumes more calories than any other part of your body. Golf requires a higher level of concentration than most physical sports. If you don’t have the proper foods fueling your brain, you’ll probably spend the day in the rough. For a casual golfer, that’s not an enjoyable place to be. For a professional golfer, that means lost money.
Whatever your goals with golf, the best nutrition is a big step in the right direction. At Top Nutrition Coaching, we help golfers reach their best game. Contact us today to see what we can do for you. Or call us at (347) 997-8378. The improvement in your game will amaze you, but you’ll also enjoy how much better you feel.