Hotdogs, patties, fries, a bottle of beer at the 19th hole… sound familiar?
Unfortunately, all of these foods are staples of an average golfer’s diet. And the problem is, they’re all high in sodium, fat, or worse… alcohol. After a strenuous game of sweating out your water stores, these foods are only further dehydrating your body.
Which is why you need to replenish yourself with healthy food.
Sure eatin’ a few extra greens ain’ gonna have you swinging like Bubba… but if you don’t pay attention to your body’s needs, your game’s gonna suffer.
So, the team and I have put together an ideal meal plan, based on what’s helped our performance out on the links:
Pre-Game Breakfast: Wake up with protein
You’re gonna be playing a lot longer than you would most other sports. And yet, most of us still fail to fuel up before stepping out on the course. The morning of a game, many golfers still rely on just a slice or toast or worse, nothing at all, to start a game.
But, a small bit of preparation goes a very long way…
- Prepare a simple batch of hard-boiled eggs. This is a quick and nutritious breakfast choice.
- Couple your eggs with some fresh fruit; providing a mix of protein, healthy fat and complex carbs – perfect for establishing and maintaining steady blood-sugar levels.
Mid-Game Drink: Start the game hydrated
Golfers or not, we need water to function. While the media has many of us believing sports drinks are the answer to keeping our bodies hydrated, they’re chock-full of sugars! A simple glass of water is what you need to keep your mind focused. Remember, dehydration literally slows down your brain’s ability to function – not ideal when you’re trying to read that tricky lie.
So, pick the cheaper and healthier option, water. The secret is…
- Drink at least 500ml before you tee off to get the ultimate benefit for your game.
- Then, every four to five holes, have a drink of water coupled with a small snack (see below). This helps to maintain your energy levels and concentration.
Mid-Game Snack: Refuel with small snacks
Walking from hole-to-hole lugging a bag of heavy clubs for 4 hours can take its toll. You need to refuel your body throughout a round to help keep your reponses sharp.
Eat regular portions of good fats and proteins to sustain energy, such as…
- Nuts (e.g.walnuts, almonds) dried/fresh fruit, or a mixture of the two in a trail mix are smart snack choices.
- Separate small snack portions into ziplock bags the night before. Store these in your bag to nibble on as you need throughout the round.
Post-Game Meal: Set your body up for a quick recovery
While it’s temptoing to ‘reward’ yourself with a burger and cold beer, your body’s energy stores need replensishing.
Instead, within 15 minutes of finishing your round…
- Drink two glasses of water.
- Then, eat some protein and replenish energy stores with carbs, for example: a steak with vegetables and a baked potato or chicken salad with rice, to help repair your muscles.
- If you do drink alcohol, make sure you do it with food and water.
Not filling your body with the right amount of the healthy food it needs, means your recovery time will slow down and your chances of injury will increase. But, a small bit of preparation and choosing better food options at the 19th hole will boost your fitness levels and help you retain your focus.
Do you eat the right foods to improve your game? Let us know what you eat in the comments section below.