The Golfer’s Diet: How to improve your nutritional intake

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Playing golf can burn a lot of energy, nearly 2000 calories per round. If you are not eating the right amount of healthy food, you will find yourself exhausted and tired.

For a golfer, nutrition is often based around quality carbohydrate foods to match fuel needs. Lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery, Along with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains which provides vitamins and minerals, along with small amount of healthy fats.

  • Carbohydrates –

Golfers often play rounds that can last up to five hours. It is thus important to eat a nutritious meal prior to starting, to maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels and prevent fatigue throughout the round. Approximately 50 percent of a golfer’s diet should come from whole-grain carbohydrates. This includes whole-grain, fibre-rich carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Proteins –

Golfers should aim to include protein in all meals and most snacks. Lean protein is required for muscle repair and recovery. This macronutrient rebuilds muscle tissue and regulates chemical processes. During workouts the body’s muscle tissue breaks down in a process called catabolism.

Protein-rich foods include lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, pulses (like chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and baked beans), nuts, and low fat dairy products.

  • Fats –

Fat is also an energy source for muscle, fat choices from those “healthy” fats such as unsaturated fats. Avocados, olive, peanut oil, nuts, flaxseeds, and fish are all good sources of healthy fats, and should be included in a golfer’s daily diet. For all golfers, unhealthy fats should be avoided as far as possible. This includes the skin on chicken, white fat on meat, and fat often used in cakes, biscuits, and chips.

  • Fluid requirements

Fluid requirements can vary, depending on players’ size, gender, time in play, and environmental conditions. It is very important that golfers drink sufficient fluid to maintain their hydration levels. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, reduced skill performance, and an impaired ability to focus for longer periods. At higher levels, dehydration can also contribute to heat stress Fruit juices, tender coconut water, sports drinks or electrolyte replacement solutions can be useful for long practice rounds and during the competition as they replace fluids and electrolyte for hydration as well as some carbohydrates to top up energy/fuel needs.

  • Alcohol Consumption –

Some golfers like to enjoy a beer or two while on the golf course. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can result in the body not being able to properly regulate its temperature, which can cause heat exhaustion. The best way to avoid this is to not consume alcohol when playing, especially in hot, humid conditions.

  • Fruit and vegetables

These are essential for good health and performance and should be included in every main meal. Including a range of fresh fruits and vegetables is convenient, tasty, and affordable. Adding vegetables and fruit to one’s diet is also a great way to boost fibre, vitamin, and mineral intake, thereby meeting daily nutritional requirements.

By:

Golfer's Diet

Pavithra. N. Raj

Chief Dietician

Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur – Bangalore

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