Apart from the technicalities of putting, swinging, aiming and the like, diet is also an important factor affecting the performance of a golfer in the field. Certain food and drinks affect the strength and energy of the player throughout the game. Awareness of the effects of the healthy and unhealthy food to consume and necessary hydration and workout will help the golfer maximize the full potential of his mental and physical abilities.
Consuming proper and nutritious food promotes physical and mental fitness supplemental to play any sport.
Fast food, sodas, coffee, chips, and other food low in nutrition decreases energy level, coordination and focus. It also negatively affects the performance of the golfer by preventing him to properly aim at the target, position the best posture and vigorously grip and swing the golf clubs. Continuously consuming these unhealthy foods will also upset the normal functioning of the nervous system making the individual more vulnerable to illnesses which could prevent him from getting out on the greens as often as he wants.
Food and drinks such as fruit juices, smoothies, soda and cereals disrupt the sugar-level in the body should be avoided because they negatively affect the energy level of the golfer throughout the game as well as his alertness. Those high in fat tend to decrease the energy level. A golfer must have the necessary vitamins and minerals that are good sources of energy such as meals rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, high in fiber and of course, water for hydration. Eating the right meals will sustain the energy of the player all over the game. A healthy routine is also fundamental to improve or maintain the strength necessary to properly grip and swing the golf clubs to propel the ball higher and farther.
A balanced diet is consuming a minimum of 50% of the total calorie intake of the golfer from meals with complex carbohydrates. These are the no. 1 nourishing source of energy necessary when carrying out the physical activities in golf. Not only does it nourish the body but also stimulates the brain function and maintains protein levels for better focus. Other than, carbohydrates, protein intake is also essential to create a balanced diet to improve and maintain the strength of the muscles and produce basic hormones and enzymes. Good sources of protein are beans, fish or chicken.
Ideal foods in a meal before the game are two scrambled eggs, 1 cup oatmeal, yogurt with almonds, a sandwich with two eggs and a slice of cheese, a banana or an orange, or one to two slices of whole-wheat toast.
Fat is not entirely a negative factor in a diet as long as the calories coming from fat does not exceed 30% such as one to two teaspoons of peanut butter. Potatoes, corn, and other food that are starchy and high in sugar which creates a lethargic effect on the player making him easily exhausted and incapable of focusing well in the game. Caffeine and alcohol intake negatively impacts the golfer’s performance by due to poor coordination and concentration resulting to mishandling the golf clubs during swings and failing to properly aim to the target.
Hydration is just as important as consuming the right kind of food. The body needs ample supply of water especially since a game of golf entails being under the sun for a number of hours. To ensure that the body has sufficient supply of fluids, consuming the normal eight to ten glasses of water a day and more during the game is vital. Considering the weather, additional fluid intake is necessary during warmer days.
Basically, the ideal meal before a golf game is high in protein with enough complex carbohydrates and relatively low in fat and sugar. This will help the golfer maintain sufficient energy level and heightened concentration.