What you eat and drink and how it impacts your golf game

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Scott Rushing
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What you eat and drink and how it impacts your golf game

Ever played great golf for half the round of golf and started to tire on the back 9? What you eat and drink is an important and often overlooked factor in how you perform on the course. Having spent hours developing your skill in practicing at the range, it's also important to remember to eat and drink properly before and during the round.

Maintaining a healthy diet not only helps your physical self but also helps your "golf self". For example, one thing that will give the body energy and strength is consuming food. If people eat frequently and consistently with smaller meals, they are regulating insulin, which is one of the many hormones that helps the body turns the food into energy and store energy for future use. In addition, people will have a faster metabolism rate to help them stay more active.

We normally think of the food we eat in terms of enjoyment, of being healthy, or of what it does to our bodies in terms of attractiveness. The truth is that your body is a vast storehouse of chemicals and what you eat, the amount you eat, and when you eat can change the chemistry of your digestive system and your nervous system.

Proper diet also helps you maintain better focus throughout the round. The body of evidence linking diet and mental health is growing at a rapid pace. Conversations with various experts reveal that there is both good and bad news. First, the reality is that there is no one magic food guaranteed to help people perform their best mentally and physically. The research on the connection between food and concentration is, for the most part, either lacking, or inconclusive. Some of the claims attached to certain foods are exaggerations of the truth, or downright false.

Now, for more the optimistic report: Certain foods or maintaining a certain diet may work for some people for a short-term, and studies are ongoing on the promising benefits of some nutrients on brain function. Caffeine can energize the fatigued, but the benefit is short-lived, says Noralyn L. Wilson, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). She says individual characteristics determine the length of the effect and someone's reaction to it. And for the golf swing, having ups and downs during the round usually leads to difficulty controlling shots and playing your best. So finding a way to have consistent levels of energy and mental function during the round is key. And that requires preparation and thought.

Several websites have put together suggestions for meal and fluid intake during the day in which you plan to play golf. For example, Core Performance suggests the following menu for a day of golf: (read more at http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/nutrition/perfect-day-of-eating-for...). What do you think?

Breakfast: 6:30am
Fueling up about two hours prior to playing provides long-lasting energy.
What to eat: Two slices of high-fiber whole wheat toast with two tablespoons of natural almond butter; two scrambled omega-3 eggs with sauteed peppers and onions; and an orange. More ideas.
What to drink: Water

Snack: 7:45am
A small snack and more water ensures that you're fully hydrated and ready to get your round underway.
What to eat: A handful of walnuts and an apple.
What to drink: Water

Start play: 8:00am

Holes 4-16: Refuel every four holes to help prevent your energy levels from crashing during the round.

Snack: Hole 4
What to eat: One slice of bread with one tablespoon of peanut butter and one tablespoon of all-fruit strawberry jelly
What to drink: Water and/or G2 (low-calorie Gatorade). On extremely hot days or if you're sweating profusely, G2 will help you stay cool and hydrated.

Snack: Hole 8
What to eat: An energy bar (we like Myoplex Lite).
What to drink: Water and/or G2.

Snack: Hole 12
What to eat: One slice of bread with one tablespoon peanut butter and one tablespoon all-fruit strawberry jelly.
What to drink: Water and/or G2.

Snack: Hole 16
What to eat: One and a half ounces of lean beef jerky and a small box of raisins.
What to drink: Water and/or G2.

End 18 holes at noon

Lunch: 12:30pm
Refuel quickly after your game with a meal high in carbohydrates, protein, fluids and antioxidants to help your body recover from the round.
What to eat: One whole wheat wrap with 3 oz lean turkey breast, spinach salad with olive oil and one watermelon wedge.
What to drink: Water

Snack: 3:30pm
Your post-game meal isn't the end of your body's recovery process. Continue to eat and drink consistently throughout the day to ensure a full recovery.
What to eat: An apple and a handful of walnuts.
What to drink: Water

Dinner: 6:30pm
Prepare a recovery dinner full of healthy fats, carbs and veggies.
What to eat: Three ounces of salmon, one cup of brown rice, and two cups of asparagus cooked with olive oil.
What to drink: Water

Snack: 9:30pm
Help maintain and build lean body mass overnight by ending the day with a protein-packed snack.
What to eat: Low-fat cottage cheese, a peach, and a handful of raw pecans.
What to drink: Water

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
So in December, I made vow to

So in December, I made vow to do better with my diet.  I've been working out a lot more than ever the last 18 months and failed to move the needle at all on the scale.  So in late December I started with the diet.  What a difference.   In the last 29 days I've lost 15+ lbs.  Exercising regularly but doing a much better job of managing that diet.   Going to do another month of it and then see where I am and then start to add stuff back in to move more to maintaining than weight loss.  Never wanted to "diet" because I wanted a lifestyle change I could live with, but I never found the right combo....So now we'll do the weight loss and then adjust.

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Any time I play 18 holes I

Any time I play 18 holes I always bring THREE 24 ounce bottles of water or Powerade with me as well as 3 or 4 snack bars to eat as I play the course, NO set time to eat those bars but I useally eat one after 3 or 4 holes and then one more at the turn and another half way through the back nine. I almost always finish all three of the 24 ounce bottles of wate/Powerade before I finish the round, usally on the last hole. I the hot part of Summer, I usally fill the bottles HALF full with water and then put the bottle in the freezer at a 45 degree angle until it's frozen solid and then I fill it full just before I leave the house with cold Powerade. That way I have a cold drink for the entire round, and the Powerade mixes with the water so I end up with a more or less half and half drink. I picked up TWO inserlated coolers that hold 2 12 ounce bottles of soda, or one 24 ounce Gatorade bottle. I have been using these two coolers with some old Gatorade bottles for the last 15 years or so when ever I play golf. Works very well keeping my drink cold and that's about all I can ask of those coolers. 



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