Golfers, like any other sports people are always looking for a competitive edge.
Take Rory McIroy for instance with his well-publicised workout routine. The chances are it wasn’t exercise alone that has helped him tone up and put on some extra muscle. Diet will also likely to have been a factor.
It’s easy to underestimate the effect a good diet will have on performance. It’s also easy for non-professional sportspeople to get into bad habits when it comes to food – even if simply eating the right foods and having a good diet can have a positive effect on all our lives, not just golf.
The way to think about golf nutrition is to think about the 14 clubs a golfer might carry in a golf bag to give himself a competitive edge. A lot of time will be spent choosing those clubs and making sure they will help him to get the job done to the best of his ability.
Does that same golfer then think about the 50 essential nutrients required to play at his peak? The chances are the top golfers will. But some of this nutritional wisdom can be useful to the average golfer too.
So what should a golfer be looking for next time they pack away some snacks for the day or order something to eat at the club?
The first thing to do is identify some nutritional superfoods. These are foods that contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals and other good things we need without sugar and other processed nasties. Some of the most nutrient dense foods include Kale, which is among the healthiest greens you can eat. Salmon, the humble potato, nuts (unsalted), blueberries, liver and if you still crave chocolate, the high cocoa dark version is also one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
The above are just some of the superfoods available and there are plenty of others. What these foods will do is help prevent the yoyo effect of high sugar diets. Having energy crashes should be prevented by eliminating harmful sugary snacks which only give energy in short bursts and lead to a spiral of consuming more and more of what will not only harm our performance but also our health.
Minimising this glycemic response should include reducing things like grains, bread, starchy foods. When it comes to energy drinks for golfers, the best is simply water. One study found that golfers hit 12% shorter and 93% less accurately when they are mildly dehydrated.
Of course none of this is easy when shops and cafes are filled with sugary snacks, energy bars and soft drinks. The answer may be to pack your own food as some health conscious golfers already do to give yourself the best chance of maintaining a healthy diet that can improve your performance.