- Paul Graham-Fielding
DRAIN YOUR PUTTS, NOT YOUR NUTRITION - WHAT NOT TO EAT.
There’s always someone telling you to eat less sugar, eat the right types of carbs, and consume certain types of fat and to lay off the chocolate, so it’s no wonder that when we’re out on the course we don’t really pay much attention to how we fuel our bodies.
This however is key, and it has a huge effect on our game. We all need different types of food depending on the climate body we play in and our size and shape etc. but there are a few things that you should really take note of before you pack your bag and start munching during your golf days.
We know that what’s here isn’t true for every brand or every food type, but as a rule of thumb you should stay away from these…
HOT DOGS & BEEFBURGERS
You can smell the halfway hut can’t you! It’s a bit cold and you want something to fill you up and keep you warm… It depends how they are cooked and also the quality of ingredients stuffed into them, but most hotdogs are awful and if you’re thinking about a burger… they’re not much better either. Not only are they high in sodium and saturated fat, if you eat one on a plain white bun, you're just adding an unwanted dose of simple carbohydrates to the mix. Natural beef jerky or a bowl of chili are two healthier alternatives.
MOST NUTRITION & GRANOLA BARS
Kudos to whoever came up with the term "nutrition bar." What little nutrition these candy bars have is ruined by the fact that they are loaded with sugar and chemical additives. I will say that bars that limit sugar, and contain protein and fibre are acceptable, but only if you can't find a better option such as peanut butter on whole wheat bread or an apple.
These things have come a long way and the varieties labelled "protein" or "whole grain" are a lot better than their predecessors. But 12 grams of sugar per serving means you're probably going to experience an energy spike, followed by a crash, during your round. A bag of nuts, sunflower seeds and chopped fruit (not dried) is a better alternative.
MOST SPORTS DRINKS
But they say they are good for sustained performance and concentration on the telly! The chief ingredients in sports drinks—electrolytes (sodium, potassium, etc.)—are important for proper muscle function. But people usually get more than enough sodium (salt) from their normal diet. And the added chemicals and sugars (natural and artificial) make me cringe.
Drink water and eat a banana and you'll get the same benefits without filling your body with sugar, chemicals and unneeded calories.
CHIPS, CHUNKY OR SKINNY!
Where do I start? Saturated fat, high salt content, etc. I think the term "gut bomb" was invented after someone downed a burger and fries at the turn. Few things hinder athletic performance more than eating fried foods. Crisps aren't much better either!
Why an earth does anyone think this is a good idea mid round, even the “light” stuff that they now push? The beer companies got wise to something pretty early on. People were complaining that they felt bloated and sluggish after drinking more than one. So what did they do? They went out and started a campaign touting lower and lower calorie beer.
No matter how many calories, beer is bad for golfers because it's a sedative, a diuretic and can impair coordination. Save the beer for after the round and drink water.
BOWL OF CEREAL
The body absolutely positively needs carbohydrates to function properly. But it's the quality of carbohydrate that really matters in terms of endurance, mental acuity and functionality.
Cereals are refined simple carbohydrates and the body treats them just like it's consuming pure sugar.
You'll get a burst of energy, but that's it. You'll soon feel hunger pains again and fatigue will set in. Greek yogurt, an egg, and some grapes are a far better choice for breakfast.