Nutrition on the Course
Picture this: You’re in a 1v1 golf match with your buddy for cash…You are 1 up through the 15th hole, but all of the sudden you feel your body hitting a wall. You start swinging slower, feel yourself trying to manipulate the clubface more, and can’t concentrate on 3 foot putts. By the 17th hole you’re ready to walk off the course, and after you’re done with the round, your wallet is a little lighter and your buddy has his lunch paid for thanks to you. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe you aren’t properly fueling while you play! Drinking enough fluids and consuming calories are super important on course. For now, we will just discuss on-course nutrition, but check out our other post about on-course hydration for tips on that as well.
If you are walking and carrying your bag, you are probably burning, on average, 1400 calories across 18 holes. If you’re golfing on a hot summer day here in Arizona, that number could be even higher.
So what types of foods are best for a round of golf?
We want to think about macronutrients involved in foods. Carbs and proteins are going to be your best combo for sustained energy for all 18 holes. A 2-to-1 ratio of proteins-to-carbs is ideal. Examples of high-protein on-the-go snacks are hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, nuts, and cheeses. Some great carb sources are trail mix, fresh or dried fruits, popcorn, your favorite nut butter sandwich, or crackers.
When is the best time to eat certain foods?
Fueling preparation for a round of golf should occur long before stepping on the first tee. For an average weekend warrior just focusing on a relaxing Saturday round with buddies, the preparation could start at breakfast the morning of, but for a competitive athlete, the fueling preparation should really begin the evening before a tournament/competitive round.
For now, let’s just touch on the fueling of an average weekend warrior. Before a round you want to consume a meal full of protein, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbs. By hole three once you have settled into your groove, you want to focus on stabilizing energy levels. Fresh fruits and nuts are great for this. Around hole 6 if you’re hungry again, satisfy your cravings with a protein shake or high protein snack. If you need a good protein option, Momentous has some fantastic tasting whey and plant-based protein shake options.
Alright, I’m halfway through my round. What should I eat to make sure I finish strong?
At the turn, consider a slightly larger snack/light meal such as a nut butter sandwich or turkey sandwich. Hopefully that will satiate you for a handful of holes. For the home stretch, the goal is to finish with a good energy boost. This is done with foods that lift your blood sugar such as higher carb snacks like dried fruits. By the end of the round, feel free to indulge a bit more with a usual post-round meal (ex: hot dog and a beer?). These foods are best consumed post-round and should be avoided mid-round.
What foods should I avoid on-course?
Consuming foods or beverages that are high in sugar, too high in sodium, are empty calories, or have too much caffeine should be avoided mid-round. You should also think about avoiding foods that are tougher to digest or foods that you know your body usually has an adverse reaction to.
Hopefully these healthier choices will allow you to be more mindful on course and lead you to playing some of your best golf!
If you’re interested in more in depth nutrition coaching, check out BSL Nutrition to get you on track and playing your best, most fueled golf!!