Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 5 Fixable Problems with Golfers (Pt 2 of 3)

In my last article, we took a look at the main problems golfers face as a result of their participation in their sport.  Now, we are going to take a peak at problem #3 on the list, which might need a little more explanation (and more creative solutions) than problems 1-2.  Problems #4-5 coming tomorrow!

#3: Fluctuating blood sugar and dehydration during the round
Blood sugar problem: From start to finish, the average round of golf should be roughly 4-5 hours.  For some, having lunch at the turn is all they need to get them through the round, keep hunger at bay, and focus on their game.  For others who eat every 3 hours though, the problem they face is those last few holes, when their meal window is larger than usual, before the turn.  Once hunger sets in (assuming they do not have a shake or meal replacement bar with them), their blood sugar is already declining (imagine their game, following the same pattern) and they are more than likely to make a poor decision when they do order lunch.  Ordering a hamburger or hot dog from the grill is only going to spike their blood sugar (thanks to white bread!) and have them crash again after another hour or so. 

This fluctuation would drive me crazy (especially because I cannot stand being hungry), so I choose to plan ahead with the following schedule (using 12p tee time, modify hourly for yourself):
8a: breakfast (egg white omelette with cheddar cheese or avocado)
11a: snack on way to course (peanut or almond butter sandwich, whole wheat bread, with polamer all fruit preserves (2 TBSP))
12p: tee time
2p: meal replacement bar (or shake) such as Zero Impact Peanut Butter and Jelly (notice a pattern?)

5p: dinner or post-round meal (whole wheat wrap, grilled chicken, mixed veggies)

Now, how easy was that?  If you think you will still be hungry, try grabbing a small snack bag of mixed nuts (unsalted) to munch on during the round.  Focus on your game instead of your stomach...!

As for dehydration: steps you can take to stay hydrated (especially now that summer is upon us!): 
---Start drinking water (even when you're not thirsty) 1-2 hours before the round
---Don't like water? Add a little lemon juice (from a freshly squeezed lemon, not from concentrate)
---During the round, bring a decent-sized water bottle to keep refilling (I use a 1-Liter bottle)
---I also take amino acids during the round, helps add flavor and keeps muscles firing for 4+ hours

I truly hope serious golfers can take a look at their nutrition and hydration and realize they cannot perform at a high level without adequate nutrients.  Sometimes people look at an article like this and think this is too much planning, I'm too intense, etc.  These are the same golfers that will take golfing lessons, hire a swing coach, spend 100's of dollars on clubs and equipment and clothing, yet won't take 10 minutes to get prepared for a round of golf. 

In summary, we are looking at the difference between par and double bogey if we are distracted from our game and focused on our stomach.  Take the proper steps before the round (it's simple really: make a sandwich, pack amino acids and a meal replacement bar) and get yourself physically ready to take on the challenging sport of golf. 

Part III coming tomorrow...

-Coach Kev

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