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Thursday, April 05, 2018

GETTING YOUR "GREENS" [AND OTHER NUTRITION] ON THE GREENS

Golf.

There are those who might have the view that there's no need for golfers to be concerned with nutrition, believing that golf requires less exertion than other sports.

Not so fast. Cathy Williamson, the author of Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Golfers, says players ignore nutrition at their peril. “You’re out there for four or five hours, longer than many sports,” says . "If you don’t pay attention to fuel and hydration, your game will suffer."

Keep in mind that even though golf is categorized as  a low-to-medium intensity activity, there is still loss of carbohydrate, protein and importantly - water. Also, golf performance in tournament play involves a warm-up, a 4-5 hour round (including some walking) and then practice after a round. All of this happens repeatedly over several days in a tournament. 

Nutrition experts [at golf Canada] have divided the golfer's nutritional needs into three stages: pre- game (particularly the hour before); during the game and post-game.

Given that 3-4 hours is the generally required digestion time for a typical meal, (the smaller the meal, the quicker it can be digested), most experts agree that ingesting a meal of a meal containing 140-330 grams of carbohydrate 3-4 hours before physical exertion tends to enhance athletic performance. Tolerances vary greatly from person to person.  

In pre-game, it is recommended that players consume a small snack 30-90 minutes before tee-off Fresh fruit (bananas are ideal becuase of their high potassium and other nutrient content) as well as nuts, whole wheat bagel with or without light cream cheese.
 
If your round begins very early in the morning (or too early to allow for the requisite digestion time, then eat high-quality carbohydrates with your proteins  - such as pasta or log grain rice along with stir-fry vegetables - at dinner the night before.   
 
Hydrate
 
The fact that water is vital for peak bodily function is unequivocal, more so when golfing in humid tropical or subtropical conditions. Some general guidelines are: 500mil (standard bottle) up to two hours before the start of play, another 250 mL 30 minutes before, then another 250 mL at 15 minute intervals thereafter.  
 
During play
 
Whether you're walking the course or going by cart, the body will be losing fluid and electrolytes - primarily through sweat - throughout the day. In addition to the aforementioned water,  energy drinks and bars are recommended (but watch out for the sodium content) Some golf pros, walk with a "stash" of  electrolyte tablets (or the powdered version) and others will much on granola bars or even dark chocolate. 
 
After Play
 
It's paparmaount to set your body up for a quick recovery. Protein – approximately one quarter of your daily requirement • Carboh ydrate – still the most abundant nutrient • Water – however much you lost and were not able to replenish during play (weighing before and after is the best way to assess this)  Some examples are: turkey sandwich on whole w heat bread, power bar, ½ cup of almonds with small glass of fruit juice.
 
 
The overall nutritional principles apply to golfers as to other athletes
 
Eat nutrient-dense foods; reduce or eliminate sugar and low-quality carbs.
 
Maintain healthy blood sugar levels. avoid fried or overly processed foods, which all quickly elevate blood sugar levels setting up the dreaded "back nine energy crash".
  
Consume high-antioxidant superfoods and supplements..Essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fatty fish, grass-fed beef, eggs, some nuts and chia seeds and flax seeds are absolutely necessary nutrients for the health of your immune system, heart, skin, endocrine glands, brain function, nervous system and energy levels. EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid) are the omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish and fish oils. The best source for EPA and DHA is cold-water, oily fish including salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines (avoid farm raised fish).  Other superfats include almonds, coconut, macadamia nuts, olives and avocados
  

[the Jamaica Golf AssociationJGA]