Nutrition is a topic I get asked by parents quite often who want me to emphasize the importance of eating properly to their daughters, and many times simply just encouraging them to eat on the golf course. As someone who’s always had a hefty appetite, eating on the golf course was never an issue with me, eating healthy on the other hand was another story. I had a ritual for awhile as junior golfer that marshmallows were my good luck charm so I would devour a bag of them while I played, not exactly the healthiest of snacks. Having been a Health and Exercise Science major in college and becoming much more interested in nutrition over the years, I wanted to pass along a few suggestions to help get you started. Coming soon for PKBGT members will be more information about fitness and nutrition provided by Par4Success.
One of the most important things to remember is that you need to eat on the golf course. A 120 lb person burns a minimum of 1100-1300 calories during an 18 hole round of golf. You need to replenish some of those lost calories in order to maintain your optimal level of performance. As your body begins to lose its energy it not only affects you physically but also mentally. How many times have you struggled to get those last few holes in without making mistakes? As the nerves start to kick in and the pressure is on, you need both your body and your brain to be at its maximum level.
You need to include high protein, complex carbs with your pre round meals and on course snacks. Minimize the sugar, simple carbs and caffeine. A staple for professional golfers is PB sandwiches on whole wheat bread. Also low sugar protein bars, nuts, jerky, cheese, fruit and veggies are great snacks on the course. Gatorade is a way to replenish some electrolytes but it is also loaded with sugar, so stick with mostly water. The saying “something is better than nothing” does apply in this scenario but do what you can to eat foods that will help to enhance your performance, not hinder it. Most collegiate players and tour pros will tell you that eat something every 3-4 holes to help them maintain their energy levels. Once you get to college your options for food on the course will more than likely be regulated by your coach so go ahead and prepare for it now.