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Nutrition for golfers is important if you want to consistently perform well on the golf course. Even though it doesn’t look like a physically demanding individual sport, golf really does take a lot out of the body. It’s a full-body workout that requires players to have good strength, flexibility, and yes, even cardio endurance. As a matter of fact, Denise Stern highlighted all the muscles used during a golf swing, which includes chest, back, forearms, as well as the obliques and the glutes. Nutrition for golfers is crucial.

On average, a typical round of golf can burn as many as 330 calories every hour. This includes all the walking from one hole to the next, and carrying golf bags. With this amount of exercise, players need to put a premium on nutrition. It’s absolutely essential during a game, as the right nourishment supports the body’s needs. This isn’t to say, however, that away from the fairway, a player can just indulge in a poor diet and expect to perform when they compete again.

The Importance of Nutrition for Golfers

To put it simply, golfers should always look at maintaining a high-quality diet both on and off the golf course. Focusing on training functional movements does wonders for a player’s body – especially when it comes to developing the strength and flexibility needed for golf. Play Your Course published an article that talks about the ‘Four Simple Tips for a More Powerful Golf Swing’. In it, writer Ren Gates, pointed out the importance of a strong and mobile hip in terms of driving the ball with utmost efficiency and force. However, all these factors do not negate the importance of a healthy diet.

It’s imperative to start off with making sure hydration is at the top of the list when you’re talking about nutrition for golf. Water is essential to the human body, not just for athletes who play outdoor sports. Drinking the appropriate amount of water supports cells during the transport of nutrients, and eliminates unwanted toxins. In addition, it regulates and maintains ideal body temperature, which is absolutely crucial for golfers who play under the scorching sun. If an athlete isn’t hydrated properly, it is likely that he or she will become fatigued quicker, and his game will suffer.

Unfortunately, the desire for increased energy levels causes golfers to load up on energy bars and drinks that are often comprised of cheap ingredients, sugars, and stimulants, which actually result in the dreaded crash after only a short peak in energy.

Nutrition For Golfers

A player should also know how to correctly fuel their body before going out to play 18 holes. A perfect meal features carbohydrate-rich foods that are easy to digest, and that will replenish energy and muscle stores. Protein is another vital part of an athlete’s nutrition plan, as it builds and repairs muscles.  Golf State of Mind’s David MacKenzie even lists specific meals and snacks to avoid before and during a round of golf.

Your body can only perform at its best when you get the nutrition your body needs.  Here are some nutrition tips from the Titleist Performance website:

    1. Eat nutrient-dense foods.
      Eat the most highly nutritious and nutrient-dense foods available. Eliminate sugar, processed food, and junk foods. This will naturally reduce your overall calorie intake and increase the nutrient value of the calories to do eat. Include a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement for optimal benefits (we recommend the Science Line Nutrition brand). There are literally thousands of research studies that suggest this approach alone extends life, delays disease, optimizes weight, improves mental clarity, and enhances performance.
    2. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
      Manage your blood sugar levels by minimizing grains, breads, starches, and sugar. These all quickly elevate blood sugar levels, setting you up for the dreaded back nine energy crash. Controlling your blood sugar levels will also minimize body fat storage. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels (and avoiding the blood sugar rollercoaster) are key to sustained energy on the golf course.
    3. Eat healthy fats.
      Essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fatty fish, grass-fed beef, egg yolks, and nuts are absolutely necessary for the health of your immune system, heart, skin, endocrine glands, brain function, and nervous system. EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and 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 like salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Avoid farm-raised fish.  Other healthy fats include nuts, coconut, olives, and avocados.

To have a consistently good golf game, a player should

  1. Practice the correct techniques on the course and the range,
  2. Prepare their body in the gym, and
  3. Consume the right diet at home and on the golf course.

For more advice about fitness and nutrition for golf, contact Basics and Beyond fitness & nutrition for a customized plan.