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Golf – Eating to win!

2nd September 2016 | Written by Louise Blanchfield

If you want to play golf and win read on to discover how food can give you the competitive edge!

Our bodies are complex and not everyone is the same so there is not one diet that fits all. However, outlined below are key points that you should consider when eating to achieve your optimum performance whilst playing golf. The most important concept to sustained energy and improving both mental and physical stamina is learning to balance your blood sugar.

To help balance your blood sugar:

  • Protein at every meal – that includes breakfast so think eggs, nuts, protein powder in a smoothie for example. Other protein sources for other meals include meat, dairy, fish, nuts and seeds. Try to choose lean meat, grass fed organic if possible.
  • Avoid sugar in all forms (cakes, biscuits, fizzy juice, fruit juice and alcohol) as this upsets your blood sugar balance which causes energy crashes and decreases your ability to cope with stress.
  • Choose complex carbohydrates – wholemeal bread, pasta but always eat them with protein to reduce their impact on your blood sugar.
  • Choose starchy vegetables as a carbohydrate source – sweet potato, butternut squash, turnip. Your body can digest these far easier than bread or pasta.
  • Avoid caffeine as it stimulates the adrenal system and therefore causes energy dips when the surge is over.

To ensure good energy reserves:

  • Choose a combination of carbohydrate and protein at every meal and snack to give sustained energy release.
  • Eat healthy fats – we need fat to digest the fat soluble vitamins so eat avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish, nuts and seeds. They also provide another source of energy which is slow release.
  • Eat brown rice, oats, almonds, sunflowers seeds, eggs, turkey, salmon, lentils and mushrooms to get your B vitamins.
  • Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, nuts (particularly almonds), seeds and brown rice. It’s needed to produce energy but also to absorb calcium, to relax muscles & much more.
  • Eat ginger, pecans, brazil nuts, lamb and oats as a source of zinc.
  • Eat citrus fruit, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries as sources of vitamin C.
  • Eat onions, eggs and garlic as a source of sulphur.

 

To aid good gut health:

  • Increase fibre intake, 6-8 portions of colourful fruit and vegetables a day – think colours of the rainbow and don’t forget your white vegetables like onions and cauliflower.
  • Eat sauerkraut and kefir as a natural source of probiotics or take a probiotic tablet.
  • Ensure adequate hydration – on a normal day 6-8 glasses of water, more on training and competition days particularly if playing in hot conditions. You can lose up to 2 and a half pounds in sweat during a game of golf. Research shows that even a 1% loss of bodyweight through sweat makes your heart beat 3-4 times faster per minute and levels up to 3% impact on performance so make sure you get enough water.

 

Lifestyle advice:

  • Avoid junk food which depletes vital vitamins and minerals.
  • Ensure 8 hours of sleep per night.

Examples of good meal selections before a game of golf:

  • Breakfast – scrambled egg on wholemeal toast, omelette, granola or muesli with probiotic yogurt, porridge with 1 tablespoon seeds and handful blueberries on.
  • Lunch – chicken with broccoli, roast peppers and turnip, sweet potato and lentil curry with brown rice, salmon with green leaf salad and quinoa.

 

Examples of good snacks during a game of golf:

  • Banana and nuts
  • Protein and energy bars – Nakd bar, bounce ball
  • Berries and nuts
  • Coconut water based smoothie – 1 dessert spoon protein powder, handful frozen berries, 1 banana and coconut water to fill the glass – blend it up. Add a handful of spinach to increase your magnesium intake.

 

NOTE: do not trial these for the first time on a competition day to avoid any potential gastrointestinal upset!

 

You can have other health conditions that will affect your game so the best thing is to have an individual nutritional assessment to address all of your issues. If you would like to eat to win book your secure online consultation here and discover how you can get the edge over your competition.

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