I never knew what to eat in college or high school. If it was sugary, crunchy, and contained some form of chocolate, I can assure you it was in my bag! Oh how much we learn.
This brings me to such an interesting and by far the MOST IMPORTANT topic of golf, (besides being strong as heck), golf nutrition. I can only imagine what you’re thinking, “Kaitlyn you’re out of your tree if you think I’m giving up booze, burgers, and hot dogs during my round.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m with you and enjoy all the above, but remember, we’re athletes. There’s a time and a place. You don’t see other athletes throwin’ em back during game time, do you? If you want to think clearly, have energy, and perform your best, follow these simple steps, and I PROMISE only positivity will come of it.
Ok, so why is this important? I understand we’re not football, basketball, or track athletes. One can clearly see those athletes are huffing, puffing, training hard and need more fuel to keep them going. They are using different energy systems than we are. Most golfers don’t realize that they ARE using energy systems which DO require certain fuel to keep us mentally tough and resilient.
I won’t get all fancy science on you, so I will keep things simple. Golfers primarily use what’s called the phosphogen and oxidative system. Our swing lasts LESS than 5 seconds (I would hope), so that is considered an EXPLOSIVE movement, tapping into the phosphagen system. Then we walk to our ball (always found in the fairway), so the second most utilized system is called the oxidative system. In order to keep our swing as explosive as possible we need to make sure certain foods are on radar pre, during , and post round.
SO! I have called upon my very intelligent friend, strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, and functional diagnostic nutrition practioner, Joe Peters from Next Level Training Center in Johnston RI, to help us nail down our golf nutrition basics. Here are his recommendations. This will blow your mind, I promise!
- Eating an HOUR before will allow you to fully digest your food. Let’s face it, we get nervous. Which will eliminate food fermenting in your stomach leaving you feeling bloated and full of indigestion. This can actually interfere with us activating our core over the ball, so allow your gut to do its job with ease.
- Your main source of carbs should primarily come from fruits and veggies. Why? They won’t raise your blood sugar like starch can! Ever feel that mental crash about 30minutes- 1hour after eating that candy bar or drinking that soda? Yeah, we are already head cases out there; we don’t need more help from those starchy carbs.
- So what should we eat? Fruits, veggies, and protein source (chicken, fish, beef) an hour before show time! If you’re SUPER strapped for time, or SUPER nervous, a vegetable juice will work wonders.
- Leave the booze and burgers at the snack stand. Am I trying to ruin all your fun? No. I just want you to utilize important brainpower we need to make birdies, win championships, and lower your handicap. Is that too much to ask?
- Eat Nuts, seeds, and fats. And as Joe explains; “Fat’s don’t move the blood sugar meter AT ALL…and fat will not make you fat.” So, in order to keep our mind and body from “hitting the wall” or “crashing” during the round, having a few handfuls of these puppies will keep you sharp, lean, and on the green.
- This stage is pretty similar to pre-round. We want protein, fresh veggies, fruits, and healthy fats!
- This is also where we can utilize and refuel with gluten-free, well-prepared carbs!
- White/sweet potatoes
A few extra words of Wisdom from our ROCKSTAR friend Joe:
- Keep the nervous system in check. Find a corrective chiropractor, muscular imbalances and joint issues. If there is pressure on the nervous system, in the wrong areas, there will be a cascade of problems.
- Properly hydrate. 50 percent of your body weight in ounces
- Eating real foods, NOT processed foods.
- Proper sleep (7-9 restful hours). Sleep between the hours of 10-2am is fantastic.
- Get alone time, spend time doing deep belly breathing and meditate (just when you think that belly breathing was weird and didn’t have purpose).
Now let’s go get it!