Sound diet and good nutritional strategies are essential to help you perform at your best. Diet affects performance and the foods you choose during training and tournament play will affect how well you train and compete. Getting the right amount of energy to support and promote muscle tissue adaptations to training, as well as to stay healthy and perform to your optimal level is important.
Players’ nutritional needs are individual, and will change across the season.
A varied and wholesome nutrient-rich diet that meets your energy needs and is based largely on vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, grains, lean animal meats and carbohydrates should ensure an adequate intake of all essential vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to avoid processed meats, and foods high in sugar and salt
Players that eat an adequate balanced diet have no need for supplementation and the associated health and doping risks of using unregulated supplement products.
This diagram shows how to utilise various food groups, and when.
CORE- Fresh fruit, berries, and vegetables that grow above the ground contain essential nutrients and goodness and are unlikely to cause weight gain. Eat as many of this group as you like.
FLUIDS- Staying hydrated helps avoid illness and injury. Most of the time water works well, while sports drinks (diluted), rehydration drinks, diluted fruit juice might help after or during long periods of exercise.
FUEL- Supplies energy when needed, but eating too much fuel in relation to energy expenditure may lead to weight gain. Use this food group when you have earned it expending energy, or are about to earn it.
RECOVER- After exercise these protein containing foods can help muscles repair themselves and the body recover.
RESTORE- These foods maintain healthy function, and are generally healthy.
General Advice- Top tips
- Plan your approach to your nutrition over your tournament schedule: consider what you are doing that week and each day, and what types of foods might be helpful.
- Let your wife/ partner/ flatmates/ caddy know your general nutrition plan, so they can help (or at least not accidentally sabotage) your nutrition
- Try to stick by guidelines as often as possible-choose places to stay and eat that are likely to help with this
- Have some fruit or vegetables (which are an excellent source of key vitamins and minerals) with every meal if possible- even simple things like fruit on breakfast cereal help
- Have a carbohydrate and protein based drink, meal or snack soon (within 1 hr.) of completing a round. This could include a milkshake, banana, tuna or chicken sandwich.
- Stay hydrated, especially in hot climates. Make sure you have water available in your golf bag
- If you are ill, it is especially important to eat well
- Be VERY careful with supplements. The only way to be sure a supplement is not contaminated is not to take it. See next section on Prevention.
The table below offers basic nutrition tips, and input into when it is possible some food types may help optimise training, performance and recovery. Individual athletes may benefit from slightly different advice based on many factors.
HOW TO TAKE
|VITAMIN C||Onset of common cold/flu||Fresh orange juice, or oranges/citrus|
|IRON (FERROUS)||Ferritin level low <40ng/ ml||Depending on level. Donsult Dr|
|MULTI VITAMIN||Very poor diet||Single multivitamin inc iron, zinc, magnesium|
|ZINC||Onset of common cold/flu||2 Zinc lozenges/day|
|VITAMIN D||Low Vit D level <75ml/l||Prescribed tablets|
|PROBIOTIC||When unwell, diarrhoea, or taking antibiotics||Yakulk/actimel|
Use when indicated:
HOW TO TAKE
|CARBOHYDRATE||During and after prolonged training or competition||Carb based food (banana, cereal bar, sandwich etc). Sport drink- 5-8% carbs|
|FLUID WITH ELECTROLYTE||During prolonged training or competition in the heat||Water, with electrolyte sachet. Sport drink.|
|CARBOHYDRATE AND PROTEIN||Between 0 and 60 minutes after heavy gym session or round of golf||3:1 Carb: protein ratio ideal – chicken/tuna/egg sandwich, meat with potatoes|
Don’t Bother- Ginseng, chromium, specific amino acids, carnitine, almost everything else.