Golf & Diet
Accredited Practising Dietitian
BSc (Hons) Dip Nut & Diet.
5 Walker Crt
+61 3 9458 1774
0416 209 134
You are about to head up the Northern Territory to play some, well actually a lot, of golf. How well you play and how well you cope with the hot, humid climate will depend greatly on how well you maintain your hydration levels.
Our bodies are made up of 60 % water when this level decreases even by a small amount it can greatly effect our bodily functions.
DEHYDRATION of only 1 to 2% can effect your concentration, decision-making skills and impair your performance by as much as 5%. This can make a huge difference to your scorecard.
When you exercise your muscles generate heat that must be dissipated. We sweat to cool our bodies down by evaporation. If this fluid is not replaced dehydration occurs and if this continues HEAT STROKE , is the ultimate outcome.
F1uid requirements are increased if you are physical1y fit, if the playing conditions are hot, humid and windy, and if you are nervous. They all make you sweat more. The conditions you will face in the Northern Territory will be HOT and HUMID. Whether you will be nervous or not will be up to you.
People, exercising in the same conditions, sweat at different rates. On average people lose 500 to 1000ml of sweat per hour . This fluid needs to be replaced if you want to play to the best of your ability.
Are you getting enough fluids?
Your intake of fluids is adequate when you are playing if:
- You weigh the same before and after the game (see below)
- Your urine remains a pale straw colour during and after the game
Try to estimate your fluid requirements under
different weather conditions during training.
How to estimate your fluid loss:
- Weigh yourself before and after you play
- Weigh yourself in minimal clothing
- Any weight change is due to loss a of fluid, not fat
- For every kilogram of weight lost a deficit of one litre of fluid has occurred
(i.e. a litre more of fluid has been lost via sweat than replaced by fluids consumed)
- To replace one litre of fluid you need to drink 1.5 litres of fluid
Drinks, how much?
- Establish and maintain a habit that best suits you.
- Estimate during training your fluid requirements and a regime for drinking that supplies these requirements.
- Ensure you are well hydrated before you exercise.
- Make sure you drink plenty of fluids the day before, and that you have re-hydrated after exercise.
- Have a drink 10-15 minutes before you start exercising of about 250mls
- The stomach empties 1000 m1s per hour so this is probab1y the maximum you can drink and still feel comfortable. Try to train yourself to drink between 150 to 250mls every 15 to 20 minutes.
- What suits others may not suit you, some golfer drink a small amount at the end of every hole or second hole while others feel more comfortable with a larger volume every 3rd or 4th.
- Concentrate on hydrating adequately in the two hours post exercise. For every kilogram you have lost in weight you need 1.5litres to correct the fluid balance.
What you should drink?
- WATER is fine, and is usually freely available. If water is your main fluid you will need to consume some solids to provide you with energy.
- SRORTS DRINKS are good because they also provide you with a good source of carbohydrates for energy; it should contain between 4 to 8 Gms of carbohydrate per l00mIs of fluid to maximise the rate of absorption from the stomach.
- FRUIT JU1CE, SOFT DRINKS AND CORDIAL are too high in sugar for the fluid to be readily absorbed. They need to be diluted 50/50 with water or alternate drinks with water
DON'T RELY on adequate drinks being provided;
always take your own drink bottle!
- HALF FILL your bottle with your preferred drink and freeze. When required top up the rest of the bottle. This will keep your drink cool all day.
- AVOID Tea, coffee, Cola Soft Drinks and Alcohol before during and immediately after a game, because they act as Diuretics i.e. they make you urinate more frequently.
- ALCOHOL should be avoided also because it impairs your concentration, co-ordination and reflexes Alcohol interferes with hydration and recovery.
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