By Phera Jai
It is surprising how many golfers head straight to the golf course and jump straight onto the first tee. The thought of breakfast does not even feature on their minds, the first time they eat is at the half way break after the first 9 holes! Most golfers don’t even carry a bottle of water in their golf bag!!
I’m going to focus on one aspect today; the importance of Hydration. There are simple ways that we can prevent ourselves from getting dehydrated on the golf course.
Since we live in the tropics, where temperatures can soar up to 40 degrees centigrade, we have to be careful not to expose ourselves to any heat-related injuries and dehydration.
Heat related injuries include, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, weakness, reduced performance, inability to concentrate or irrational behaviour.
Granted that golf is not a game that is played vigorously in a short period, it requires endurance, strength and mental focus for about 4 – 5 hours during the entire round. Just because a golfer is not running around, but hitting the ball after walking for about 5 minutes, it does not mean that the body does not need food and water to keep going.
Feeling thirsty is a sign that the body is dehydrated, ideally you want to constantly sip water to avoid getting to the point of thirst. Pre-Hydration, Hydration and Post Hydration are all key components to keeping hydrated.
Pre-hydration includes having water before going onto the golf course, while hydration should be done throughout your round of 18 holes. The easiest way to do this is to carry a bottle of water in your golf bag, and try to make your consumption regular. This can be done by taking a few sips of water between each hole. Most golfers will stop off at the 19th hole – the bar, before going home; why not try to have a glass of water before your beer?
Drinking the correct fluids throughout your 4 – 5 hours on the golf course will help to minimize the risk of injury. The recommended fluid replacer is a fluid that contains some carbohydrate to help keep energy levels up. It should have a small amount of sodium to help stimulate thirst, which will help you to keep drinking and also a small amount of potassium to help replace sweat loss.
Proper nutrition is an extremely important aspect in golf. Keeping your body hydrated is such a simple process, and it does wonders for your golf game, it will help to improve concentration for a longer period of time, and it will help you to perform optimally for a longer period of time, as well as reducing the risk of suffering from any heat-related injuries.