The Ultimate Nutrition Guide for Golfers
Q&A with Performance Nutritionist Daniel Davey – Top Tips for Golfers
1. How can nutrition optimise a golfer’s performance?
2. Should golfer’s take a phased nutrition approach, particularly when it comes to competition?
3. How can golfers ensure they maintain optimal levels of hydration?
4. What supplements would you recommend to all golfers?
Daniel, as a highly regarded Performance Nutritionist and a keen golfer, what’s the best nutrition approach to take when it comes to golf and optimising one’s performance?
The landscape of golf and nutrition is slowly evolving with more and more golfers starting to understand the impact a sound nutrition plan can have. For instance, nutrition can support the following elements of a golfer’s performance:
-Maintaining optimum energy levels for practice or competition
-Ensuring better focus and concentration
-Facilitating rapid recovery from training or golf rounds
-Reducing the risk of injury
-Reducing the risk of illness
Should golfers take a phased approach, particularly when it comes to competition?
Yes, I look at it in three phases, each with their own nutritional requirements;
The first phase is that of preparation, the 24 hours before a round of golf is when the individual should begin a moderate increase in energy intake and work to ensure hydration levels are maintained.
The performance phase relates to what you consume during a round. I generally recommend eating something every 3-4 holes that is easy to digest, low in fibre and palatable like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, homemade granola bars, fruit, homemade protein energy bars.
The final phase relates to recovery. The primary focus is rehydration and replenishing depleted energy levels. I generally take a food first approach and would recommend a suitable slow digesting and balanced carbohydrate, protein and fat meal however in the absence of a good meal, a product like Kinetica Oatgain can play a role too. Getting the right mix of macro and micronutrients will help the body and mind to heal and regenerate after a long intense round.
You have referenced hydration quite a lot, how important is hydration and what steps can golfers take to ensure they maintain optimal levels of same?
Hydration is one of the areas I believe could offer the greatest benefits to golfer’s performance. With such a high level of precision of skill required in golf even mild dehydration can impede physical and mental performance. Water is usually fine for a practice round if consumed in sufficient amounts and if the conditions are temperate. However, if it’s warm or if you are playing a 2-4 day competition then an electrolyte drink is advisable. Using hydration (electrolyte) tablets with water is one practical way of creating your own electrolyte drink.
Are there other supplements you would recommend outside of what you have already mentioned?
I would also advise golfers to consider the following supplements:
Vitamin D during the winter months because there is significant evidence to suggest that people in the northern hemisphere are at risk of vitamin D deficiency during the winter months.
I also think Whey Protein is a supplement that is worth considering, now that golfers are investing more time away from the course and in the gym to build strength, power and reduce the risk of injury. For this reason, Kinetica Whey protein can be used as a good recovery option to ensure adequate recovery and adaption to each session.