Regardless of what sport you play, keeping a healthy diet in check is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. The right foods are critical for performance on the course, stamina, and mobility. Golfers need to be flexible, strong and very mobile so it’s important to curate a way of eating that supports this as well as helping you to prevent injury and not to mention look great in that new outfit you just bought. In this article we take a look at some of the right things to eat to help make sure you’re consuming the right fuel for the match or training session and fighting fit on the golf course.
1. Cereals and wholegrains
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that all carbs should be avoided. Carbohydrates are an important fuel and the perfect way to get energy into our system before a day on the course. Porridge remains one off the best options as it is a slow releasing energy (keeping you fuller for longer) that has also been shown to reduce cholesterol. Go for non dairy milk options like almond, coconut or soya milk and try adding some berries, bananas or even mixing in some nut butters for a protein boost and a drizzle of delicious honey.
There’s a reason you see so many sports professionals and athletes consume bananas before a game, during a game and even after a game. Bananas are rich in potassium, a muscle supporting mineral that helps prevent cramps, support muscle movement and an excellent way to optimize water levels in the body.
Bananas are a great instant energy boost too; feeling a little tired out on the course? Grab a few bites of a banana as you go and keep yourself moving all the way to the eighteenth hole.
3. Wholegrain toast
Everybody loves toast, especially as a treat with melted cheese, but not all toast is created equal. White bread has all the nutritious parts removed such as various B vitamins, magnesium and the all important fibre so go for wholegrain bread to make your toast.
Toast is a flexible pre-game snack as you can add peanut or almond butter, crushed avocado or bananas for some extra protein, healthy fats and energy. A round or two of toast is great for a round or two of golf.
4. Baked beans
One of the best things you can put on your toast if you want to enjoy a healthy bite is baked beans. Low on fat but absolutely packed with fibre, baked beans will keep you stay satisfied on match day.
Another great energy supporting food full of slow releasing carbohydrates is pasta. Extremely popular with athletes, pasta is perfect the night before a big match or training day as the energy released from these complex carbohydrates are released slowly throughout the day, helping to keep your energy levels balanced and your performance consistent.
Just like pasta, rice can be a great way to load up on pre-game carbohydrates and it doesn’t matter too much if it’s brown or white just so long as it’s of the longer grain variety. Not only does rice go with pretty much anything but it can provide a fantastic slow energy release. Just like pasta, it’s important to keep portion control in check otherwise if you eat too much you can risk overloading your digestive system and impairing athletic performance. Overdoing the carbs can also lead to unwanted weight gain and you risk not fitting into that amazing new Mens golf apparel you’ve just treated yourself to; aim for about 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates (pasta or rice) roughly 1 – 2 hours before hitting the golf course.
Not only are fish packed full of muscle repairing and building proteins, making them an ideal pre or post game meal, but they are also full of heathy omega 3 fatty acids, especially the oily fish. Omega 3 fatty acids can improve circulation, reduce fatigue and are great for your brain and for your heart health but they are especially good for the golfer as they are important in supporting joint health and mobility. More fish in your diet could help you develop a more powerful swing.
Eggs get a bad rap because the yolk contains cholesterol, but you needn’t worry, food that contains cholesterol doesn’t actually add any bad cholesterol to your blood at all, that’s outdated science and in fact eggs are an extremely nutritious form of protein. Eggs are the perfect accompaniment to any meal (ideal with your beans on toast too) and for a cheap and easy recipe, mix up an omelette and add in some other healthy meats, fish or vegetables for a very balanced plate. Eggs really are one of the sports-person’s best food options.
Michael Pollan’s diet is pretty much on the money: “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. Don’t forget to take plenty of water with you on the course and make sure you stay hydrated. Keep to these healthy foods and you’ll keep yourself fit and strong all season long.