Is Good Nutrition for Golfers Necessary?
Golf is just like any other sport. To maximize your performance you must be in top condition, and a good diet is an important aspect of this.
Eating the right foods is important for golfers to provide the energy to fuel your body during training and games, and for recovery afterwards. This is particularly important for those training and playing long hours on most days.
Another major nutritional crisis for many golfers is extra body weight. Despite the success of some overweight professional golfers, excess body fat is only a hindrance. Not only does the excess bodyweight add stress to the muscles and bones of the body as you play, the stress on your heart is potentially life threatening. Excess fat around the body can also hinder your golf technique, making it more difficult to produce correct technique, and the fatigue from carrying the extra weight can reduce your training time, affect concentration and add distractions to your game. As you can see, it is advantageous in many ways to lose weight.
A good golfer's diet
The best nutritional advice I can give is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet, low in fat. The food that is available back at the clubhouse is not always the most nutritious. Often you don't have the most healthy choices, and subsequently many golfers are overweight. The answer is in the planning. Eat a good breakfast so that the body is prepared for activity. Also prepare nutritious food at home, and take it with you when you go to play. You should also stay away from are caffeine and alcohol before and during play, as both can adversely affect your game.
What a Tiger eats
Some information provided on Tiger Woods official website gives us an insight into his typical daily routine and diet. After an hour of cardio followed by an hour of weight training, he has a high protein/low-fat breakfast at 8.30am. This meal typically includes an egg-white omelet with vegetables. The morning is filled with golf practice and a round of 9 holes. At 1.30pm he has a high protein/low-fat lunch, which typically includes grilled chicken or fish, salad and vegetables. Another three-to-four hours on the golf course and some upper body weight training, before dinner at 7pm. There is no indication of what a typical evening meal may consist of, but judging by his other meals it is also probably high protein/low-fat. He also takes daily supplements for bone protection and nutritional support. As for hydration, he drinks Gatorade during competition and long workouts to supplement carbohydrates and keep his fluids up. (see also Hydration for Golf)
What can you do?
Stick to lean meats and seafood, lots of fruits and vegetables and no junk food. You will need some carbohydrates (low GI) because they help fuel your performance for long periods of time. Make sure you drink lots of water and maybe a sports drink, particularly if you are playing in warmer weather.