Hydration for golfers is an important issue that is often under-estimated. Dehydration of 1 to 2 percent can produce a decrease in athletic performance by 5%. This can make the difference between winning and losing. This is a simple checklist to help you determine if you are hydrating enough.
Questions Yes of No
- Do you drink 150 to 300mls 15 mins prior to competition?
- Do you have a plan to drink when playing?
- Do you drink 150 to 250mls every 15 to 20 mins?
- Are you able to maintain clear pale urine during the game?
- Are you able to maintain body weight during the game?
- Do you drink at least 600mls per hour when playing?
- Do you modify your drinking regime according to the climatic condition?
- Do you drink sports drinks to maximise your hydration levels
- Do you limit your intake of alcohol before during and after golf
- Do you minimise your intake of caffeine containing fluids such as coke, tea, coffee when playing
- Do you ensure you rehydrate well after a game by drinking 150% of lost fluids
Hydration levels produce lack of concentration
If you have answered “no” to any of these questions you have compromised your golf. Maintaining good hydration levels could make the difference between winning and losing the game. The more you answered “no” the more you have compromised your game. Maintaining good hydration levels is crucial in maximising your full potential on the course. Poor hydration levels produce lack of concentration and muscle fatigue.
What should you 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.
SPORTS DRINKS are good because they also provide you with a good source of carbohydrates for energy; it should contain between 4 to 8 grams of carbohydrate per 100mls of fluid to maximise the rate of absorption from the stomach.
FRUIT JUICE, SOFT DRINKS AND CORDIAL are too high in sugar for the fluid to be readily absorbed. They need to be 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 it cool all day.
AVOID tea, coffee and soft drinks before, during and immediately after a game because they act as diuretics (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.