Nutrition and fitness tips for enhancing your golf game

  • 2 Minutes Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Looking for ways to improve your golf scores? A healthy nutrition and fitness plan can give you an edge both on and off the course.

Nutrition for golf

Nutrition before your round of golf

If you go out on the course hungry, your energy will fade fast. On the other hand, a heavy, fatty meal will weigh you down, causing sluggishness. Instead, eat a balanced meal of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt), high fiber carb (whole-grain bread, brown rice, vegetables, fruit), and healthy fat (nuts, olive oil). Such a meal provides you with sustained energy and optimal focus and concentration during your game.

In fact, an overall healthy nutrition eating plan can help you maintain or increase your muscle mass (for a stronger golf swing), optimize your energy levels (through all 18 holes), and reduce inflammation of joints and muscles (to feel better while playing).

Best golf snacks for the course

Drinking or eating a lot of sugar, like a candy bar and soda, may give you quick energy, but it is short-lived, and soon, you'll be dragging yourself toward the back nine.

Choose healthy snacks that will help you sustain your energy level, focus, and stamina to complete your round of golf strong. Select whole foods instead of processed snacks for the best nutrition for golf. This means bringing your own snacks rather than relying on the typical clubhouse options.

Examples of best golf snacks include:

Fresh fruit (grapes, banana, apple)
Dried fruit
Natural trail mix
Turkey or ham tortilla roll-up
Peanut butter on whole-grain bread
Energy bar (Read label looking for high-protein, high-fiber, low-sugar content with whole ingredients)

Hydration is essential

Dehydration will negatively impact your physical performance and concentration and may lead to headaches and body aches. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the game. Water is your best bet. Use sports drinks only if you golf in extreme heat, preferably diluting the sports drink with water. Alcohol dehydrates, so limit consumption. A small to moderate amount of caffeine may enhance your sports performance, but excessive caffeine is dehydrating.

Fitness tips to enhance your golf game

Improved overall fitness can enhance your golf performance. Increased upper body strength can add distance to your strokes. Enhanced fitness improves stamina to complete your golf round. Increased flexibility, balance, and mobility are also a plus for an improved golf swing.

Examples of golf fitness videos

9 Golf exercises to add mobility, strength, and power to your swing
Here are 5 at-home exercises to improve your golf game

How to burn more calories on the course

Golf is considered a low-moderate exercise with intermittent bursts of high-intensity movements. You burn the most calories walking the course, pulling your clubs (metabolic equivalent (MET)) 5.3). Walking the course carrying your clubs burns many calories, too (MET 4.3). If your bag is too heavy, perhaps remove a few rarely used clubs and balls, so it is reasonable to carry throughout the game. If you use a golf cart (MET 3.5) as a passenger, get off early and walk to your ball to increase your steps. Hitting balls at the driving range has a MET of 3.0.

Recording golf activity with a tracker

Fitness devices offer the best solution for tracking workouts because they calculate calories expended based on measured heart rate. MyNetDiary syncs with such fitness trackers as Fitbit, Garmin Connect, and Withings. Also, devices featuring Apple Health or Google Fit sync data directly into the MyNetDiary app, so you do not have to enter the information manually.

When you record golf activities manually with MyNetDiary, remember to select the correct golf activity. For example, choose "Golf, using power cart;" ". . . walking, pulling clubs;" ". . . walking, carrying clubs;" or ". . . driving range." Of course, it will be an estimation of calories burned, as actual calories burned will depend on such factors as your walking speed and the difficulty of hills on the course.

Better nutrition and fitness prep for your golf excursions will improve your health and your game for the rest of the season.

Related content

How MyNetDiary gives you the most accurate tracking to estimate your calorie-burning efforts through MET (metabolic equivalents)
Fuel your workout with 3 nutrition tips that promote energy and build muscle

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Exercise->Fueling for Exercise Exercise->Tips
Jun 13, 2022
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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