Today’s article shares 6 golf nutrition tips for golfers looking to improve their play on the course, their diets, and their workouts. Golf fitness is important and a huge component of that is your nutrition!
First, check out this golf fitness motivation video I had fun creating back in college and then let’s jump into my best golf nutrition tips for you below!
Golf Workout Tips from a College Golfer
During the weekends, I would exercise by either going on fat burning walks (fasted cardio) or sit on a bicycle machine for an hour pedaling off calories and fat.
This increased physical activity was wearing down my body and I started realizing I needed to get my diet in check or else all the hard work was going to waste.
“Your physique is 80% diet, 20% workout”
I’ve heard this countless times in several variations and after 4 months of testing it out it is true. Your diet greatly affects your performance level.
If you want to be more energetic and productive at work, get your food intake down to a science by learning lots about nutrition and how it impacts you.
If you want to shoot lower scores on the golf course, then you’ll need to make sure your body is taken care of and can stay energized throughout a long 4 hour round of golf.
As the golf season approached, which I consider April 1 to be the beginning of golf season, I began cutting (losing weight from body fat) to get more in shape for walking 18 holes and to appear more defined in terms of muscle mass.
I had been bulking for the previous 8 weeks so I had put on muscle, seen my lifting stats in the gym increase, and also put on fat that now needed to come off for a complete healthier me. The only issue was I was struggling to get it off until I took my diet more serious.
So today I’m going to share with you some quick tips that I’ve learned from personal experience over the past few months that you can implement into your daily routine to improve your diet and golf fitness.
6 Golf Diet Tips to Improve Performance on the Golf Course
Tip #1: Consume carbohydrates before going to the golf course
The average round of golf can take close to 240 minutes. Research found online shows the average golfer expends 2,000 to 2,500 calories over those 4 hours on the course. Research also found that golfers can lose close to 2.5 pounds as well due to the calories being burned and water being depleted from your body.
By eating carbohydrates before going to the golf course you can fuel your body to endure the time spent out on the course.
It’s recommended that you eat 3-4 hours before going to the course if you can remember too because this gives your body enough time to digest the food and break it down for energy absorption. Sports drinks or sugary carbs can be broken down quicker but aren’t the healthiest choice if you’re trying to program your body to burn off stored fat rather than stored sugar.
Tip #2: Eat protein before and after your trip to the golf course
Your body as mentioned above burns a lot of calories during the golf round. If you’ve eaten a healthy meal with protein, moderate amount of carbs, and moderate amount of fat, your body will be primed for staying energetic over several hours.
By eating protein though before playing, you help your body protect the muscles and not break them down for energy consumption. Instead your body should turn to fat stores and glycogen stores if it runs out of energy from the meal you consumed.
You also want to eat protein after you leave the course because of the muscle use during the round. This may help you prevent some soreness the next day. I typically will feel it in the legs from walking but also in the back or core from all the turning during swings.
Tip #3: Eat fat to help postpone hunger
That title sounds a little harsh. You should eat food with healthier fat (poly and mono) because the fat will turn off your hunger signals that can be distracting while out on the course. Otherwise follow tip #4 if you don’t mind eating extra calories while out on the course and aren’t trying to burn fat necessarily.
Tip #4: Eat a small healthy snack at the course
The meal you consume a few hours before going to the golf course will provide your initial energy at the golf course. To ensure you stay energized and prevent your body from becoming very fatigued, you may find that eating a small snack at the course can give added energy as your body can easily break it down and use the energy if needed.
Tip #5: Consume lots of water
Dehydration is something we probably don’t think about much but it can happen at the golf course. Water prevents hydration, headaches, muscle spasms, and keeps you feeling energetic as it helps your body break down its food. I try to drink over 100 ounces of water per day to help my body stay hydrated, flush out toxins, and help with fat flushing. 1 gallon of water is 128 ounces so I’m using that as my target goal each day but anywhere between 100-120 ounces if okay for me if I come up short.
Tip #6: Walk an hour each morning on an empty stomach
For a while I would wake up and just head to the golf course on an empty stomach and use that as a substitute for walking for an hour. Only because I was just using the practice range briefly for a few hours and heading back home.
On days you don’t go to the course though you should try to walk for an hour on an empty stomach so your body burns calories and hopefully fat and stored carbs. Then consume protein after the walk and lots of water.
I’ve just recently started having protein powder mixed with water before going for an hour walk to make sure I’m not burning muscle during the walk.
I use low fat, low carb protein mix that some call “Lean Protein” that way my body doesn’t take in carbs or fat and is forced to burn up another energy source such as stored energy.
Resource: Try our golf fitness program for golfers
Concluding Thoughts on Golf Fitness & Nutrition
Overall, there may be nutrition experts and what not who have the science down of how food is broken down and used or stored as energy but I’m just saying these 6 tips above have been effective for me.
They’ve helped me feel more energetic and I’ve seen the fat come off as I’m down to 9% body fat on my arms and 14% in my legs and core area.
My arms are single digits so they appear more defined but once I get the legs and core down towards single digit body fat percentage, I’ll hopefully appear more defined all around.
I’ve noticed an energy level difference because the first round or two I played I didn’t eat properly before my rounds and felt fatigued by the first few holes after making the turn. This left me 5 or 6 holes to fight off fatigue in my swing and hurt my score as a result. I mentioned it briefly here in this post
Try these out and see if you notice more energy.
If you’re trying to burn fat the best advice is the old historical advice of consuming 500 less calories than you burn each day to put your body in deficit. I try to consume 2,500 and burn 3,000 each day so that I’m still eating enough calories to get lots of protein (200 grams).
It’s also been helpful that I cut out sugar as much as possible so that my body programs itself to burn fat instead because there isn’t enough sugar to supply all of the energy.
Other people who consume lots of sugar will have bodies that likely have all the energy it needs from the sugar and therefore doesn’t burn up much fat. It may even store the sugar as fat hurting the person’s physique and health.
Read Next: 31 Chipping Tips for Beginners
How’s Your Fitness Level When It Comes To Golf?
Comment below how well you do with golf nutrition. We’d love to hear how you’re able to play a round of golf and maintain energy without letting fatigue kick in and ruin a good round of golf.
What’s your golf nutrition schedule look like?
What foods do you eat? Feel free to share any stories of good rounds you lost to fatigue. It happens sometimes whether we realize it was the cause or not.