Staying properly hydrated throughout your round is an important part of your overall nutritional strategy for playing better golf! Remember, your body is composed of 75% water so replenishing this throughout your day is an important aspect of your nutrition. We hear a lot of different recommendations such as:
- Drink lots of water
- 8 glasses per day
- Drink before you get thirsty
- Sports drinks are more effective an hydration than water
All of these are false or misleading assumptions. For example, what is a “lot of water” and is “8 glasses a day the standard”? How much to consume throughout your round depends more upon your body weight than just assigning a random number. A female golfer weighing 45Kg (100 lb.) would be over hydrated by this standard. Similarly a male weighing 90 Kg (200 lb.) would be in a dehydrated state.
So what is the optimal intake? According to the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) the optimal intake of water is ½ of your body weight in pounds, in ounces per day. So in our example above, our female golfer would consume about 1.5L (50 fluid ounces) per day and our male golfer would consume about 3.0L (100 fluid ounces) per day.
It is not just the amount that is important. Timing your fluid intake is just as important as the amount you consume. A good rule of thumb for an active person (ie. golfer) is the following:
- 25% in the morning
- 50% during your round
- 25% throughout the remainder of the day
Optimal hydration occurs with pure water, it’s what your body craves, so take in the water and avoid the following:
- Coffee/Tea – too much caffeine
- Juices – too much sugar
- Sports Drinks – too much sugar
- Alcohol – dehydrates and impairs
If it is a hot day and you are sweating (ie. feeling that you are losing electrolytes) add a pinch of sea salt to your water. Remember, most bottled water is supplied through reverse osmosis which tends to remove certain naturally occurring minerals (electrolytes) from the water.