Golf Nutrition: Keeping Hydrated on the Course

round based shot glass

Keeping hydrated on the golf course is one of the most important factors to elevate your golf performance. Here’s why.

Importance of Keeping Hydrated

The body is made up of 70% water and water is considered to be the second most critical factor in which life is dependent, the first being oxygen. Because water makes up a considerable part of the body, it is essential to maintain.

So why is water so important for general health and sports in particular? The body relies on it for a number of purposes including: proper brain function, removing toxins from the body, metabolizing fat, regulating body temperature, aiding in food digestion, regulating appetite, increasing oxygen to the blood, lubricating joints, and transporting nutrients to the cells.

That’s a TON of benefits from water. It’s almost a secret because it’s so obvious. It really is the perfect beverage.

In addition to the reasons individuals need water to function effectively, it’s important to remember that keeping hydrated can do more for the athlete than simply help them stay healthy.

Athletes who are dehydrated show a considerable decrease in performance. They simply lack the energy and focus to perform well when dehydrated.

I mean being dehydrated is the last thing you want when you’re out on a lovely Palm Springs Golf Vacation or any other hot golf venue.

Benefits of Keeping Hydrated

So we’re talking about sports performance and golf performance in particular.

If you’re not properly hydrated, your body will be unable to perform at its highest level, and you might experience fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness or even more serious issues particularly when there is a high heat index. Gee, I think I’ll pass on these 

What NOT to Drink

One of the most common beliefs about sports drinks is that they rehydrate athletes, that all athletes (including golfers) can benefit from them, and that all sports drinks are created equal. Let’s see about that.

Like a lot of people, sometimes I get confused as to what is the best option for me to drink on the course. I see the standup cooler and all those beautiful, neon colors and think, “Should I get one of those or just fill up my water bottle?”

So what exactly are these drinks supposed to offer?

Sports drinks contain electrolytes (mostly potassium and sodium) and sugars to replenish what the body has lost through sweating that water alone cannot replace.

sports drinks

The purpose of these beverages is to bring the balance of minerals in your blood closer to their normal levels, so you can continue exercising via your sport as if you just began.

The bottom line is that unless you’re an elite athlete, you don’t need sports drinks to keep you hydrated. One expert sums matters up as follows: sports drinks won’t turn casual runners into Olympic athletes, but “if they avoided the sports drinks, they would get thinner and run faster.”

Improving Your Hydration Consumption

Planning, planning, planning – Now if you know it’s going to be a hot day, work that into your planning. Try to drink a bottle on the ride to the course – instead of (or before/after your coffee).

For me, drinking the “proper” amount of water is never easy as I know it is for some people, so planning is critical. If you just space it out throughout the day it becomes a lot easier.

Get a Water Bottle – On the course, keep a large plastic bottle in your golf bag so it’s easily accessible. I like those large (32 ounce) squeeze bottles that Gatorade puts out. They work great.

Drink water immediately after your round. (and before you have a brewski, soda, or other) This will help keep your body properly hydrated.

I’ll often add a half inch of cranberry juice, orange juice, lemonade, or iced tea, and fill the rest of the glass with ice-cold water. You get just a tinge of flavor but it makes it much more tolerable to drink.

Eat more water-based foods – You can get a fair amount of water (typically 30%) from water-rich foods like: watermelon, celery, cucumbers, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe—grab ’em and eat up!

Think before you drink – always know it’s your choice. Don’t hydrate with heavily caffeinated or high-sugar beverages like soda and fruit drinks—think, plain, clear, refreshing water. . .ahhhhhhhhhhh.

Appreciate water — Most people take safe, clean water for granted, particularly those living in modern, developed countries. But it truly is the sustenance of life so try to be grateful we currently have availability to it. Consider helping one of the wonderful charitable water projects listed below.


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