Why Is It Important to Stay Hydrated on the Golf Course?

Like with all sports, it is very important to stay well hydrated.  This is in large part a great part of superior performance.  Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the physiology and biochemistry of this principle, a little background won’t hurt.

Since our bodies are made of water, in large part, having it replenished is key to our proper functioning.  When you are active, your body simply runs out of water – dehydrates – that much faster.  It is happening all the time, through your breath, through your skin and by the other waste products our bodies make.

stay hyrdated on the golf course

The pros stay hydrated on the golf course, so should you.

The more that your body is in shape in terms of muscle mass to body fat, the more energy it will burn at rest.  This is called your basal metabolic rate.  As your metabolism speeds up, your body burns more calories, your heart beats faster, you breathe more rapidly and sweat more.  These are all ways that you will lose fluids from your body.

Now, the question is: what types of fluids do I need to replenish with?  You’d think that from marketing and advertising during sporting events or at your local gym that you need Gatorade or other ‘nutritional water’ products.

photo credit

The truth is, you don’t need anything but water to hydrate your body.  If you are doing extremely strenuous exercise or you’re working out for prolonged periods, then you will require some electrolytes as well.  You can certainly get these from foods, like fruits, too.  You don’t need expensive sports drinks.  In fact, you should probably stay away from the great majority of them as their main ingredients are water (good), high fructose corn syrup or other simple sugar (bad).

Flavored water is not a bad thing, but you don’t need to buy it thinking you’ll get more out of it than you will.  What I recommend is adding some lemon, lime or squeeze of orange to your own water.  You can also add a hint of mint if you like.  These make the water not so boring.

Keep in mind that drinking room temperature or cool water is better than replenishing with ice cold water.  There are all sorts of theories about how the cold water actually affects the way your body will take in the water, but it also comes down to sensation.  It can give you a ‘stomach ache’ to drink too much ice cold water during a vigorous workout.  Better to drink more cool water and let your body absorb it more effectively.

While golf is not exactly considered the most vigorous sports out there, it does require that you stay hydrated.  With all of the walking and long exposure to the sun, you can quickly dehydrate without paying much attention.  This is especially true if you are riding in a cart most of the time or drinking alcohol on the course.

Hydration is not just because it’s ‘good for your body’, it is also a necessary part of sports performance.  Without adequate water, your body physiology will not function the same.  You may be subject to cramps or muscle spasms and other performance-related problems.  Your nervous system also relies on water to you’re your nerves and connective tissues able to send their messages fully and completely.

Fatigue is also a common problem or symptom of dehydration.  Fatigue can lead to a poor swing mechanics and other injuries.  You don’t want your fatigue to lead to back pain or other golf injuries.  Besides these injuries, you may notice that your drives are not as long and maybe your putting is more difficult.  Don’t let dehydration keep you from enjoying your beloved sport.

Tags: , , , , ,