The training diet holds the greatest potential to affect your success as a golfer, as it is in training that the greatest amount of skill development occurs.
Preparation for your golf training sessions is not just what you do an hour before training. Everything you do during the day of, and in some cases, the day before, is assisting your training sessions. Adequate preparation before training can also be part of your recovery plan. If you prepare well not only will you get more from your session, but you will finish sessions less depleted making the job of recovery easier. As we have discussed in previous articles (check out Article Archive under the Nutrition section), the training diet holds the greatest potential to affect your success as a golfer, as it is in training that the greatest amount of skill development occurs.
Checklist for training day eating.
should be able to answer yes to these questions.
- I eat breakfast
- I eat regularly throughout the day (about every three hours)
- I include low fat, high carbohydrate, moderate protein foods at each meal and snack
- I sip fluids throughout the day, aiming for at least 2-3L over the day before training and drink more on hot and humid days and if I sweat heavily
- I always eat something in the hour before my afternoon training sessions
This then begs the question - what should I be eating in the hour before a session? Science tells us that about 1g carbohydrate/kg of body weight prior to training sessions will allow for greatest fuel availability for muscle and brain. So if we assume a minimum of 50g of carbohydrate is required, then use the table below as a guide.
50g CARBOYDRATE FOOD CHOICES FOR PRE –TRAINING FUELING
Note: you may need to have 1.5 to 2 times this amount depending on your body weight.
- 250-350ml of carbohydrate/protein liquid meal supplement or 350ml of reduced fat milk or fruit smoothie. These liquid options are great if you find eating solid food difficult.
- 2 x 200g cartons of reduced fruit-flavoured yoghurt.
- Large bowl (2 cups) of breakfast cereal with 350ml milk.
- 200g carton of fruit-flavoured yoghurt or trim custard topped with 1 cup of breakfast cereal or 1 large piece fruit/1 cup of fruit salad.
- 200g low fat yoghurt or 300ml of low fat flavoured milk + 35g cereal bar
- 250g tin of baked beans or spaghetti on 2 slices of toast.
- 1 round of sandwiches, including cheese/meat/chicken in filling, plus 1 piece of fruit.
- 1.5 cups of fruit salad with 1/2 carton of reduced fat fruit-flavoured yoghurt. 1 round of jam or honey sandwiches (thick-sliced bread and plenty of jam/honey).
- 3 medium pieces of fruit or two bananas.
- 2 large (35g) or 3 small cereal bars (25g).
- 3 rice cakes with jam or honey.
- 2 crumpets or English muffins with Vegemite (very Australian!).
- 1 large baked potato with salsa filling.
- Jaffle/toasted sandwich with banana filling (using whole banana).
- One sports bar (check the label to see total carbohydrate content).
- 115g (1 large or 2 small) cake-style muffin, fruit bun or scones.
- 250g (1 cup) of creamed rice.
- 120g (1–2 large) pancakes/pikelets with 2 tablespoon honey/syrup.
- 650–800ml of sports drink.
As you can see, there are many ways in which this pre-training requirement can be met. You can easily check the food labels of other foods to work out how to achieve the 50g carbohydrate in the hour or so before a training session. One very important factor to take into consideration though is the organization required to make this happen. This will involve planning your eating throughout the day and to make sure you set side time for a snack and that the correct foods are available at this time. If you are reading this and thinking, “I don’t usually have a snack and I get through practice just fine”, as an experiment, trial a pre training snack for two weeks and just see if it does make a difference to your energy and concentration levels and therefore training as a whole.
B Hlth Sci. (Nutr&Diet) (Hons) APD SDA
For more information check out the Sports Dietitians Australia website www.sportsdietitians.com and the Australian Institute of Sport’s website at www.ais.org.au/nutrition.