Daily nutrition during tournament play
If you play in tournaments over several days or plan to go on a golfing trip – and of course many do come to sunny Spain then you need to be careful that in between and during rounds that you look after yourself.
Your day to day nutrition during a round should follow appropriate strategies that you will have already adopted during your training and build up to the tournament. You may wish to take some nutritious snacks with you from home to top up your food intake during a tournament, especially if these foods are likely to be unavailable or expensive. Foods that are portable and low in perishability may include: breakfast cereals, dried fruits, some fresh fruits, cereal or muesli bars, and sports drink mixtures.
In the 3-4 days prior to a tournament you should consume a carbohydrate- rich diet, combined with a tapering of your physical training. This should ensure that muscle and liver glycogen stores (carbohydrate stores) are at optimum levels when the tournament commences.
A basic guide to your diet during a tournament would be as follows:
Cereal with low fat milk or yoghurt
Bread rolls, muffins etc. (but not croissants as they are usually too high in fat)
Jam, honey, marmalade
Fruit — fresh and drinks
Breakfast is an important meal as this helps set you up for the day’s play ahead. Cereal and toast/bread products are both very good sources of carbohydrate and also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruit is another suitable option, which provides carbohydrate and plenty of other nutrients.
Sandwiches or rolls — salad etc. Fruit
Yoghurt Plain cakes or biscuits
Time of lunch will very much depend upon tee-off times and may have to be adjusted daily to fit in with your play preparation schedules.
Bread, Pasta, rice or potatoes
As with lunch, the timing of the evening meal will be influenced by the playing schedule. If you are playing until late in the evening, it may be more appropriate to have a larger meal earlier on in the day, and have a smaller meal at the end.
Taking snacks during the day will be a useful habit to get into. These snacks supplement your main meals and keep your energy stores fully topped up. It will also ensure that you have fully replaced fuel losses from play or training the day before. Suitable snacks would include fresh and dried fruit, chocolate and confectionery, biscuits, cereal or muesli bars, plain cakes (no cream), bread products (fruit bread, scones etc.).
Eating after exercise - training or tournament play
The restoration of muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates) after exercise sessions or tournaments is a major factor in the recovery process. It take approximately 20 hours to recover the muscle glycogen stores and the time to do this depends on the amount of carbohydrate you consume, the type of carbohydrate eaten and when you consume the carbohydrate. The first two hours following an exercise session or days play is he time when the rate of glycogen re-synthesis is at its quickest. So it is useful for you to ingest sufficient carbohydrate as soon after the exercise session or round as is practical.
You may not feel hungry immediately following an exhaustive exercise session therefore drinking fluids rather than solids may be preferable. As soon as you have finished your warm down routine, you should try and take on board at least a liter of fluid (not alcohol - unless you’ve won the tournament.’) and approximately 1 gram of CHO per kg body weight
Commercially available sports drinks / sports gels are a very useful source of CHO replacement in this situation. However it is advisable for you to eat solid foods as soon as your appetite returns (bananas, sandwiches, baked potatoes, etc) and make sure that you have an appropriate meal within the first 1-3 hours after the training session or round has finished
Examples of foods containing 50g of either simple or complex carbohydrate
50g sugar 75g Jam 65g Honey
90g Pastry 500ml Soft drink 700ml Sports drink
75g Chocolate 50g Jelly beans 240g Bananas
190g Muesli 235g Fruit loaf 100g Jaffa cakes
1000ml Skimmed milk 75g Sultanas
125g Whole meal bread 110g White bread 100g Crisps
210g Baked potato 500g Baked beans 175g Whole meal rice
200g Boiled pasta 65g Cornflakes 110g muesli
190g Fruit loaf 235g Jaffa cakes 75g Porridge oats
LOOKING AFTER YOUR FLUID NEEDS
Sweat loss during prolonged exercise vary markedly between golfers and will be largely dependent upon environmental conditions. Unless adequate fluid replacement occurs before, during and after your races / training sessions, significant levels of dehydration can occur. Thirst is not a good guide to sweat losses. Poor access to fluid, especially during and after exercise sessions, may be another factor in dehydration.
Some useful guidelines concerning strategies for fluid intake during a tournament are as follows:
• Changes in body mass (weight) before and after exercise should give you a guide to fluid lost through sweat. A loss of 1 kg in body mass is approximately equal to 1 litre of fluid lost through sweat. It is important to note that to replace 1 litre of fluid effectively you must consume approximately 11/2 times this amount.
• Staying well hydrated will ensure that the quality of your playing and training sessions remains high. You cannot train your body to get used to dehydration. • Make sure you begin all you’re training sessions and tournaments well hydrated, This will mean adopting suitable strategies to recover fluid losses from previous days play and/or training sessions.
• Choose fluids that are cool and palatable. Suitable sports drinks will allow you to look after your fluid and carbohydrate needs simultaneously.
• Re-hydrate fully after exercise with water or preferably carbohydrate/electrolyte containing drinks, Remember that alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, which will increase fluid loss through increased urine production, and so are not suitable re-hydration drinks.
• Sodium (salt) in drinks or food consumed after exercise may facilitate the restoration of fluid balance, this is particularly important if you are playing in very hot and humid conditions.