Jen Evola: A licensed registered dietitian, licensed massage therapist, and TPI certified golf fitness instructor
It is not at all uncommon for a golfer to feel tired as the end of a round nears. This fatigue can increase during the hot summer months as a result of dehydration and low blood sugar levels. Not drinking enough water or consuming the wrong foods can negatively affect a golfer's game through loss of power, club head, and distance.
To avoid dehydration, it is suggested that golfers drink 16 ounces of water before the start of a round and eight ounces every one to two holes. It is important to keep a bottle of water with you and refill it whenever possible. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages do not count as an appropriate fluid consumption; they are diuretics and lead to dehydration. If alcohol is used, players should consume water first and alternate with one or two alcoholic beverages thereafter. If you are trying to track dehydration, record your pre- and post-round weight and consume 24 ounces of water for every pound lost.
Eating prior to teeing off will help prevent low blood sugar levels and will prevent a golfer from feeling drained throughout the day. Breakfast can be as simple and quick as something like a bagel with light cream cheese, a peanut butter sandwich, pita bread with low-fat cheese and turkey, or yogurt with granola. Consuming a small, balanced meal one to two hours before the start of a round is recommended.
Staying fueled is as easy as carrying the proper kind of snacks. The right foods are those that have lots of nutrients, fewer calories and can increase stores of glycogen that will improve athletic performance. Plan to eat a snack every four to six holes for long days on the course. Healthy snacks include granola bars, bottles water or a sports drink, dried or fresh fruit, pretzels, or trail mix.
By staying well hydrated and properly fueled, golfers usually will feel less fatigued. This is healthy and also can improve performance on the back nine.