“Think about it like this: Tournament golfers have the option of carrying 14 clubs in their golf bag during a competition. Likewise, science has identified 50+ essential nutrients that the human body must have in order to function at its peak. A competitive golfer would never tee it up with less than 14 clubs in their bag because they would be at a competitive disadvantage, so why would they want to knowingly play with less than 50 essential nutrients in their diet?” – Titleist Performance Institute
Generally speaking, eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and appropriate amounts of the three macronutrients is the number one way to ensure you stay healthy and full of energy each and every day, golf or no golf. Sometimes life gets hectic and you don’t make the best nutritional decisions, it happens; but you can’t make it a habit! The purpose of this information is to help you understand what your body needs to run properly so you can make good decisions in your diet on a regular basis, and support your body at the level necessary to reach your goals.
So let’s get to it, below is some very basic information to help you understand what is actually happening when you consume a donut you know you shouldn’t have and a comparison to a well-rounded meal full of foods that grow naturally.
What is a Calorie?
Very simply a calorie can be defined as energy used in the body for daily function, exercise, and any other activity. Calories are broken down into Macronutrients.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are divided into 3 categories: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. All three are required in appropriate amounts to maintain a well-balanced diet. All are measured in Grams.
Protein: (4 calories=1 gram of protein) Made up of amino acids, protein is essential in your diet for muscle repair, growth, and recovery. During exercise the body breaks down muscle tissue to in turn build it stronger through post workout nutrition and recovery. This is why after a workout the shakes or Amino Vital-R are offered to replenish the body and start the recovery process.
Athletes require .64-.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Protein should be between 12-15% of your total caloric intake each day.
Carbohydrates: (4 calories=1 gram of Carbohydrate) Carbs are our bodies’ preferred source of energy. Carbs are broken down into 2 different kinds:
Simple Carbs: Sugar, cake, candy, cookies, and some fruits. These types hit the body quickly for your body to use for instant energy. These are good after a workout to get into the bloodstream and into the muscles for repair. This is the flavoring we put in your shakes which makes it a perfect blend of carbs and proteins for a complete post workout meal.
Complex Carbs: Whole grains, whole wheats, brown rice, oats, whole grain cereals, black beans, sweet potatoes. These types of carbs are slowly absorbed into the body to provide and maintain energy over a long period of time.
Athletes require carbohydrates to be around 55-60% of their caloric intake
Fats: 9 calories=1gram of fat. Fats are our backup energy source when carbs are not readily available. Good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, peanut butter, seeds, and salmon. Trans fats found in processed food, such as McDonalds, are not good and should not be eaten by athletes.
Fat should comprise approximately 25-30% of an athlete’s total caloric intake.
You want to consume a well-balanced meal containing a complex carbohydrate and an adequate amount of protein about 2 hours before you tee off. This will allow you time to digest the food and reap the benefits of the meal as your round gets started.
Example Meal: 2-3 eggs, 2 pieces of whole wheat/whole grain toast and a cup of your choice of fruit.
Consume 1 stick of Amino Vital Focus Zone on the 1st and 10th tee and potentially 1 more if necessary throughout your round. This will ensure the body has a constant flow of those essential nutrients it needs to keep you hydrated, focused, and playing at your highest level. You should also take in small snacks that provide you with carbohydrates to keep energy up during the round. Some examples: Fruit, whole wheat crackers, oat/whole grain bars, or a complete protein cookie sold in the energy zone are all great options.
Things to avoid: anything very high in sugar that could cause a sudden spike in sugar followed by an energy crash.
Post Round Nutrition:
Most Players forget about this step, but during 4-5 hours of walking a round of golf you are burning an average of 1,500-2,000 calories and only ingesting a quarter of that during the round. Replenishing the body of those essential nutrients is crucial and must be done at the right time. A great post round meal would consist of a simple carbohydrate, a complex carbohydrate, an adequate amount of protein and some healthy fats.
Example: 4 oz. chicken, a sweet potato, a cup of fruit of your choice, handful of almonds and plenty of water.
Drinking half your body weight in oz. of total liquids throughout the round is necessary to maintain proper hydration. Taking consistent sips of water from pre-round warmups all the way through your post round meal. This can include water consumption mixed with your Amino Vital Focus Zone.
For example, if a player weighs 150 pounds he or she would want to drink approximately 75 oz. of water during that round. That would equate to about 4.5 full water bottles of your Amino Vital water bottle.
Even when you are not playing a round of golf, it is important to consume half your body weight in oz. throughout the 12-15 hours you are awake during the day. Once you are thirsty, it’s too late; you’re already dehydrated.
Nutrition is at the utmost importance as an athlete and something to consider making a top priority.