How to Stay Hydrated on the Golf Course
Proper hydration is needed for focus and full mental cognition as well as strength, speed, and coordination – all things invaluable to the game of golf.
Our bodies need to stay within a certain temperature, so we sweat to avoid overheating. We lose water through sweating, and on especially hot and humid days, we also lose electrolytes in this process. These electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, contribute to fluid balance, energy level, and muscle activity. They can be replaced with foods, but there are other options like a tablet, powder, gel or ‘goo’ to replace lost electrolytes.
While it’s important to try to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration, it’s also important to know what to look for in early signs of dehydration: dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, dry mouth, cessation of sweating, and increased heart rate. Signs of severe dehydration that may require emergency medical care are mental confusion, severe weakness, high body temperature (104°F or higher), and loss of consciousness.
To be properly hydrated, the recommended metric is to consume half your body weight in fluid ounces of water each day. For example, that means a 200 lb. person needs to drink 100 oz. of water every day to be properly hydrated. Activities like golf only further affect our hydration.
It’s important to keep in mind that other types of liquid don’t count toward this number, such as tea, coffee, juice, pop, sugary sports drinks, and especially alcoholic drinks. The high sugar or caffeine content in these drinks may actually contribute to dehydration because of water & energy needed to dilute sugar in the body and the diuretic nature of caffeine.
1. Limit alcohol consumption (wait to unwind until after the 19th hole)
2. Consume sodium throughout your round
3. Add a pinch of Celtic sea salt or unrefined sea salt to drinking water (do not use iodized salt or table salt). If it tastes like ocean water even a little bit, you have put in WAY too much.
4. Eat small, easily absorbed snacks like fruit, vegetables, pretzels, granola bars, trail mix, or a sandwich.
5. Wear ‘moisture-wicking clothing – the price tag is worth it!
6. Most importantly, always bring water with you and drink it!
Try out a trick like having a drink on every even-numbered hole or every 10 hits.