It's no secret that Scottsdale is a haven for golfers. However, it may be a best kept secret that you can improve your golf game through strategic nutrition, specifically hydration.
The Arizona heat and sunshine makes hydration an especially critical component to athletic performance.
One study in 2016 of university and club level athletes found that those who were dehydrated during an 18-hole round of golf took a higher number of strokes to finish their game compared to the hydrated athletes.
A general recommendation is to drink 1.5-3.5 cups (400-800 mL) of water for each hour of activity. You can also weigh yourself before and after your game to get an estimate of your general fluid losses while you are on the course.
But Don’t Overdo It
While it is important to prevent dehydration, it is also important to note that over-hydrating can impact athletic performance. If you consider yourself a "salty sweater," meaning you sweat more than 1.2 liters per hour, or if your game is going to last longer than an hour, you will want to consider consuming sodium. This can be accomplished through an electrolyte drink that replaces sodium, potassium, carbohydrates and sometimes additional vitamins and minerals. Options include traditional sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade, Pedialyte, and powders from brands such as Liquid IV and Skratch Labs.
Some medical conditions and medications can also affect hydration needs and recommendations. If you have specific questions regarding your hydration needs, or if you would like to further optimize your hydration strategy, meet with your doctor or a sports dietitian for guidance. They may want to consider your sweat rate, body temperature, climate adaptation, environmental factors, and additional factors to personalize your hydration recommendations.
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