Healthy Snacks to Fuel You for a Round of Golf
In golf, consistency is key. And while you may not think much about it, that extends to your nutrition, as well. There’s nothing worse than having a great day of golf go south because of an energy slump. It’s important to head into your round with sustainable fuel and a snack plan that will keep your mind and body at peak performance – from teeing off to signing your scorecard.
The most important meal. Early tee time? Make sure to schedule time for a good breakfast! Even if you’re not out there at the crack of dawn, you’re going to be on the course and on your feet for several hours. It might be cold, and then hot. Or just cold. Or really hot. Your body is like an engine, and it needs the right fuel to keep going. So, if you normally eat oatmeal, or toast with nut butter, or a boiled egg and banana, stick to your regular routine. A huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy and pancakes might make you feel sluggish. Grabbing a sugary, processed pastry or a gigante, mongo quad-shot frappesugarino with extra caramel may seem like a treat, or skipping breakfast altogether might be tempting, but both are likely to set you up for an energy crash before you can say “mulligan.”
On the ball, in the bag. Many great golfers will tell you to play one hole at a time. Don’t think about the last one, or the next one. That may be great advice for your game, but when it comes to your nutrition, you’ll need to listen to your body and do some pre-planning. The snack bar may be handy, but it can tempt us to make less-than-healthy choices. Here are some great on-the-go alternatives that you can pack ahead and take along with you, with no chance of causing slow play.
Smoothie swing. Uh oh, you didn’t make time for breakfast? A healthy smoothie with some berries, a banana, maybe some greens, yogurt and seeds can come to the rescue for an on-the-go option!
An apple day … Nothing’s easier than a simple apple. Apples help regulate blood sugar, satisfy a sweet tooth and can make your mouth feel fresh. Add a small bit of nut butter or cheese for some healthy protein and fat. Or you can bring some cored, cut in slices coated in a bit of cinnamon or lemon juice to keep them from browning for a small bite of energy when you need it.
Go bananas. It’s sometimes called the world’s most perfect food – full of water, fiber, carbs, nutrients and deliciousness. Dried banana chips (with no added sugar) are a great option, too. Just be sure to drink some water, too!
Eggactly right! A boiled egg is hard to beat. Peel it ahead of time, and you’ve got the perfect solution for a protein snack. You can even coat it in spices for a flavor kick.
Say cheese. Healthy, real cheese can be a great addition to your snack sack. It’s full of calcium and protein, and can satiate your appetite. Steer away from highly processed options and seek out cheeses that come from responsibly sourced milk.
Crunch time. A bogey on the 8th may have you gnashing your teeth and wishing for something salty and crunchy to take out your frustration. Skip the highly processed chips or the crackers, choose whole wheat ones, or opt instead for nuts or trail mix. You can bring these in small, portion-controlled containers, in sweet, savory and spicy options.
A slice can be good! Veggie slices, that is. Cut up and refrigerate sticks of carrots, zucchini or celery to take along. A small container of hummus or dip is a nice addition. The cold, crispness of the vegetables is refreshing on a hot day, and your body will thank you for the minerals and nutrients. Prepping your veggies in advance makes this super-easy and convenient.
On a roll. Roll up a slice of lean meat and cheese in a whole wheat tortilla, then cut it in rounds. Or use hearty, whole grain bread to make a simple sandwich, and cut it in fourths for the perfect two-bite snack.
Hydrate! There’s nothing wrong with stopping by the beverage cart for a tall, cool, bubbly refreshment with friends. But too many of those likely won’t help your game, and your body won’t thank you, either. Especially on hot days, it’s vital to keep hydrated. Usually, good, old-fashioned water is the perfect choice, especially in a reusable container! But you might want to opt for something with a little more flavor and some extra electrolytes on hot days, and depending on your needs. You can add a pinch of sea salt to your water, and waters infused with fruit or herbs.
All of these tips are suggestions to help you feel and play your best. Of course, you want to choose the options that you like, and that fit with your dietary needs and preferences. Having a plan will keep you on course, and playing like a pro!