Breakfast: Lay the Foundation
First things first, EAT A SOLID BREAKFAST - no matter what time you’re Playing! If you skip Breakfast you’re missing an opportunity to create a baseline of Blood Sugar and Energy Level to fuel your day. Without Breakfast you simply won’t Perform Optimally.
Avoid processed/high sugar cereals (Rice Krispies, Special K, Granola etc). They’ll start you on a Blood Sugar roller-coaster (I’ll explain why that’s bad shortly).
Porridge/Oatmeal (Combine with Nut Butters, Greek Yogurt & Fruit)
Omelette (Throw in some Protein & Greens)
Huevos Rancheros (minus the Tortilla)
Muesli (avoid high sugar options & Combine with Greek Yoghurt & Fruit)
If you’ve playing in the afternoon make sure you follow the lead set by you Breakfast; avoid highly processed & excessive amounts of Carbohydrates.
The following are solid Options:
Prawn/Shrimp & Avocado Salad (Dressing on the side)
Roasted Salmon with Green Beans & Tomato
Vegetable/Tofu Raman with Mushrooms
Grilled Steak Salad
Soup (avoid Creamy Options)
Lettuce Wraps (Grilled Fish/Chicken/Beef)
Cob Salad (Grilled Fish/Chicken/Beef - dressing on the side)
If you want to include Carbohydrates go for higher Fiber options like Brown Bread or Brown Rice, they take longer to digest so don’t spike your Blood Sugar as much as their White counterparts.
Always have a plan when it comes to your On Course Fuel and Priority 1 is ensuring you’ve got enough Water for your round - you should have 50% of your daily intake in your bag i.e. If you Weigh 75kg/165lbs you should drink 2.5 Liters/82.5 ounces during your round.
Sports drinks are great options for athletes performing continuous exercise for more than 90 minutes i.e. those competing in triathlons, marathons and other endurance events where you need to consume carbohydrates & sodium for fuel and hydration.
Golf isn’t an endurance event. The act of swinging lasts no more than 2-3 minutes cumulatively for the entire round. The rest of the time your walking (slowly) which doesn’t require a tremendous amount of endurance or you’re riding in a Buggy/Cart.
Stick with Water. However if you’re keen to have something more interesting, put a dash of salt with sugar free diluted juice in your bottle.
So what Food should you have in your bag? The key is to maintain the blood sugar level you established at Breakfast/Lunch. You want high Protein foods for the Branch Chain Amino Acids (learn more about what they are HERE) and Fats to stabilise your blood sugar. You don’t need an excessive amount of Carbohydrates for energy during your round.
Here’s some solid Mid-Round Snacks:
Seeds & Nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans, walnuts)
Natural Trail Mix with Dried Fruit (Check our Wyldsson for some awesome options)
Fruit (always Combine with nuts, seeds or Jerky though to help maintain blood sugar balance)
Protein Bar (more on this below)
For anyone that follows my Instagram account, they’ll know how much I love Protein Bars. They’re mega convenient, taste great and provide great Nutritional content. Unfortunately they aren’t created equally.
When choosing Protein Bars for your round stick to these Principles:
The fewer the ingredients the better
Choose Organic when possible
Go for Low Sugar (Impact Carbs) options
Avoid ones with these ingredients:
Soy Protein (highly processed)
Partially Hydrogenated (fake fat)
Here’s my favourite Manufacturers (click on their names/images below to see what they offer):
If you’re not sure which ones to go for, do what I do and get a pick and mix from Protein Package.
A drop in blood sugar is going to affect you Mentally and Physically. Harvard University recommends eating small amounts of food repeatedly over a long period of time (grazing) as it’s better for cognitive performance and mood than consuming more sporadic larger doses; (Learn More via this Link)
Practically, this means if you’re eating a sizeable Breakfast/Lunch then waiting to eat Lunch/Dinner until after the round you’re making a mistake. You should snack during your round. Here’s a few options for solid snacking during your round:
If you don’t currently snack start with Option 1. Avoid the mindset of ‘more is better’ and immediately go to Option 3. Any Change in behavior should positively influence Performance. Over consumption can make you lethargic/slow you down.
Experiment with the Options & contents to see what works (and doesn’t work) for you.
Let’s be real. Being fully prepared isn’t going to happen all the time. Things happen that force us to adapt. If you get to the course and don’t have your snacks what are good options?
Maintaining a stable Blood Sugar Level is still the priority and we all know that options might be poor at best. So let’s be aware of the potential choices that’ll obliterate your stable Blood Sugar level:
Alcohol: Only drink if you’re enjoying yourself vs trying to Perform Optimally
Bread (bagels, toast baguettes etc): It could potentially spike blood sugar and make you bloated (not good if you want to Play your Best).
Chocolate/Candy Bars: Will make you feel awesome for an hour then you’ll want to sleep.
Tenders/Goujons (Chicken/Fish etc): Fried Food simply ain’t good for you.
Chips/French Fries: For obvious reasons.
Granola Bars: AKA Undercover Chocolate/Candy Bars. Hello Blood Sugar Spikes!
Sports Drinks/Fizzy Juice/Soda: This is a tough one for me! These often have huge amounts of sugar and the electrolyte (hydration facilitators) content and benefits are often negligible (see above).
Chicken/Tuna Salad (Dressing on the side - many of them are mega fatty & full of sugar).
Burger/Hot Dog (without the bun)
Hard Boiled Eggs
Nuts & Seeds
Any combination of these will help you avoid spikes in your blood sugar/maintain stable Blood Sugar.
Lay a solid Foundation with Breakfast/Lunch
Be prepared! Ensure you’ve got plenty of Water and non Blood Sugar Spiking Options in your bag.
Choose your Options wisely - if in doubt, EAT CLEAN!
Experiment and discover what works best for you.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to food/drink. It’s about striking a balance that optimises your Health and Performance: Eat Good, Feel Good, Play Good!
Thanks for reading!
Oliver C. Morton
The Leading Edge Golf Company