Golf requires its players to be physically fit and nourished before they hit the golf course. A good game of golf requires about four hours upwards to complete; thus, the need for adequate hydration and nourishment, before and during a game of golf. Food acts as fuel to the body.
Whatever you ingest determines your level of performance and concentration throughout the day. As a result, athletes have to adopt a complete and balanced diet to perform at their peak. So, let us find out what are the best golf snacks.
What should you eat as a golfer?
If you are not a serious golfer, you can eat just about anything before and during golf. Load your golf cart with a six-pack of beer and a variety of sugary and salty foods and snacks, and frolic around the golf course with your friends.
However, if you take your golf game seriously, you need to use food as a source of energy to improve your mood and concentration while playing the 18 holes. Healthy eating and drinking are essential in sustaining energy and optimum performance in any game.
The key to eating well while playing golf lies in preparation. A good golfer does not solely depend on the snacks provided at the golf course. By packing some healthy snacks and drinks to the golf course, you will provide your body with sufficient energy and nutrients, which also helps in avoiding post-round eating.
Considerations when choosing the best golf snacks
You can intentionally save your golf game and spare your body the extra calories by packing a healthy snack to eat in between rounds. Here are some significant considerations you can make when deciding which are the best golf snacks.
Wholesome snacks: instead of grabbing a quick and convenient bite such as a granola bar or pretzels, choose natural and nutritious snacks. Pick walnuts and an apple over sneakers, or even almond butter and a banana with dark-chocolate over a granola bar.
Small and balanced ‘mini-meals’: Enjoy high-quality proteins and natural fats with a balanced out mini carbohydrate meal to sustain your energy and concentration during the game. Pick healthy and natural fats such as avocado, almond butter, and walnuts, to reduce your sugar cravings and increase satiation.
Think ahead: A good athlete is always proactive. Plan and prepare some healthy snacks to enjoy with your friends on the golf course. Do not opt to ‘starve’ yourself to the sixth hole, forcing you to make poor nutritional decisions. Be proactive and prepare some of the recipes below as a healthy and balanced snack for the golf course.
The best golf snacks
One of the most significant priorities while playing golf is to stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks. This ensures your brain and nervous system perform at their optimal levels while limiting the cellular processes throughout your body.
Lack of proper hydration affects your visual-spatial function, which is essential in playing golf. Here are some solutions for the best golf snacks to pack.
1. Yogurt and fresh fruits
Many expert golfers prefer packing a variety of fruits to eat in between holes. Fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas are an excellent source of energy. They contain various useful minerals and vitamins that offer plenty of antioxidants for optimum brain and eye function.
Fruits also contain natural sugars that provide you with an instant boost of energy to last you throughout the whole game. Furthermore, there are no sugar crashes when it comes to fruits. A cup of yogurt with your fruits is a worthwhile snack while on-course.
- Source of natural sugars
- Plenty of antioxidants from the minerals and vitamins in fruits
- Excellent source of energy for golfers
- Some fruits are bulky to carry
2. Hard-boiled eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of proteins while on-course. Recommended by many pro golfers, hard-boiled eggs will fill you up as well as balance your blood sugar levels as you tee it up. As a result, you can expect high levels of focus and energy throughout all the 18-holes.
Just do not mistake one of them for a golf ball.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare and do not take up a lot of storage space in your golfing bag. Despite being a great source of proteins and healthy fats, they may cause bad breath if you do not wash it down with a bottle of water.
- Easy to prepare
- Excellent source of natural and healthy fats and proteins
- Fill you up quickly
- They can cause bad breath
3. Dried berries and mixed nuts
Mixed nuts, such as cashews, peanuts, and almonds, are another excellent source of proteins. By eating mixed nuts, you will have tons of energy, and they will keep you full all day long. Simply store them in your bag and snack on them as you tee it up with your mates.
Dried berries are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins, giving you an adequate supply of antioxidants for optimal brain and eye function.
If you are playing golf on a hot and sunny day, and you are sweaty, it is best to eat salted nuts as they aid in fluid retention. But remember to wash them down with some water. Otherwise, it is advisable to eat unsalted nuts. Similarly, it is better to stick to raw to lightly roasted nuts as they provide more energy and have more nutrients.
- Affordable snack
- Easy to carry while on-course
- Nuts provide plenty of proteins and other nutrients, including healthy fats and low carbs
- Eating a lot of salted nuts may make you very thirsty while playing
4. Beef jerky
Similar to hard-boiled eggs and mixed nuts, beef jerky gives you sufficient proteins and fats to last you on the course. You may even switch it up and have turkey or chicken jerky, depending on your preference.
However, beef jerky does not have the same nutritional value as the eggs and nuts. It may leave you feeling drained after playing a few holes; thus, the need to re-charge.
One great thing about beef jerky is that it is tasty regardless of its brand. However, it is best to stick to all-natural brands since they do not have high sodium content or preservatives. Make sure you store it in an easy-to-carry bag and ensure it is not scrunched up by your golf equipment.
- Delicious golf snack
- Source of protein and energy
- An affordable option
- It is not as lethargic as eating other sources of proteins
5. Candy and energy bars
Candy and energy bars are a quick go-to snack for energy on the golf course. They provide a nice little sugar boost, leaving you energized and ready to play. However, you may experience quick energy crashes over time; thus, the need to eat plenty of them, which is never a good nutritional decision.
- Easy to carry and eat
- Provides a boost of energy
- Delicious snack
- Does not have much nutritional value
6. Home-made sandwiches
Sandwiches are a great alternative when you do not have a full lunch or breakfast. Nibble on one of your sumptuous home-made sandwiches while on-course and you will be full in no time.
Use whole- wheat bread or multigrain bread and almond butter or honey for a burst of energy between holes. More so, they add an additional health boost due to the powerful combination of proteins, sugar, iron, vitamins, and zinc.
Some sandwich suggestions you can quickly prepare include peanut butter and jelly, meat and cheese, or even peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
- Source of proteins, minerals, and vitamins
- Easy to prepare and carry
- They offer energy, brainpower, and focus
- They may be messy to eat if not appropriately packed in a portable container
What foods to avoid when playing golf
There are several foods and snacks you should avoid when going to tee it up with your mates. Such foods are high sugar, caffeine, and sodium, have unhealthy fats, empty calories, as well as sedative effects. Some of these foods include:
- French fries
- Energy and sports drinks
- Beer and other alcoholic beverages, etc.
It is advisable to eat such snacks and drinks after the game to optimize your attention span and keep you focused and motivated throughout the round. Either you opt to grab that donut and can of diet coke long before or soon after a grueling game of golf for the best performance.
Golf is not an easy game to win. Furthermore, you handicap yourself by eating snacks and drinks that will slow you down. Regardless of the sport you are playing, you need to feed appropriately with nutritional foods. Eating junk foods before playing a game is similar to putting the wrong fuel in your car and expecting to go on a long road trip.
The best golf snacks keep you energized and focused throughout the game. You feel and play better when you make healthier choices when playing golf. Similarly, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the game to keep you hydrated. Throw some of the healthy golf snacks discussed above into your golf bag and keep yourself nourished in between holes.