Surviving the Summer Sweat

By Golf Fitness MagazineJuly 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
By Tara Gidus
Women drinking waterYou have heard it all before.drink while you are on the course. But did you know that your game can actually suffer considerably with just minor levels of dehydration?
Effect of dehydration
Golf is mainly a game of skill. If your focus and concentration are compromised, your game will suffer. We know that skill performance can be reduced considerably if you are dehydrated. On a hot day you are at much higher risk of heat stress leading to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sweat losses of only 2% of your body weight can affect how your body regulates its temperature as well as your performance on the course. Weigh yourself before and after your round to see how much weight you lose.
Hot, dry weather can cause a lot of sweat loss, but humid weather can be dangerous because the sweat does not evaporate from the skin and you may not sweat as much as you think you are because much of the moisture is coming from the air. Try to get your tee time as early in the day as possible in the heat of the summer.
When you sweat, you are losing water, but you are also losing electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and potassium. These electrolytes are needed for fluid balance, nerve impulses, and muscle contraction. The amount of water you lose through sweat is much higher than the amount of electrolytes you lose. However, if you are sweating a lot, you may want to be aware of replacing these electrolytes while you are on the course. You can either eat food (fresh fruit, a sandwich, nutrition bar, etc.) or you can use one of the sports beverages a few hours into your round.
How much to drink
Fluid requirements vary from person to person and from day to day. Thirst is not a good indicator of when to drink. Instead, you should drink according to a schedule.
Before the round: 8-16 ounces 15 minutes
During your round: 4-8 ounces every 15-30 minutes
After the round: 16 ounces*
*If you have lost more than one pound during the round, drink an extra 16 ounces per pound lost
Drinks for on and off the golf course
Beverage options on the course
Alcohol: Even though you may want to drink beer on the course, it may cost you a few strokes. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes increased water loss causing dehydration and increased risk of heat illness. In addition, it is a depressant that can affect your balance and coordination. Finally, alcohol before or during exercise can cause fatigue due to low blood sugar, ruining concentration.
Water: Water is always the best for hydration. It is the first ingredient in all beverages. However, if you are on the course for several hours, sweating a good deal, and not eating any snacks, you may want to consider a sports beverage with some carbohydrate, sodium, and other electrolytes.
Sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, All Sport): Beverages with 6-8% carbohydrate concentration which is easily absorbed and utilized during exercise. Small amounts of electrolytes sodium, potassium, chloride, and phosphorus. Contain either sucrose, glucose, or high fructose corn syrup as the energy source.
Natural sports drink (LIV): All natural sports drink. Uses brown rice syrup and agave nectar as carbohydrate source (7% carbohydrate). Contains no artificial dyes. Contains potassium and sodium.
Regular soft drinks (Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew) : Most have 15% carbohydrate which is a high concentration for exercise and can cause stomach cramping. The carbonation prevents drinking enough to hydrate properly. Soft drinks containing caffeine can act as a diuretic causing additional fluid losses.
Diet soft drinks (Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Sprite): Diet drinks are fine to drink on the course, but just like water they do not contain carbohydrate. You may need to eat something on the course if you did not have a large enough meal before you teed off. Carbonated drinks do not promote drinking as much as noncarbonated drinks.
Fruit juice, lemonade, sweet tea: These beverages are too high in carbohydrate for exercise. Fruit juice will have electrolytes, but the others do not. Because these beverages are so concentrated in sugar, they do not really quench your thirst as much as water.
Fitness waters (Propel, Vitaminwater, Fitness Water): Fitness waters are mostly water with a small amount of carbohydrate (1-2%). They are flavored and noncarbonated so they promote drinking enough to stay hydrated. Depending on the brand, many contain small amounts of various vitamins and minerals. Most do not contain very much sodium or other electrolytes to replace sweat losses. Just like regular water, drink to hydrate, but you may need a snack during your round to keep your glucose (energy) level up.
Energy drinks (Red Bull, Amp, Full Throttle): These drinks are carbonated, very concentrated in sugar, and have a fair amount of caffeine, all of which are not good choices during exercise.
Bottom Line
Hydration is important anytime you are out on the course, but extra attention should be paid during the summer months or hot climate. Water is the best at hydrating, but you may want to consider using a sports beverage or drinking water along with some strategic snacks during the round to replace your electrolytes.
Tara Gidus is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a nutrition consultant, National Spokesperson, American Dietetic Association, The 'Diet Diva' on The Daily Buzz national TV show, and a GFM Advisory Team Member. To find more about Tara, log on to
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.