Eating something before you tee off is vital to your focus throughout the game. Carbohydrates are your brains preferred fuel source, so make sure you eat something that is primarily carbs at least an hour or two before you tee off. In addition to the carbs, mix in a bit of protein and fat, too. Try to eat something every 3-4 hours, so if you ate breakfast an hour or two before you tee off, you will need a snack during play. Pack something healthy so you dont have to rely on the snack cart and the potential nutritional disasters waiting for you there.
Even slight dehydration can cause you to lose mental focus and make you feel fatigued. Drink at least 16 ounces of water before you tee off and 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes during play. You can choose water or a sports beverage'either one will hydrate you and keep you focused on your shot.
Even though a cold beer sounds good during play, it is going to inhibit your concentration and dehydrate you. Even just one beer can impair your ability to focus and perform, especially on those all important puts.
Certain nutrients have been found in research studies to assist in memory, focus, and concentration.
B Vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B6, B12)
These help your body produce energy within its trillions of cells. In some recent studies, folic acid has been shown to improve cognitive function and may help prevent Alzheimers disease. B vitamins are found in grain products (bread, cereal, pasta), wheat germ, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. B Vitamins are abundant in our food supply.
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
These naturally occurring plant substances help keep your brain sharp and may preserve brain cells. They help kill off free radicals that attack your cells, helping to maintain healthy brain cells. Antioxidants and phytochemicals are found in fruits (especially high in berries, apples, citrus, cherries, melons), vegetables (especially high in legumes, spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes), whole grains, and nuts and seeds.
Omega-3 fatty acids
These healthy fats are good for brain development and function. Specifically, the DHA in omega-3s is found in the brain and studies show that omega-3s may actually help build the brains gray matter. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish (especially salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna), ground flax seeds, walnuts, fortified eggs, and other fortified foods (read labels).
This is an essential nutrient that we dont hear much about. It has been shown to help with memory and maintaining and building healthy brain cells. Choline is found in egg yolks, peanuts/peanut butter, lettuce, cauliflower, and soy lecithin.
Here are some ideas of meals and snacks to eat before or during your game. These are high in carbs, but have some protein and fat and contain at least one of the nutrients listed above.
Whole grain toast with an egg or peanut butter and a piece fruit
whole grain bagel with light cream cheese, smoked salmon, and a slice of tomato and onion
Smoothie with milk (or soy milk), fresh berries, and a tablespoon each of soy lecithin granules and ground flaxseed
Cottage cheese and fresh fruit
Whole grain cereal, milk, and a banana or berries
Oatmeal made with milk and fresh berries
Veggie omelet with whole wheat toast
Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato and fruit salad
Chefs salad with low calorie dressing and whole wheat roll
Snacks: banana, apple, grapes, nutrition bar, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, trail mix (dried fruit and nuts), fruit leather, granola bar.
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