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  • Writer's pictureMarcel West

Why Water is Hurting Your Golf Game.

You may think is article is about water hazards on the course. What I am really talking about is how a lack of hydration can be effecting your golf game.

You may have heard many health and fitness professional say you we all need to be drinking more water. Many of you may be wondering “what does that have to do with my golf swing.”

Most of us have been dehydrated at some point in our lives. In the middle of golf session this we can end up between 3-5% dehydrated. At this level of dehydration we can usually tell that we need to drink some water. Most individuals are walking around at least 2% dehydrated at all times. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but even this amount can have significant effects on our daily lives.

Research has shown that not replenishing lost fluids on the course can increase the number of errors that a player will make.

Effects on mental performance:

  1. Mental tiredness increases, and both alertness and concentration are reduced.

  2. Reduction in coordination resulting in lower consistency and poorer precision.

  3. Decision-making impaired, impacting club and shot choice, as well as judgement, which is made even harder when under pressure.

Effects on physical performance:

  1. Cardiovascular and central nervous systems affected causing increases in heart rate, lower blood pressure and loss of muscle strength.

  2. Fatigue causing loss of coordination, balance and stability, disturbing shot accuracy and distance requiring more effort.

  3. A very small amount of dehydration can reduce muscular strength by up to 6%.

So how much water is the correct amount?

What I recommend to my clients is that they drink half their body weight in ounces everyday. That may sound like a lot, but lets break it down. If we take someone who is 180lbs. That means they need to drink a total of 90 ounces everyday. This works out to roughly 2.6 litres. This is the average amount you want everyday. When you are playing golf on a hot day or you are doing an activity that has your heart rate elevated you may need to increase this amount.

Now that we know how much to drink we want to spread this amount throughout the day, giving our cells time to absorb the water. I suggest that you drink 25% of your daily intake first thing in the morning. Make sure you are drinking this before your morning coffee and before you have your breakfast. Starting your day off with water will help to reduce your chances of overeating. The next 50% of you daily intake should be spread throughout the day, with the remaining 25% just before and during supper.

Hydration is vital for golfers of all levels, and can have a bigger impact on golfers who play and practice on multiple days in a row, and possibly play in hotter climates.

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