Whether you are practicing on the driving range, playing nine holes, or competing in a four-day tournament, your hydration status could make the difference in both how you play and how you feel. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact your performance on the course and cause early mental and physical fatigue. More severe dehydration can lead to dizziness, confusion, vomiting, and chills. While it is always essential for good health to be hydrated, it is even more critical during physical activity in the hot and humid summer months.

Benefits of hydration:

  1. Supports your muscles to maintain endurance, strength, and power to hit the ball further and play longer.
  2. Optimizes thermoregulation through sweating so you don’t overheat during practice or out on the course.
  3. Regulates blood pressure, improves circulation, and enhances blood flow so oxygen and nutrients can get to your working muscles while you play.
  4. Provides lubrication to your joints to help you move more freely with decreased pain.
  5. Decreases the risk of muscle spasms and cramping typical of dehydration which can interfere with play.

Tips to staying hydrated:

  1. Drink plenty of liquids before, during, and after play
    • Consume 16-20 oz. of fluids within two hours prior to play and 4-8 oz. every 15-20 minutes during play.
  2. Limit caffeinated beverages
    • Coffee, tea, and caffeinated energy drinks cause your body to lose water making it harder to stay hydrated.
  3. Replenish electrolytes
    • When you sweat you lose electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Whether it’s a sports drink, adding electrolyte powders to your water, or eating foods with salt and potassium such as salted pretzels and bananas, keeping a constant flow of electrolytes will keep your body locked in.
  4. Eat foods with a high-water content
    • Fruits and vegetables contain mostly water, so they help keep you hydrated and nourished. They can also have a cooling effect on the body when eaten cold.
  5. Consume easy-to-digest meals and snacks
    • Appetites can decrease in hot temperatures. Eat smaller, lighter, more frequent meals and snacks that contain both protein and carbohydrates to stay fueled.
  6. Recover with a nutritious meal after play
    • Cool off with a cold beverage and a meal that consists of lean protein to support muscles, whole grain carbohydrates to restore energy levels, and fruit and vegetables to replenish essential nutrients.