(Image: Golf Magazine)
Do you have fatigue at the end of your round? Do you suffer from muscle stiffness or soreness the day following golf? If so, you may need to reconsider your hydration strategies. Find out below how poor hydration is affecting your golf..
1. Decreased muscle coordination As you know, a golf swing requires a number of muscles working in harmony to create a sound swing. For a muscle to contract optimally, the salt balance within the body must be correct. If you are losing excess sweat without electrolyte and water replacement, this balance will be affected.
2. Reduced endurance Dehydration reduces your blood volume, making your heart work harder to pump blood to your muscles. This can lead to early fatigue and decreased endurance. You may then find it difficult to walk and swing comfortably throughout your 9 or 18 holes. 3. Decreased concentration If you have poor liquid intake, you may experience impaired decision-making and slower reaction times. Poor cognitive function can be due to the blood volume, electrolyte balance and heat dissipation. Heat dissipation is a process whereby your body prioritises cooling the body which may take resources away from your brain. 4. Increased risk of cramps and injury Have you ever experienced cramping in your legs or feet within 24 hours after golf? If so, you know how painful it can be. By having a poor fluid intake, it can increase the risk of these spasms occurring and can lead to muscle strains. So, what should I do? The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) recommends a few strategies: 1. Pre-hydrate: Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water and take sips of a sports drink prior to your round. 2. During your round: Drink roughly a litre of water per hour with continued sips of your sports drink. However, this will largely be dependent on conditions, if it's warm you will obviously need to drink more. 3. Monitor: The easiest way to monitor your hydration level is to look at the colour of your urine. If it's a clear colour, you are well hydrated. You should also be mindful of your hydration levels for the following 4-6 hours after golf. Do you want further advice? Book a golf physiotherapy consultation. If you want personalised advice, book in for a golf physiotherapy screening. This can be performed anywhere in the world or face-to-face here in South-East Queensland. I look forward to helping you move, feel and play better golf. Billy Troy