TL 14

Tom LaFountain

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As the summer heats up and we are playing more golf the thought of fluid intake has to be considered. You can take lessons, practice, and get all the treatment to better your game but if you are dehydrated your performance will suffer. In fact, hydration is one of the most important nutritional concerns of any athlete. On the golf course you lose fluid through your skin as sweat and from your lungs while breathing. If you do not replace the fluid lost dehydration will result. 

 A dehydrated golfer will have a decreased volume of blood circulating through their body. Consequently the amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat decreases. When exercising muscles do not receive enough oxygen exhaustion sets in and performance will suffer. Also, by-products of exercise are not flushed out of the body as efficiently as should occur.

 Research indicates that losing 2% of total body weight can negatively affect athletic performance. Therefore, if a 150lb. golfer loses 3lbs. during their round their ability to perform will be reduced due to dehydration. This can easily occur if you are not aware of hydrating during your round. For amateur golfers NOTICE: drinking alcoholic beverages on the course promotes dehydration. For every alcoholic beverage you drink you should drink one cup of water to counter the diuretic effects.

 On the PGA Tour it is not unusual for a golfer to drink a 16-20 ounces of water every other hole.  Additionally, a concern at the professional level is to keep the body hydrated to minimize excess buildup of lactic acid muscularly. Lactic acid builds up intramuscularly when there isn’t enough oxygen present to metabolize glucose for energy. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are stomach discomfort, diarrhea, fast, shallow breathing, muscle pain or cramping, tiredness and weakness. Feelings you do not want your body to experience when you are trying to perform at your best. 

 Also, do not rely on thirst to be your indicator to drink. By the time you feel thirsty you have lost more than 2% of your total body weight and are already dehydrated. To rehydrate after a round it is advised to drink 3 cups of water for every pound lost during the round.

 Hydration. It is simple but often forgotten.


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