Learn hydration tips that every athlete should know. This video is courtesy of Mayo Clinic, the No. 1 hospital in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. Middlesex Health is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This relationship provides us with access to information, knowledge and expertise from Mayo Clinic.
Staying hydrated can help your golf game.
Dr. John Williams, with Middlesex Health Family Medicine, says staying well hydrated is essential when playing all sports, including golf. It can decrease your risk of various types of heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and studies show that staying hydrated can help you perform better.
What you should (or shouldn’t) drink?
Water is usually always best, Dr. Williams says. However, in addition to water, golfers can consider sipping alternatives while on the course, such as smaller amounts of a healthy, electrolyte replacement drink.
Sweat is made of mostly water, but also contains electrolytes. Electrolytes are important for maintaining proper nerve and muscle function in our bodies. Sports drinks can help replenish the electrolytes that you lose during your round. And remember, the more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace during your time on the links.
Sports drinks contain different combinations of electrolytes, and golfers can consume these drinks in small quantities in addition to water when playing for a long period of time on a hot day. However, Dr. Williams says it is important to be an informed consumer. Read the nutrition labels. Some sports drinks have a much higher sugar content than others. Don’t underestimate the importance of a healthy diet and adequate amounts of water intake, he says.
In addition, it is important to limit drinks that will increase your chances of dehydration, such as caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
How much should you drink?
How much the average person, or golfer, should drink each day is often debated. However, one thing is certain. Dr. Williams says it is important to hydrate more when you are active, especially on hot summer days.
It is also important to know the signs of dehydration. They include:
- Excessive thirst
- Dry mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Decreased urine output
Be prepared! Be sure that you are well hydrated before you start your round. Otherwise, you will already be behind when you tee off on the first hole, Dr. Williams says.
And when you are done with your round, continue to hydrate and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
If you are worried that you will forget to bring your water to the golf course, pack it when you put your clubs and shoes in your car!
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