BY STEVE BORN
It varies from golf-specific website to website, and there are many variables to factor in (e.g., difficulty of the course, skill levels of others playing with you). Still, it is generally suggested that it takes 2 – 4 hours to complete 18 holes of golf when using a golf cart. If you’re walking the course, it will usually take roughly 4 – 6 hours.
This protocol will cover the fueling needs of both. Before you get to the fueling protocol, here is some essential and helpful information...
5 Simple Ways to Improve Athletic Performance Now
While there are numerous steps that you can (and should) take to optimize athletic performance, here are a couple of super easy ones. Start with these right away, and you’ll experience noticeably rapid endurance improvement, helping you stay strong from the 1st tee through the 18th.
1) Stay properly hydrated all day long. With approximately 60% of your body being comprised of water, it goes without saying that it’s vital to maintain optimal hydration all day. Unfortunately, a lot of people— perhaps you?—live in a state of perpetual dehydration, which negatively affects athletic performance and overall health. Starting now, gradually increase your fluid intake—primarily from pure, clean water—so that the total number of ounces you’re drinking daily is equal to 0.5 to 0.6 of your body weight in pounds (e.g., 180-lb. person should consume 90 – 108 ounces of fluids daily in addition to what is being consumed during exercise). During exercise, drink 16-26 ounces per hour and up to 28 ounces per hour during hot weather.
2) Fuel lean. It’s interesting to know how many calories you’re burning every hour during exercise; however, those amounts aren’t a factor in terms of how many calories your body can accept in return for your fuel donation. The goal of caloric intake is to consume the least amount necessary to maintain energy levels where you want and need them to be hour after hour. For most athletes, this represents an intake of 120-180 calories per hour. Larger athletes (200+ lbs.) can consume 200 or slightly more calories. And if you find that’s not quite enough calories, that’s an easy fix—you consume a few more. Remember, it is ALWAYS easier to fix a “not enough” problem than an “uh oh, I overdid it, and now my stomach is rebelling” problem.
3) Ditch the sugar. Most fuels are comprised of short-chain carbohydrates, also known as simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.) Hammer Nutrition fuels do not contain any simple sugars; instead, we use maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate. Both maltodextrin and some simple sugars will boost energy levels quickly, which is a desirable benefit. However, with simple sugars—because they are comprised of only one or two saccharide molecules—will drop your energy levels just about as quickly. Constantly feeling great for a few minutes, then fighting your way out of an energy rut for several minutes—commonly referred to as ”flash and crash”—is no way to enjoy a round of golf. Conversely, because maltodextrin is MANY saccharide molecules weakly linked together, you enjoy quick-acting and much longer-lasting energy without any wild fluctuations in energy levels. Another great thing with maltodextrin is that your body can digest greater amounts of calories—with no delay from entry to exit of the digestive tract—and make them available for energy production. You can efficiently digest up to 3x more calories with maltodextrin than any simple sugar, which basically eliminates stomach distress issues.
4) Don’t eat for 3 hours before exercise. By refraining from consuming any calories in the 3 hours before your workouts and rounds of golf, you put your body in the ideal physiological state to use its finite stores of cellular fuel (muscle glycogen) most efficiently while also utilizing the vast amounts of calories from body fat stores more effectively. Adopt this practice in all your workouts and rounds of golf—even the early morning ones—and you’ll start seeing massive improvements in your endurance in a relatively short time. Note: If you must have some calories before the start of exercise, consuming something that’s easy to digest (e.g., a serving of Hammer Gel) 5-10 minutes before the start—but no further out—is acceptable.
5) “Refill the tank” ASAP after all your workouts and rounds of golf. Your body wants to reward you for your efforts in training, strengthening the immune system, rebuilding muscle tissue, and storing more minutes of readily available fuel (glycogen) in the muscles. All you have to do to enjoy all of these endurance-enhancing benefits is supply your body with the materials it needs right away—ideally within the first 30 minutes after exercise (the sooner, the better)—meaning complex carbohydrates and high-quality protein such as found in Recoverite and Organic Vegan Recoverite.
FUELING PLAN FOR A ROUND OF GOLF
1) Finish all calorie consumption 3 hours before start. See #4 in the earlier article as to why this is so important.
2) “Pre-emptive strike” dose of Endurolytes or Endurolytes Extreme. Taking a dose of Endurolytes or Endurolytes Extreme 15-30 minutes before your round of golf will cover your electrolytic mineral needs for the first hour. The dose of Endurolytes can be anywhere from 1-6 capsules per hour, with most athletes using 2-4 capsules an hour, the amount dependent on body weight and temperature conditions. If you’re competing in hot-weather conditions—and especially if you’re not very acclimated to those conditions—use Endurolytes Extreme at the rate of 1-2 capsules hourly, with the first dose taken 15- 30 minutes before teeing off. If you prefer to drink electrolytes versus capsules, add 1-3 tablets of Endurolytes Fizz or 1-2 scoops of Endurolytes Extreme Powder to your water bottle. Take sips from 30 minutes to 5 minutes prior to teeing off.
3) Calorie (energy) fuels. While not “written in stone,” a good starting point for calorie intake is 1 calorie per pound of body weight.
For a round of golf that will take 3 hours or less, you have two great options:
- Hammer Gel – For those who prefer to get their calories in a compact form, which allows you to drink and enjoy water to stay hydrated, 1 serving of Hammer Gel every 30-45 minutes is suggested.
- HEED – This is ideal for those who prefer a sports drink over concentrated energy gels.
- Each scoop of HEED contains 110 calories. I (Steve Born) personally use 1.75 scoops of HEED an hour, which supplies 192.5 calories, an amount that works well for larger athletes like me (I’m 200 pounds). A 1.0 scoop (110 calories) per hour works well for lighter-weight athletes. Medium-weight athletes will find that from 1.25 scoops (137.5 calories) to 1.50 scoops (165 calories) per hour is an excellent amount.
If your round of golf is going to take over 3 hours, use Perpetuem 2.0 or Sustained Energy 2.0 as your fuel.
- Each scoop of Perpetuem 2.0 contains 90 calories. I (Steve Born), at 200 lbs., personally use 2.25 scoops of Perpetuem 2.0 an hour, which supplies 202.5 calories. For lighter-weight athletes, 1.0 scoops (90 calories) to 1.25 scoops (112.5 calories) per hour works well. Medium-weight athletes will find that 1.50 scoops (135 calories) to 2.0 scoops (180 calories) per hour is an excellent amount.
- Each scoop of Sustained Energy 2.0 contains 100 calories. I (Steve Born) personally use 2.0 scoops an hour, which supplies me with 200 calories. For lighter-weight athletes, 1.0 scoops (100 calories) to 1.25 scoops (125 calories) per hour works well. Medium-weight athletes will find that 1.50 scoops (150 calories) to 1.75 scoops (175 calories) per hour is an excellent amount.
4) Keep those electrolytes coming in! Continue to take in capsules of Endurolytes or Endurolytes Extreme every hour to maintain the optimal performance of many critical bodily functions and to stave off debilitating cramps. If you’re using Hammer Gel, Perpetuem 2.0, or Sustained Energy 2.0, which are, in essence, “calories only” fuels and do not contain a full-spectrum electrolyte profile, you will need to take a full dose of Endurolytes or Endurolytes Extreme hourly. In addition to providing calories for energy, HEED contains a full-spectrum electrolyte profile, with each scoop containing approximately the equivalent of 1 capsule of Endurolytes. Depending on the weather, your body weight, and how many scoops of HEED you’re consuming hourly, you may need additional Endurolytes (1-3 capsules hourly), Endurolytes Extreme (1-2 capsules hourly), or Endurolytes Extreme Powder (1-2 scoops mixed in each hourly bottle of HEED).
5) After you’ve completed your round, “refill the tank” ASAP with Recoverite or Organic Vegan Recoverite. Refueling your body with two scoops (or 1 packet) of Recoverite within the first 30 minutes after you’ve finished (the sooner, the better) takes advantage of the glycogen synthase enzyme when it’s most active. This allows the body to replenish and increase its glycogen stores while providing the raw materials (the amino acids from protein) to help reduce soreness, rebuild muscle tissue, and support the immune system.