Golf Nutrition

By admin December 29, 2014 18:30

Written by Dr. Howard Peiper, N.D

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Electrolyte Depletion and Replenishment
Electrolyte expenditure varies between individuals. Your specific electrolyte requirements will not only differ from your playing partners, but can also change depending on your fitness level, acclimatization level, climate and the rigors of the course. In addition, electrolyte needs can vary several hundred percent depending on heat levels, as opposed to caloric intake which typically fluctuates by only 25-50% and fluid intake which fluctuates by only 20-30%.

What are Electrolytes and why do I need them?
Electrolytes are chemicals that form electrically charged particles (ions) in body fluids. These ions carry electrical energy necessary for many functions, including nerve impulse transmission and muscle contractions. In simple terms, many normal bodily functions are dependent on these substances; optimal physical performance requires a consistent and adequate supply of these important nutrients.
Proper functioning of the muscular, digestive, nervous and cardiac systems require adequate levels of these vital minerals. It is like the motor oil in a car; it’s not what makes the engine run, but it sure is necessary to keep the internal parts operating smoothly. Balanced electrolyte replenishment will prevent dehydration, stave off fatigue and help maintain strength and focus.

Electrolytes and Golf
During your round of golf, consistent replenishment of electrolytes is as important as the food you eat and the water you drink. Normal body functions, as well as your performance, will be severely compromised if adequate levels of electrolytes are not present, especially in the heat and when you are out on the course for up to five to six hours. (Hopefully, not six. But when you include warm up on the practice range and pre-round putting and chipping, six hours in the sun might be the norm.)
Ideally, you want your body to perform smoothly, without interruption or compromise. Just as you don’t wait until you’re dehydrated before you replenish fluids or calories, you never want to wait until you’re cramping before replenishing electrolytes.
The goal in replenishing electrolytes is to maintain specific bodily functions at optimal levels. Balanced electrolytes will:

Enhance endurance
Nourish muscle and lessen fatigue
Improve your motor skills, responsiveness and mental clarity

The body has a complex way of monitoring and maintaining proper electrolyte levels. Since individual sweat-loss varies greatly during exercise and while on the course, the human body does not and cannot efficiently replace what it expends (electrolytes lost cannot be replaced by electrolytes ingested) until after your round.
A blended solution addresses the functions of a variety of minerals and prevents the negative effects of mineral deficiencies. For example, a deficiency in calcium can lead to achy joints, heart palpitations, nervousness and hypertension.
A deficiency in potassium will manifest itself in muscular fatigue, diminished reflex function, muscle cramps, and fluctuations in heartbeat, headaches and edema. Magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia, chronic fatigue, poor digestion and irritability. A lack of manganese can result in excess perspiration, rapid pulse and hypertension. In other words, it is important to make sure your electrolyte needs are met to help avoid any potential problems.
Clark’s Nutrition Natural Food Market carries the electrolytes that I recommend in my book “Nutritional Leverage for Great Golf.” GN

Dr. Howard Peiper, N.D., nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, has written many best-selling books on nutrition, including “Nutritional Leverage for Great Golf.” His website is:

By admin December 29, 2014 18:30