Summer has arrived and with that comes the hot, hot temps and high humidity. Golfers vs. heat…how do you win? Below are some things I do to stay hydrated and healthy.
Signs you may be dehydrated: Loss of energy, extreme thirst, dry mouth, headache, confusion, little to no urine.
Water – Drink lots of water and also grab an electrolyte beverage such as Gatorade or Powerade to enjoy in between some of those bottles of water. Try to avoid sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages (especially coffee) as they will suck the water and energy right out of you.*If you are riding in a golf cart a bottle of water per hour should keep you hydrated unless the heat is extreme, such as the conditions we will see this weekend, and you will likely need more.**For those walking and carrying their golf bags it is wise in extreme heat to drink in between each shot even if it is just a sip or two.
Ice Towels/Cold packs – Some golf courses and events will provide coolers of iced towels, use them often. However if not then wet your golf towel every chance you get via water fountain or water cooler. Putting a wet towel over your head or behind your neck will always help cool your body temperature. Sometimes I will grab a cold pack that I keep in the freezer for my aches and pains. I have a gel pack that is light weight and fits nicely in the insulated pouch on my golf bag. It won’t stay frozen for the duration of my round, but does provide some relief early on especially if I am teeing off later in the day.
Drown your cap– This is a trick I have always used with my caps. I will soak it in water every chance I get. And if there is the slightest breeze blowing, well that is a bonus!
Keep a balance –You lose water by sweating it out, going to the bathroom, and even when breathing. Walking and carrying your golf bag will only speed up this process. If you get to the turn and do not have to go to the bathroom then you are probably not hydrated enough. Also avoid “downing” or drinking a beverage too quickly. I have made the mistake of sucking down a full bottle of Gatorade and then regretting it as I was hunched over with a belly ache! Now I make a point to drink with a steady pace around the course.
Snack right – Again, avoid foods with a lot of sugar. Also watch out for salty foods as they too can pull water out of your body. Fruit, raw almonds, and granola are some of my favorites. When I played junior golf my mom would freeze me a couple of fold over crunchy peanut butter sandwiches. Those were the best!
There are many articles on the world wide web about staying hydrated. These are just some things that have worked for me during my many golf experiences, in particular during my junior and collegiate golf days when I had to walk and carry my bag every round. Be smart, take care of yourself and stay hydrated.