Not just a little water sipping here and there, but the ‘right stuff’ well prior to (like the day and eve before an important round), during, and after the round – to ensure recovery, especially if you are playing the next day.
WHAT? Consider an ISOTONIC beverage. An isotonic solution has the same salt concentration as the normal cells of the body and the blood, and may be drunk to replace the minerals and fluids which the body uses during physical activity (as opposed to a hypertonic or hypotonic solution). One of my favorites is coconut water, not to be mistaken with coconut milk, a natural elixir of sorts found inside young coconuts. Naturally fat-free and high in potassium, coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, especially in South and Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, where people are intimately familiar with heat, humidity and its accompanying effects.
WHAT NOT? Anything with high fructose corn syrup and/or excessive amount of caffeine. Such concoctions can lead to drastic emotional and physiological highs and lows, in addition to the “shakes” on and around the putting green. Unfortunately, this list would include most of the supposed energy and ‘sports’ drinks on the market. If you don’t already do so, time to start reading labels…
WHEN? Hydrate well prior to game time. That means the day, night and hours prior to your tee time, not just 20 minutes or so before putting the peg in the ground on the first hole. And remember, we are dehydrated long before sensing actual thirst. So, consider adding a step to your pre-shot routine: upon plopping your bag down on each successive tee box, grab that healthy fuel of choice from your bag (no plastic containers, please) and take a little swig – whether you are thirsty or not. This added step, in combination with smart food nibbling/grazing every three holes or so, will help keep your mind and body sharp until your reach the clubhouse.