The last thing you want on the course is to feel faint from dehydration. It is absolutely essential to stay hydrated before, during and after your game. The volume of blood pumped by the heart is reduced when you are dehydrated. This means less oxygen going to your muscles, which will make you tired faster. To avoid those heavy, fatigued muscles early in your game lookout for the signs of dehydration: dry mouth and thirst.
While you should always stay hydrated before you exercise it is important not to drink too many fluids. You should be comfortably drinking water throughout the day not chugging the whole bottle right before you hit the course. Too much fluid intake too fast can result in bloating and cramping which will surely put a damper on your game.
During the game you should drink about a cup of water every fifteen minutes. It is important to smaller amounts often rather than half of the bottle every hour or so. You don’t want to deprive your body of fluids during your workout and then drink a lot in a short period of time because that will result in the same cramping and bloating as would happen if you drank too much before you worked out. Sports drinks like Gatorade are important while you are active as well. These drinks provide electrolytes to give you that extra energy that you lose while sweating.
Hydration should not stop after you leave the course for the day. It is essential that you continue to keep hydrated for the rest of the day to make up for the fluids you have lost. Also, after exercising it is important to consume a little protein to help your muscles heal from the workout. You can get that protein from a protein drink, protein powder in your water, a protein bar or a protein-carbohydrate rich meal. Though you may not be hungry after your game a small healthy meal or snack of chicken paired with rice and vegetables could be the perfect way to heal your muscles and get back a little energy.
By Morgan Casper