Why Hydration is Important on the Golf Course
How many times have you played well at the beginning of your round, hung on through the middle holes, but end up playing poorly down the stretch?
Or even worst, have your best round of the year going only to bogey the last two or three holes?
You don’t have an explanation for why it happened. It just did.
But still, your foursome just calls you a choker…
Tell your foursome you didn’t choke!
One of the possible reasons is that you were dehydrated.
Say what, how does dehydration cause me to make bogeys?
Because, hydration is important to both the physical and mental state of your body.
Why Dehydration is Bad for Your Golf Game
Dehydration, even just a small percentage of your body weight, can cause chemical imbalances in your brain that impair your shot judgement.
You know what I’m talking about, instead of aiming for the safe side or the middle of the green, you go for the pin and short side yourself.
Dehydration can also change your swing mechanics so the perfect timing needed to square the clubface up just doesn’t happen.
Think about it.
It isn’t easy swinging a 43-inch club at 105 mph and returning the clubface back to the ball square at impact, especially when your body is fatigued.
Dehydration also leads to impatience, which can make you rush shots or putts.
It can put you in a bad mood, say if you are constantly waiting for the foursome in front of you to finish out. Doesn’t that get under your skin, even enough to make you lose concentration when you finally get to hit?
Even a small mental lapse like that affects your game.
That is why it is a good idea to drinking plenty of water before and while you are on the course.
Not Only Your Game But Life Too
Not only can dehydration have a large effect on the outcome of your game. But poor hydration can have an impact on your overall health too.
A 2% decrease of water by body weight can cause your brain to shrink slightly. This is enough to impair coordination, make you lose concentration, and slows your thinking processes.
Besides those important functions, even being slightly dehydrated can reduce your endurance, decrease muscle strength, slow your muscular response, it may cause muscle cramps.
Hydration is so important that Web MD has a series of pages on proper hydration with useful tips on how not to become dehydrated.
Why Water is Important for Your Body
Water is an important part of staying healthy and is probably even more important or as proper nutrition.
The cells in your body depend on water (either by itself or in your blood) to provide nutrients and other water-soluble minerals for proper function.
Water also removes waste from your cells, digestive system, and body.
Water is also needed for proper heat regulation, sweating is an important process for you to cool your body.
Below are some facts about how important water and hydration is to your body.
Percentage of water by weight in your body
The brain by water weight.
Water percent in blood.
Lungs by water weight percentage.
Dehydration is just an issue for the golf course, it is also prevalent in the workplace.
Think about the amount of coffee or tea you drink in the morning before work, during breaks, maybe another diuretic at lunch, some tea or soda, followed by an afternoon coffee or salty snack and your body is now dehydrated.
You now are mental and physically fatigued right at your desk, and most likely not performing at your best.
Drinking water throughout the day will probably improve your work performance.
- Cools the Body – sweating causes the body to lose heat.
- Builds muscle – water is an important building block of proteins and glycogen, the compounds that are used to created muscle.
- Reduces fluid retention – doesn’t make sense does it? Well if the body thinks it might be on the verge or in constant threat of being dehydrated it will hold on to water and save it for the most important needs, thus causing retention. Drinking water regularly throughout the day, every day, will eliminate this problem.
- Water helps with weight lose – by suppressing appetite and metabolize stored fat.
- Water reduces fatigue – it plays an important role in energy transformation within your body.
- Water helps reduce the chance of diseases – increased water consumption dilutes possible toxins and flushes the body of other viruses and bacteria that may colonize and cause sickness.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
How much water should you drink?
This is a tough question to answer.
Usually by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Therefore, it is best to drink some water fairly often each hour.
Especially when you have had coffee or some other diuretic, have been physically active, are under stress, ate a large meal, and of course when it is hot out.
Not only can warm weather dehydrate you, cold weather can too, the air is usually drier in the winter and you lose more water when breathing cold dry air.
Windy days can also cause more water loss from your body.
The general guideline is to drink 6- to 8-ounces of water every hour you are awake.
Hydration is Simple
Many of us spend a lot of time and effort to practice golf; we hit wedge after wedge to get our yardages dialed in, and we work hard in the gym to get into the best shape possible.
If we go to that much trouble to get better at golf, we should also bring a bottle or two of water on the course and drink it often during a round.
Hydration is simple if we think ahead or grab a bottle of water instead of a soda or beer.
If we stay hydrated throughout the round, we will stay strong, alert, and not be as fatigued at the end of the round.
As important as playing well on holes 16, 17 and 18 is, staying hydrated provides us with many health benefits that are even more important, like a longer life so we can play more golf!