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Hydration for golfers is an often overlooked component of nutrition. This is not ideal as it is the most efficient and easiest way for an athlete to positively manipulate their diet. At an elite level, the difference between winning and losing is often tiny. This is very apparent in golf when the difference between winning or losing in a 4 day tournament can come down to one or two strokes. One simple mistake can make all the difference. This mistake could be caused by a dehydrated athlete.


Why is Hydration so Important?

The average round of golf takes between 3 and 4 hours. Research has shown that being dehydrated by as little as 2% can impair performance. In golf this dehydration has been shown to impair swinging movements and affect decision making. It has also been shown that golfers lose an average of 1.2kg body weight per round. This weight lost is nearly all sweat loss. Hydration is especially important when golfing in warmer weather. Next time you go for a round, weigh yourself before and after your round to see the difference.



This is very important and often overlooked. Pre-hydration isn’t just the few hours before your round. Think of this as your 24/7 hydration. You should aim to drink 3-4 litres of water every day. One litre for every 25kg you weigh per day is a good start. Your urine should be clear to a pale yellow on a daily basis. If it is not you need to drink more water.


Competition Day

Up to two hours before the start of an exercise approximately 500 ml of water should be consumed. Drink another 250 ml 30 minutes before, then another 250 ml 15 minutes before the start time. During This will vary from person to person but a good general guideline 100ml of water every 15 minutes. An electrolyte replacing product, such as a dioralyte sachet, is recommended for extremely hot environments when there is excessive sweat loss.



Rehydrating is very important post competition. You need to consume 1.5 litres of water for every kilogram of bodyweight lost during exercise. Improving your hydration should be a quick and easy nutrition fix that will help to improve your performance and hopefully knock a few strokes off your score.


Alan Kenny completed his honours undergraduate degree in exercise & health studies. Alan then pursued an MSc in Exercise Nutrition Science from the University of Chester which he completed in 2012. Alan is also a certified strength & conditioning specialist (NSCA). Alan has experience working with both sedentary and athletic populations. He most recently worked for Athletes Performance in the USA with high profile athletes in the NFL and MLB. Alan has previous experience working with numerous GAA teams and individual athletes. He is currently providing nutrition support for the 2013 Ireland international rules team. Alan believes in promoting lifelong health by implementing simple nutritional changes. Alan has a special interest in performance nutrition and recovery.


Email: alankenny138@hotmail.com

Twitter: @alankenny138

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