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Part Two of Guest Blog with Daniel Davey

Part two of our latest guest blog with Daniel Davey of Leinster Rugby and Dublin GAA.

RC :
Strength and conditioning has became more common in modern times with golfers. What do you advise for post gym replenishment?

DD :
A simple rule of thumb is that when you train intensely you must recover optimally to get the most from each training session. Recovery is something that is regularly discussed by athletes, coaches and sports science support but cannot be underestimated as it is during the recovery phase that athletes adapt, grow and become stronger. This is particularly important for young athletes aiming to gain lean mass during a muscle growth phase (hypertrophy). Always have a recovery meal after your gym session that includes some carbohydrate and a good source of protein. . A yogurt with a banana is a beneficial first phase recovery meal option and a simple baked potato with beans and a chicken breast is a good option for second phase recovery.

RC:
If you had to choose 3 essential supplements that every golfer should take, providing they have optimised their nutrition through their diet, what would you recommend and why?

DD:
The 3 supplements I would advise are:

1. Vitamin D during the winter months because there is significant evidence to suggest that people in the northern hemisphere are at risk of vitamin D deficiency during the winter months. You can read all about the importance of vitamin D here.
2. Electrolyte tablets to add to your water during a round for superior hydration and thus performance
3. Although certainly not essential, whey protein is a supplement that is worth considering for golfers who are training in the gym and playing regularly. Protein is an important nutrient for recovery that is often neglected by athletes and maybe not considered by golfers because of the association of whey protein and team based or strength focused sports. It is also convenient and practical for making a snack when travelling as outlined above.

RC:
Like most serious sportspersons, Golfers are always looking for the competitive edge whether its new clubs or a change of technique. Is there anything nutrition wise that you see out there that is currently trending that you are a big fan of and would recommend?

DD:
Tart cherry juice is something that may be beneficial for golfers who want to improve the rate of the recovery after intense rounds or training. Not only is there evidence to suggest cherry juice can support the rate of recovery after exercise by helping to reduce inflammation but there is also suggested benefits for improvements in the onset of sleep and sleep quality. This could be particularly useful for golfers who are moving between time zones and struggle with getting adequate sleep in new environments. Remember, if you are going to take this that it is concentrated tart cherry juice rather than your typical cherry fruit juice!

RC:
Caffeine is well known to have some performance benefits for other sports but many top golfers such as Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington try to avoid any caffeine during tournament weeks citing feelings of jumpiness over short game shots and putting. But others have no such issues. It’s an interesting topic. What is your views on this?

DD:
There is a significant body of evidence to show that caffeine can improve high intensity exercise performance through reducing the perception of fatigue and enhancing focus. However, even though caffeine can improve performance in high intensity exercise many athletes do not use it due to being over-stimulated to the point that they feel “jittery”. For golfers, like most athletes, the use of caffeine must be approached with caution as the benefits in perceived energy can easily be undermined by poor motor control or over stimulation. This can very easily lead to mistakes with your long game or particularly the short game where tempo is critical. It is only through use in practice rounds and warm-up tournaments that golfers can ascertain if caffeine is something that is beneficial for them. Some golfers may find it beneficial to have 1-2 coffees in the lead up to a round for better focus and to reduce the feelings of fatigue but practicing this strategy in non-competitive rounds cannot be over emphasised. It is worth adding that even if using caffeine in practice rounds is perceived to be beneficial, this may not work well in competition due to higher rates of stress hormones and adrenaline. For composed, experienced golfers or for those with a high caffeine tolerance, caffeine intake may offer a performance edge. However, when thinking of using any supplement, it is important to consider if the fundamentals in nutrition (which have the greatest potential impact) have being thoroughly considered and implemented.

RC:
Daniel, Many thanks for taking the time in partaking in the guest blog series. Some great information in there that is sure to help a lot of people.

DD.
My pleasure!

You can find Daniel and find more articles and recipes ideas here:
Web: http://www.foodflicker.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Foodflicker/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodFlicker
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Q + A : Episode 4 of the Guest Blog with Daniel Davey Leinster and Dublin Nutritionist

The latest blog post in our guest series with experts in their respective field is Daniel Davey.
Daniel is co-founder of FoodFlicker and a performance nutritionist currently working in professional rugby with Leinster Rugby and elite gaelic football with the Dublin football team.

Robbie Cannon

Daniel, First of all many thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for followers of the blog series! The majority of questions i get from clients regarding nutrition for golf is what to eat on the golf course. I always tell them that the most important part of nutrition for golf is the meal they have leading up to before they go warm up and play. Could you give us some information on whats the best nutrition to have before you go play and how soon should you have it before you are on the first tee. Most golfers will have at least a half hour practice session prior to tee off. Also i get a lot of nutrition queries regarding a players tee off time(early/late etc.) Should they have a big breakfast before they go play? Should they have a big lunch before the afternoon round?

Daniel Davey

When it comes to the benefits of nutrition what really matters is your long-term daily habits and how you are meeting your specific health and performance nutrition needs over time. Closer to your practice round or competition, nutrition is something that must be considered in phases. There is the preparation phase, the performance phase and the recovery phase after you play the round. The preparation phase will mainly focus on the 24-36 hour period before the round where there is a moderate increase in energy intake and a close monitoring of hydration by following the weight, thirst, urine colour (WTU index). The performance phase will include the foods / fluids you eat on course during competition to maintain energy levels and hydration, which, we will deal with later.

Golf is different to most other sports due to the length of a round and the high demands for intense focus and concentration, in short intervals over a 4-5 hour period. In the preparation phase it is hugely important to eat a meal that is slow digesting, avoids any stomach distress and maintains energy levels over a 2-3 hour time frame. Unlike high intensity team sports where athletes must eat a large meal at least 3-4 hours in advance of kick-off, golfers can have a large meal within 2 hours of tee time without suffering stomach upset in the onset of beginning the round.

The foods that people eat are individual to them, some people may like a warm meal such as cooked porridge with banana and milk, eggs and brown toast, or sweet potato and chicken while others may prefer a quinoa chicken salad or brown bread sandwiches with soup. Each of those meals will provide the body with a slow release of energy while avoiding any stomach upset and dips in energy throughout the performance. If you have an early morning round it’s important to have something pre-prepared for breakfast the night before. Overnight oats, a breakfast smoothie or a Bircher muesli are good options as they are slow digesting and have a decent source of protein.

RC

What foods should the golfer be eating on the course and how often. Depending on how long they are out there a golfer can burn well over a thousand calories over a four to five hour round.

DD

The guidelines for on course nutrition are to eat something every 3-4 holes that is easy to digest, low in fibre and palatable. Suitable foods include dried fruit, nuts, seeds, homemade granola bars, fruit, homemade protein energy bars. Smaller amounts of practical non-sticky dry foods will work best as they are easy to store and won’t go soggy in your golf bag. I generally advise the golfers I work with to make their own homemade snacks, firstly because they are in control of what they are eating and also they are generally higher quality and more nutritious than off-shelf products. The routine of making homemade snacks is also good mental preparation for athletes as it helps them get into a focused mind-set for competition.

RC

Even though its March and still pretty much winter here in Ireland most golfers won’t drink enough water on the course. Also some of our readers and professionals will be playing in Super Hot conditions over the coming months. What are your hydration recommendations for golfers who are on the golf course for 4-5 hours in cool and hot conditions.

DD

Hydration is one of the areas I believe could offer the greatest benefits to golfer’s performance. There are a number of approaches a golfer can take to their hydration depending on conditions and if it’s a practice round or tournament. Water is usually fine for a practice round if consumed in sufficient amounts and if the conditions are temperate. However, if it’s warm or if you are playing a 2-4 day competition then an electrolyte drink is advisable. Using hydration (electrolyte) tablets with water is one practical way of creating your own electrolyte drink. Fluid intake in the heat must be significantly increased compared to mild or cold conditions. Recommendations will vary depending on body size and sweat rates but aim to consume 200 -300 mL of an electrolyte solution every 15 minutes in the heat. If you are sweating profusely then fluid intake may need to be even higher. If you would like to read more on the importance of hydration and hydration strategies for performance click

RC

What are your best nutritional tips for helping the golfer recover after a round. Also on another note here in Ireland our amateur championships and scratch cups have 36 holes in one day so players are required to fuel up between rounds and sometimes very quickly! Any tips to help a player fuel up fast while stay alert and avoid an energy slump at the start of their second round.

DD

The type of food and the timing of your recovery meal are the main considerations when it comes to rapid recovery after an intense round of golf. The primary focus is rehydration and replenishing depleted energy levels with a suitable slow digesting and balanced carbohydrate, protein and fat meal. In the first phase of recovery something like a fruit smoothie is a good option while a nutritious meal like salmon, potato and roast vegetables is good for the second phase of recovery. That will help the body and mind to heal and regenerate after a long intense round.

RC

A lot of golfers will have some early tee times this coming season and unless you are on the PGA Tour a hot breakfast at away events can be hard to get! What would you recommend for golfers to purchase the night before so they can have some breakfast at 5.30am before their 7am tee time?

DD

Oats, nuts, seeds, yogurt and whey protein are all very easy to carry when travelling and can make up the basis of a nutritious breakfast or snack. All you need to buy on the road is fresh fruit and maybe some fresh milk which will make up a breakfast smoothie or an overnight protein oats. Hydration before an early round is also a vital area for consideration as you are more likely to begin the round dehydrated if you haven’t consumed sufficient fluids with breakfast

Keep an eye out for Part Two which will be posted in a few days.

You can find Daniel and find more articles and recipes ideas here:
Web: http://www.foodflicker.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Foodflicker/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoodFlicker
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Cannon Performance