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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Thanksgiving's morning after, and the truth about carbs

Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. He gives you a health and fitness tip or an exercise or stretch to get your body warmed up for the weekend. This week, as you recover from your Thanksgiving eating overload, he tells you how all carbohydrates are not created equal, and which ones might be better for your golf game. Look for Saturday Morning Tip tomorrow, have a great Thanksgiving weekend, and remember to follow me on Twitter: @RogerSchiffman

Roger Schiffman
Managing Editor
Golf Digest


Here's Ron: Carbohydrates have somehow become a bad word in nutrition. People often associate them with weight gain, Type II diabetes and, generally speaking, poor eating habits. But what many people don't understand is that not all carbohydrates are alike. Think of it this way. Is a piece of lean, wild salmon the same quality of protein as a hot dog? Of course not. So then understand that there are good carbs and there are bad carbs, and if you're playing golf, knowing the difference can not only improve your health, but it can also lower your scores.
 
Here's an example of how carbohydrates can impact your game: Player A is playing a morning match against Player B. Both ate in the clubhouse dining room before the match and had a sensible breakfast that included protein, carbohydrates, some fat and fiber. But as they make the turn, both are feeling a little hungry. Player A pulls an apple out of his bag and munches on that. Player B gets a granola bar from the snack shop. Now, both food items are high in carbohydrates so the snack choices should have little impact on the match, right? Answer: Maybe. Player B will likely suffer from a "sugar crash" somewhere on the back nine and his energy level and concentration might deteriorate. Perhaps it's on the last hole when he needs to make a crucial five-footer to win the match. Player A will likely feel full much longer and demonstrate the same energy and concentration levels he had on the front nine.
 
If you want to know why, click on the link here and read about carbs in Golf Digest's December issue (with Webb Simpson on the cover). Considering the fact that you're probably reading this while suffering from a Thanksgiving hangover, the information should be useful as you start your new eating plan.

Ron Kaspriske
Fitness Editor
Golf Digest
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