During your last round of golf, what did you eat? A candy bar? A hot dog? We get that it can be annoying to eat healthy, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that candy isn't doing your body any favors while you’re out walking 18 holes, being a hero, trying to play your best. For a snack to actually be healthy and help you perform better, Ariane Hundt, a Clinical Nutritionist and Personal Trainer at Golf and Body in New York City, says it has to keep your energy up and help you stay focused.
“Most conventional snacks may be labeled healthy, but are far from it because they contain lots of sugar, refined and processed ingredients, stabilizers and artificial sweeteners,” Hundt says. “When out on the course, sugar will crash you within a short period of consumption, so stick with the low-carb, higher-protein options to keep your energy up for hours.”
We get that you’re out on the course to have a good time, and we’re not going to shun you for eating a Snickers at the turn. We’re just saying there are other, healthier, options for snacks on the course. We asked Hundt to tell us what she thinks would be the seven best snacks for the golf course. Here’s her list:
Hard-boiled Eggs:Eggs are a high-protein snack. “The protein and fat will fill you up, while ensuring your blood sugar stays balanced,” Hundt says. “That directly translates into lasting energy and focus.” It’s a lot easier to play golf when your blood sugar is balanced instead of riding the highs and lows that come with candy consumption.
Handful of Unsalted Nuts:“Almonds, Macademia and Brazil nuts are among the top golf-course snacks because the protein paired with fat fill you up while providing crucial minerals,” Hundt says. Pro tip: Go for the salted version of these nuts if it’s hot and you’re sweating a lot; it helps your body with fluid retention.
Nutrition Drink:A lot of golf courses carry sports drinks (think, Gatorade or Powerade), but a lot fewer sell nutrition drinks. Hundt suggests you carry a protein shake made with 30-40g of protein in water or unsweetened almond milk. She likes products from Orgain Vanilla Bean and Jay Robb. “They’re great clean brands with a good taste profile,” Hundt says.
Protein Bars:“Not all bars are created equal, as most are loaded with artificial ingredients and excess carbs,” Hundt says. Instead, she recommends you try Epic bars (beef jerky flavored), Oatmega bars, NoCow bars or Beef Jerky (low sugar). “These are ideal because they contain clean ingredients, no artificial ingredients and are balancing protein with carbs.” Pro tip: “Stay away from any bar that contains Splenda, more than 10g of sugar or more than 40g of carbs,” Hundt says. “They'll crash you instead of energizing you.”
Nut Butters:These are higher on fat and protein – and they have the benefit of coming in little snack packets, so they’re easy to store in your golf bag. Hundt recommends trying Justin’s Nut Butters.
Turkey Roll-ups:Put together a zip-lock bag of turkey or ham slices (ideally go organic) and snack on them during the round. Or, Hundt says you can layer a few slices on a good piece of whole grain bread.
Veggies:Grab another zip-lock bag and fill it with veggies like baby carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes or bell peppers. They’re full of fiber, which Hundt says will fill you up and keep you hydrated and focused.