Can coffee give your golf performance an edge? Gareth Shaw, PGA Professional, BSc Sport and Exercise Science, and MSc Applied Sports Psychology expert knows the answer...
I have been a coffee convert for approximately 10 years, but something I have only done recently is drank coffee as I play. This recently happened back in the winter months when a friend brought me a coffee, and I really did feel it improved my golf performance.
So that made me go away and think what research is out there to back up my theory. Research has shown that the benefits of coffee intake are both mental and physical. Research and empirical evidence point to a reduction in perceived exertion (less feelings of fatigue late in the round), as well as mental acuity, reaction time and visual-spatial reasoning (as in course management decisions).
The typical golfer’s performance drops during 18 holes of golf, research on the amateur game indicates that somewhere between the 12th and 15th, shots are lost due to fatigue and loss of concentration. A coffee — iced or hot — an hour before the game (and maybe at the turn) should produce a more alert and focused back nine. Research also claims that a coffee can help manage pain and improve circulation, so further fuelling our physical capacity during the round.
The bottom line is it all depends on your individual makeup, moderate doses of caffeine before a round can prove to be beneficial to your golf performance. But pay close attention to how you feel and play on caffeine and without it, also beware of any other stimulus or medication you are consuming.
Along with your coffee intake it is recommended that you take on food during consumption to further benefit your golf performance. The best foods are items such as nuts, fibre, oats and carbohydrates.
Over the past 18 months Professional Golfer has promoted the effects of coffee on golf performance, Mickelson states; “Don’t let your coffee be a guilty pleasure; let it be the foundation for your health and wellness.”
Within Mickelson’s health and wellness programme his coffee is blended with other nutrients such as; cinnamon and Manuka honey.
The research that is out there is still in its infancy, but for me I would recommend you ultimately look at what you consume on the golf course and if coffee can support that great! But as the data says it is all about the individual person and their traits. The fact is that you need to intake nutrients on the golf course to increase and maintain performance the days of a energy drink and a chocolate bar are long gone, if you what to keep your performance at a high level!
If you want to follow Gareth, check out his social... Instagram, Twitter. And if golf isn't your thing, remember the coffee benefits sports performance in many different activities - from cross-fit to swimming.