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The Ugly Truth About Golf Sports Drinks and Bars

by Coach Stephen on

golf sport drinks and bars

As a general rule, avoid drinking fluorescent things...

You’ve been sold a bill of goods when it comes to 99% of the “Sports Drinks” and “Energy Bars” on the market today.

Truth be told, most of them have about the same nutrient values (and detrimental health side effects) as sodas and candy bars.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise, as many of these “sports products” are produced by the exact same companies that sell the sugary bars and syrup and chemical-laden beverages.

Let’s take a look at the labels of two of the most popular sports drinks, Gatorade and Powerade:

So there are just a few items of concern on these labels:

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Brominated Vegetable Oil

Yellow 5

Red 40

Blue 1

Personally, I wouldn’t feed these to my worst enemy (unless my plan was to poison them for a long slow death). ☺

These types of ingredients are unhealthy for people of any age, and even more so for juniors during their developmental stages.

But there is a healthy and simple alternative… water with a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt (NOT table salt).

Another popular option is to use freshly squeezed orange juice, water it down to 50%, and then add just a pinch of baking soda (to reduce the acidity level).

golf sports drinks

Fresh-squeezed, please

The “Energy Bars” on the market today don’t fare much better, as most contain the same kinds of artificial ingredients and high glycemic sugars as the drinks.

What qualities should you look for if you really need to have the convenience of a bar for on the course or in emergency situations ?

100% Natural, Organic Ingredients: In our opinion, the quality of the nutrients is the most important aspect of nutrition. That means to avoid the synthetic and artificial fillers and sweeteners that most companies use (and they use them because they are CHEAP, not because they are healthy).

High quality protein: Not all protein sources are as efficiently utilized by the body. There are several measurements that seek to describe protein quality. Our personal favorite is organic rice protein, as it is gluten-free, and has a relative hypoallergenic profile. We have found that most juniors notice an increase in ability to focus (on the course and in the classroom) when gluten and other common allergens are reduced in their diet.

High quality fast from sources such as nuts and seeds. High quality fat is important for at least two reasons:

• Fat helps stabilize blood sugar: Nuts, when consumed with a meal or snack, significantly reduce the rate at which glucose from carbs enters the bloodstream.

This means better blood sugar balance and control. Nuts are comprised predominantly of monounsaturated fats and are a rich source of phytosterols, magnesium and folic acid.

• Fat helps with satiety: A meal or snack with a balanced amount of fat (with respect to carbs and protein) will help increase feelings of fullness and satiety.

Quality Sugars: We discourage our juniors from bars that utilize alcohol sugars, and instead prefer the use of low glycemic sweeteners, such as Agave nectar.

Is there actually a company that makes bars that fit all of these criteria?


golf sports bar

Click to visit website

So be weary of the golf sports drinks and bars on the market these days.

Remember, unprocessed whole food is always better.

When you need to choose between processed food choices, go for the option with the least ingredients and the ones you can pronounce.

Fuel your body and mind, and let’s get after Old Man Par!

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Allen Shoope January 24, 2012 at

Stephen-what about whole wheat or a grain bread with peanut butter and banana. Is that a good nine whole snack or not?

Coach Stephen January 24, 2012 at

Hey Allen – thanks for the great question. I will be doing an in-depth look at gluten (wheat) in an upcoming blog post. But generally, I advise my golfers to eat food that is minimally processed, so we usually stay away from breads. Although I will not jump on the “gluten is the devil bandwagon” that is so popular, most of my clients do feel better when they keep bread to a minimum. Try a three week test of no gluten and then see how you feel during that time, and when you add it back into your diet. Then you can make the decision. So in closing, I would personally go with the nut butter (try almond or cashew for a change from the peanuts) and the banana. That will give you a nice mix of protein, carb and fat, and keep your blood sugar relatively stable.

Dan Lochlan February 26, 2012 at

I will try to refrain from drinking anything fluorescent! I had no idea these sports drinks were so bad. I do tend to stick with unprocessed whole foods, but it’s really hard to do sometimes.

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