Stressed, Blessed, Coffee & Golf Obsessed
Coffee and golfers produce varying expectations. What you expect when you drink coffee before playing 18 holes and what happens is dependent upon your ancestors. It’s not unusual to stroll through the Haggin Oaks Complex. At the same time, observing early morning golfers bustling about with a coffee canteen in hand. Many professional and recreational golfers begin their game with a “Cup of Joe.” Proof of this is displayed in an article published in The National Library Of Medicine Journal. The report stated, “up to 90% of recreational and professional endurance athletes use caffeine supplements to improve their performance”. (click here to read) That would include golfers, with the average golf game being 4 hours and 30 minutes. Studies show that a certain amount of coffee can positively affect your golfing. However, there is one question that remains. How much is too much…if any?
Caffeine use is widespread in sports, with a strong evidence base demonstrating its ergogenic effect. Based on existing research, current guidelines recommend ingestion of 3–9 mg/kg approximately 60 min prior to exercise.Pickering C, Kiely J. Are the Current Guidelines on Caffeine Use in Sport Optimal for Everyone? Inter-individual Variation in Caffeine Ergogenicity, and a Move Towards Personalised Sports Nutrition. Sports Med. 2018 Jan;48(1):7-16. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0776-1. PMID: 28853006; PMCID: PMC5752738.
That’s up to four cups of coffee one hour before you play your first round, improving your golf game. Caffeine could increase your endurance, activate your muscles, boost adrenaline, and help your body use fat for energy while decreasing pain. You can become a more robust, faster, and more resilient golfer. That stop to Mackenzie’s Sports Bar & Grille for a Grande cup of coffee insight of teeing off may pay off.
Individuals with AA homozygotes (“fast metabolizers”) tend to produce more of this enzyme (cytochrome P450 1A2) and therefore metabolize caffeine more quickly. Conversely, C allele carriers (“slow metabolizers”) tend to have slower caffeine clearance.Pickering C, Kiely J. Are the Current Guidelines on Caffeine Use in Sport Optimal for Everyone? Inter-individual Variation in Caffeine Ergogenicity, and a Move Towards Personalised Sports Nutrition. Sports Med. 2018 Jan;48(1):7-16. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0776-1. PMID: 28853006; PMCID: PMC5752738.
While four cups of coffee a day may deliver optimal results for some golfers, it ultimately depends on each individual’s genetic predisposition. If you are a golfer with slow caffeine metabolism, you are more likely to experience a performance deficit. In the study, anxiety was noted as a potential side effect that increased in some athletes after consuming caffeine and frequent sleep disturbances. With golf being a highly strategic sport, anxiety paired with a lack of sleep could be detrimental to your ability to focus, one of the essential golf skills. Multitudes of researchers studying the side effects of caffeine reported that:
What Researchers Are Saying…
“if you do eat or drink too much caffeine, it can cause health problems, such as: restlessness and shakiness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, fast heart rate, dehydration, anxiety, dependency, so you need to take more of it to get the same results”.
MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2020 Jun 24]. Caffeine; [updated 2020 Jun 10; reviewed 2016 Aug 25; cited 2020 Jul 1]; [about 5 p.]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/heartattack.html
The Reality Of Coffee And Golf
As a golfer you have to decide for yourself if coffee is right for you based on a medical professional’s opinion, knowing your body, and doing a little research on your own. You may find that coffee supports your golf game or discover the culprit that’s throwing you off a bit. Either way you have options. Caffeine can potentially increase energy. However, there are other alternatives to caffeine for enhanced energy such as those described by Charlene Thomas R.D. author of These 11 Caffeine Alternatives Will Give You A Natural Energy Boost :
- Chicory root “coffee”
- B vitamins
- Peppermint tea
Again, be sure to research and consult with a medical professional about caffeine and any other energy booster that you are considering.
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