The best way to fuel up during a round? Here’s what to eat and drink

shane lowryeats a sandwich on the course

What's the smartest way to eat and drink on the golf course? Here's what you should do to optimize your performance during your round.


A round of golf is not a short engagement. When playing 18 holes, it can take upwards of four hours to get around the course. And while you’re out there chasing birdies, you burn through lots of calories.

To play your best, you’ve got to keep your body fueled up throughout the round. Just like in any other sport, high performance requires proper nutrition. But unlike other sports, sometimes you’ve got to keep yourself fed during competition.

For lots of weekend warriors, their on-course diet consists of a hot dog and soda (or beer) at the turn. And while this might quench your appetite, it’s not necessarily the best combo if you want to perform your best.

For more insight on how to fuel up for optimal performance during the round, we asked XXIO ambassador Nathalie Sheehan to help us out.

What should I eat?

When you get to the halfway house and have an empty stomach, it might be tempting to grab some candy or a hot dog. But if you want to perform at a high level, you should opt for something a little healthier.

“I would definitely recommend something with some protein,” Sheehan says. “Maybe a wrap? Something with some meat, some cheese, a little bit of protein.”

Other good options are fruit and nuts, both of which can help you stay fueled up as you play. And if you do opt for the occasional dog at the turn — don’t sweat it. Just try to stay away from the sweets that have tons of sugar.

What should I drink?

If you’re anything like me, you like to enjoy a nice adult beverage from time to time during the round. This can make the round a bit more enjoyable, but it’s not necessarily the best option for peak performance.

“You’re going to have a big crash when you do that,” Sheehan says. “I would recommend throwing some electrolytes in your golf bag. Dump them in some water. Those are going to be better than even a Gatorade or something like that.”

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not eating or drinking the healthiest options when you’re playing. As long as you’re feeding yourself something while you play, it’s better than nothing. But if you want to play your best, it’s important to be conscientious of what you’re putting in your body. Following Sheehan’s advice is a great place to start.

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Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at