golf medicine

Eat Right, Supercharge Your Score

// September 22, 2017

Despite all the amazing medical advances on the planet, optimal health still begins with how we fuel our body.  I am talking about what we eat and what we drink. As part of supercharged health for my pro golfers, their choice of fuel is an essential component…..a small tweak in their fuel could be the difference between first and second place.

That’s why I am especially obsessed with choosing the right food and drink for my golfers. I actually monitor their vitals on the course and I test their blood and urine to customize a fueling system.

Our knowledge about nutrition is constantly changing. You’ve no doubt seen some of this yourself.  One study says a certain food is good for you. A few months later, another study says it’s harmful. What should you believe? While it is never wise to eliminate an entire food group, a couple things are emerging as truths:

  1. A low-carb diet has many health benefits, especially for heart health and blood sugar regulation.
  2. Fats are not the enemy. Even saturated fats. This has been shown in numerous studies, most recently in results of a 12-month study of nearly 600 healthy participants. Researchers found that while high carb diets caused an uptick in heart risk indicators, fat didn’t move the needle at all. This is especially revealing since most of the study participants routinely consumed palm oil, which is 50% saturated fat. This made me happy to see, since palm oil is the most commonly used cooking oil in my native country of Malaysia, where it is sustainably produced.  

The good news for you is that I’ve taken everything I know as a doctor and what I’ve learned from testing my golfers and created a simple hydration and snack system that will supercharge you on the course and sink your score.  For my hydration system see my blog Win Big with Water.  Today we are talking snacks…


When it comes to picking your snacks, it’s all about blood sugar.  Why?  Because major blood sugar spikes make you crash.   The trick is to eat foods that pump you full of energy and keep it going for the entire game.

Here they are:

Number One:  Get Nutty

I love nuts!  A mix of almonds, walnuts and cashew nuts are my first choice golf course snack. Their fat and protein provide you with a constant slow release of energy and the vitamin B-12 provides a quick pick me up.

Now here’s my insider’s tip. Add a half-cup of raisins or cranberries. They provide tiny bursts of power in your blood stream without causing major spikes.

But folks … before you go on a nut-eating rampage, remember that nuts are high in calories.  Try this simple portion control solution – just measure a half a cup in individual snack size plastic baggies.  That way you get the fuel you need and the portion is predetermined.  No binge eating here!

Number two:  Shake it up

I love a good meal replacement shake because nutrients in a liquid form absorb quickly into the body.  You get and stay fired up without spending energy on digestion.  And what does that do?  It leaves more energy for your game!

There are also bonus benefits to shakes.  They contain multivitamins, branched chained amino amino acids and digestive enzymes benefit your overall health.  And, adding water to the shake allows you to easily up your water intake.

However, not all shakes are created equal and I want you to only drink the best.  First, check for flavor.  If you don’t like it, you won’t drink it.

Second, make sure the shake meets my label litmus test.

  • You want at least 20g of protein, less than 10g of fat and less than 30g of carbs.
  • Sugar should be less than 8g. But beware, sugar can also be listed as sugar alcohol.
  • Avoid shakes with more than 5 chemical names that you can’t pronounce.
  • Avoid soy because of the health risks related to unfermented soy.
  • It’s best to stick with shakes that have the USDA certified organic stamp.

Number Three:  A Bar to Hit Far

Bars are number three on my list of ways to fuel up.  Many folks like them because they are the easiest and sometimes, that’s just what the doctor ordered.  Simply follow the nutritional recommendations I just gave you for shakes and you will be set.

And – always drink water with your bar – if you don’t you will be bloated!

Starting today, make the commitment to snack like a pro  and watch it supercharge your scorecard.  Once you see the results, I know you will want to tell your partners and share this blog with your friends.  Happy snacking!