It's a searing hot, humid day and you just reached the turn drenched with sweat. Will a bottle of water hydrate you best, or should you go for the sports drink? Maybe the caffeine and sugar in that soda will give you a boost, or should you have a couple of beers to help keep loose?
What many golfers don't realize is that what, and how much, you drink are actually among the most important decisions you make on the golf course. Your choice can mean the difference between playing with energy, focus, and coordination, or can leave you suffering from fatigue, mood fluctuations and poor motor control. In extremely hot conditions, such as we experience regularly in Hong Kong, you can lose as much as two liters of water per hour. If those fluids are not replaced, the body becomes dehydrated, affecting virtually every system of your body. Your heart has to work harder, your muscles lose strength and flexibility, your brain function slows and you can experience cramping or dizziness, and even develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke. A loss of just 4 to 5% of one's body weight can cause exercise performance to decline by as much as 20-30%!
So what and how much should you drink to avoid duffed shots and missed putts due to dehydration?
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