During a round of golf on a hot day, it’s natural for you to head to the beverage cart as it comes around and crack open a cold, sweet can of soda. You may think that it gives you instant relief and a boost, but it comes at a greater cost to your health. If you’re curious why you should switch to something like sparkling water over sugary soda when you play golf or do any exercise, read on.
1. You Can Get Dehydrated
You can easily sweat out 2.5 liters of water on a hot day when you play golf. If you reached for a soda, you’re most likely not taking the time to drink water. You have to know that sugary drinks like soda won’t hydrate you the same way water will. Also, it can actually cause you to get dehydrated quicker.
Most soda has caffeine in it, and this acts like a diuretic that makes you lose water faster than you originally would. Soda also tends to have higher levels of sodium in it, and having too much sodium in your body can make your body pull water from your cells, and this will dehydrate you further. If you get dehydrated, you can experience nasty side effects like blurry vision, headache, irritability, and fatigue that can negatively impact your game.
2. Your Blood Sugar Can Spike
Even if you don’t necessarily feel it, soda has a higher sugar content per can or glass. A single 12-ounce can of Coca Cola will give you 39 grams of sugar. In fact, the American Heart Association has a daily recommendation for sugar set at 36 grams for men and 24 grams for women. So, a single can of soda can make you go over the daily recommended sugar intake, and it can cause your blood sugar to spike and negatively impact your game.
If you’ve ever listened to golf pros when they talk about what they eat on the course when they play, you’ll notice that it’s protein, fat, and carb-based snacks because it’s a nice combination of micronutrients that gives you energy without that nasty sugar rush. When you crash from sugar, you end up with headaches and fatigue.
3. You Can Gain Weight Over Time
Did you know that both women and men who drink sugar-sweetened beverages on a frequent basis are much more likely to gain weight over time? While this typically won’t immediately impact your golf game, it can in a few years.
Your goal should be to enjoy playing golf for as long as you can, and this means paying attention to your health and committing to make healthy choices today. This can help you play more in the future. If you have an expanding waistline, it can throw off your swing. It’s hard enough to make it through 18 rounds playing well, so why would you make it harder?
4. Your Mood Can Suffer
Sugar can impact your mood in two ways when you get a lot at once. The first thing it does is release brain neurotransmitters like dopamine when you drink soda. The more you get at once, the more dopamine your brain will release, and the bigger your pleasurable feelings will be. Unfortunately, this high usually comes with a crash that can negatively impact your mood. You’ll feel tired, fatigued, and irritable.
5. You Can Develop Gout
Gout is a type of arthritis where your uric acid levels start to rise above normal levels. When your uric acid levels rise, the acid will form tiny crystals that can lodge in your joints. In particular, it attacks your big toes to cause extreme swelling, pain, and tenderness. The fructose in the high fructose corn syrup can lead to your uric acid levels going up. If you get gout in your toes, it’s going to be difficult to walk or swing.
6. You Can Develop Heart Disease or Diabetes
This is another point where it won’t necessarily impact your golf game today, but it can down the road. Since soda has such a very high sugar content, it can impact your liver. If you drink sugary drinks every day for six months, it can increase your liver’s fat deposits by 150%. This can trigger heart disease and diabetes. When it comes to drinking diet soda, it can stimulate sugar cravings that can make you overeat and gain weight.
Stay Active by Switching Sparking Water and Enjoy Your Golf Game Longer
If you need a bubbly drink that is much healthier with no sugar, switch to sparkling water. You can feel refreshed and ready to play for years to come without that nasty sugar crash.