Does caffeine intake benefit your golf?

This week’s blog post is going down the route of nutrition and specifically if caffeine benefits golf performance or not.

Having looked into a few research studies in the area the answer is yes, it can!

The body of research available on golf and caffeine all says that taken in moderate quantity that “caffeine enhances endurance and provides a small but worthwhile enhancement over a range of exercise protocols. Whether a short-duration, high-intensity event, or prolonged high intensity or endurance events, there is a clear benefit” (Australian Journal of Sport Fact Sheet, 2007).

I personally found this quite surprising as I assumed that the downsides of caffeine would impair performance more than the benefits but there is some caution that you should take…

At higher levels of caffeine intake – more than 150mg (a cup of coffee has between 40-110mg) you will see some of the following things happen:

  • increased heart rate
  • impaired fine motor control
  • over arousal
  • poor sleep

All of these things will clearly have negative impacts on a golfer, particularly the more delicate skills and controlling your emotions and calmness under pressure.

You should also always make sure that you hydrate correctly with water alongside caffeine intake to avoid any effects of dehydration in the longer term (end of a round of golf for example).

You may have heard about Phil Mickelson and Dave Phillips creating their own coffee brand called Coffee for Wellness which has been developed for sports performance. It contains a number of other ingredients from himalayan rock salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. All of which help to promote all body health and better cognitive function whichj is clearly very important in golf.

I wonder if we’ll see more players using this approach in years to come?