Hyperice leg sleeve things?
I've gotten asked quite a few times about how to BEST recover after the round.
Oftentimes these questions are paired with, "what do you think of [insert fancy new 'recovery' tool]?"
And here's the deal with almost all of them... They aren't really necessary.
You don't need the latest gadget to help promote recovery. If you have one of them, and you feel it helps you, great keep using it.
But don't feel like you need to spend hundreds on all of these recovery tools.
That being said, I do have THREE necessary ingredients to recovering after a round of golf, but FIRST...
The SINGULAR BEST WAY to recover after a round of golf is to:
Be Proactive and Prepare Your Body for the Sport
The better prepared you are, the less impactful the sport will be on your physical body.
In order to get prepared, you should be strength, speed, and power training multiple times a week.
You should also be walking and remaining active on a daily basis.
Now, to my 3 ingredients of post-round recovery...
The First Necessary Ingredient of Recovery, NUTRITION.
I'm not a nutrition expert, if you need additional assistance with nutrition reach out to a professional. These are just my general thoughts and recommendations.
Golfing 18 holes burns a lot of calories and places stress on the body in a unique way. Because of this, we need to refuel our bodies with the necessary nutrients and calories to repair damaged tissue.
This nutritional reload should include PROTEIN, and tons of it.
Ideally, we are taking in MORE THAN 30 grams of high quality protein in this post-round meal.
"High quality" protein meaning it contains essential amino acids such as leucine and is highly digestible.
Some great options include:
Lean meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
Furthermore, this post-round meal needs to include CARBOHYDRATES to reload glucose/glycogen storage that we may have just spent.
Be sure to choose higher quality carbohydrate sources like:
Starchy vegetables (potatoes, cauliflower, etc.)
Whole grain bread
Be sure to surround your protein and carb sources with a colorful array of vegetables and fruits.
This first step is probably the most important part of recovery - refueling, reloading your energy storage, and feeding your muscles the protein they need to recover and adapt.
Drop the massage gun, instead go grab a protein shake.
Drink fluids before your round, during your round, and after your round - for purposes of this article, I want to highlight the importance of post-round fluids.
After the round of golf, we should be consuming hydrating fluids - no, this does not mean beer.
Further, we should be mixing in electrolytes (ex: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium) with our fluid intake. For example, while drinking water post-round, mix in a Gatorade, sports drink, or liquid IV.
Muscular function requires proper hydration and electrolyte amounts. With golf often played in the heat of summer, lack of hydration can be a leading cause of poor performance, fatigue, or worse, injury.
It also plays a critical role in the recovery process.
Drop the foam roller, pick up a bottle of water.
Kick those legs up, turn on the golf tournament and relax.
One of the most beautiful and inspiring parts of the human body is its ability to ADAPT to stress.
You just stressed it on the golf course.
Time to sit back and allow the recovery process to occur.
Make sure you get enough, high quality sleep (7+ hours).
THE DAY AFTER
The morning after a round of golf, continuing to prioritize the first two ingredients are important (nutrition and hydration). However, instead of totally relaxing I recommend some light physical activity, especially if you are feeling stiff or sore.
Go for a walk.
Hit the gym for a light workout.
Do some yoga.
Whatever you enjoy doing that will get your body moving!
"But, Carter, I bought this 400 dollar massage gun and it really helps me."
Massage guns. Foam rolls. Stretching. Cold therapy. Icy-Hot.
These are all things you can mix in to your post-round recovery routine IF you feel that they benefit you.
However, none of them are really necessary.
All recovery tools and techniques do the same thing... they lead to a recovered body.
But here's the thing, it's more-than-likely not the tool, it's simply your body adapting and recovering from the stress.
If you think these fancy tools help you feel better for your next round, great keep using them!
If you hate foam rolling and think it's the most painful thing in the world, stop doing it.
Instead of picking up the next shiny recovery tool, I recommend dialing in the three ingredients I discussed above...
THE BIG THREE INGREDIANTS YOU NEED TO BOOST RECOVERY POST ROUND:
Recovery is incredibly important, however in today's world where new and shiny toys are marketed left and right, we need to get back to the basics.
Recovery isn't about massage guns, Hyperice leg sleeves, or foam rolling the pain away.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, it's about being physically prepared for the sport and activities that you pursue.
Secondly, it's about doing the simple steps incredibly well - nutrition, hydration, and sleep.
Refuel. Rehydrate. Relax.
And join the SCRATCH Crew to help prepare your body for your next round!
Founder and Head Coach - SCRATCHGolfTraining.com
Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.
Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.
Become a SCRATCH Athlete today, and start training like the ATHLETE you are!