Do you get tired playing golf in this heat? Do you lose your focus after a few holes? If so, it could be that you are not getting the proper nutrition and hydration prior and during your round of golf.

Golf is demanding both physically and mentally. Preparation for your round of golf starts hours before you tee off.

It is extremely important to watch what you eat and drink before a round of golf. I suggest that you eat several hours before you play. If you are playing in the morning, your breakfast should include whole wheat bread, eggs, oatmeal, fruits and yogurt.

Foods rich in protein such as eggs, meat, fish and fruits are your best bet. Stay away from sweet cereal, white bread and orange juice.

Hydration must occur throughout the day. You need half of your body weight in ounces per day. So, a 150-pound person needs 75 ounces of water per day, and 25% of that needs to be consumed in the morning before you play.

It is important that you drink pure water and not drinks such as lemonade, tea, juice and sports drinks. These can actually dehydrate the body because of all the sugars in the drink.

Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided because they can adversely affect your performance.

It is recommended that you drink water on every tee box. You need at least 6 ounces of water every half hour.

Here are some foods you should avoid while playing golf, and why:

• Hot dogs are high in sodium and saturated fat.

• Candy bars will increase your blood sugar.

• Chips and pretzels are enriched flour products full of empty calories.

• French fries are full of saturated fat and high in salt content.

Here are food ideas that will help you keep your energy levels constant:

• Bring your own food to the course.

• Peanut butter on whole wheat bread

• Whole wheat wrap with lean meat

• Fruits and vegetables – berries, grapes, apples, raisins, bananas, carrots

• Nuts – trail mix, sunflower seeds

How can you tell if what you eat is affecting your golf game? Do you shoot higher scores on the back nine, especially holes 14 on?

When you experience physical and-or mental fatigue you tend to swing the club harder and faster to make up for your lack of energy. This lack of timing in your swing combined with decreased focus causes your scores to rise.

To solve this problem, try eating smaller, more frequent nutritional snacks during play and remember to stay hydrated.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses.;