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PowerFuel™ Nutrition for Hockey Players
Hockey season is back on track, but before you go out to play – have you done your homework to make sure that your body is power-fueled? Skating and playing hard require lots of energy and enough fluids to keep you in the game. Carbohydrate-rich foods are your best bet to fueling your body. To get the most out of your performance, here are some sport nutrition tips to ensure that you are power-fueled and well hydrated before and after hockey practices and games.
1) Choose carbohydrate-rich foods as your best energy fuel. The following foods are chock full of carbohydrates:
2) Be sure to include foods that add protein. The following foods pack a protein punch when they accompany your carbohydrate-rich foods:
How much you will need to eat and drink before and after hockey practice and games will depend upon your age, weight, height, gender, the intensity of your practice session or game and the time you spend exercising.
Typical guidelines to power-fuel your body BEFORE hockey practices or games:
Larger meals should be consumed 3-4 hours before hockey practices or games to ensure that the food that you eat is digested and you are ready to perform. Sometimes you may not have a lot of time to eat a meal so eat a large snack 1-2 hours before your workout to get the energy that you need. For practices lasting more then 60 minutes, a small snack 15-30 minutes beforehand is a good idea to ensure that you are topped up and ready to go! Use the examples below to help you plan your own pre-workout nutrition program.
Hockey players (like all other athletes) need to ensure they are drinking enough fluids during their exercise. Water is the number one choice but if you are looking for some extra energy have some sliced oranges with water. Sport drinks have just enough energy to keep you going on the ice and they also have added electrolytes (e.g. sodium and potassium). Adding sport drink crystals to your water bottle helps promote drinking and adds flavor.
Typical guidelines to PowerFuel™ your body AFTER activity:
It is important to remember that your body needs to be refueled after activity to help your muscles recover and repair. Eat a snack or small meal rich in carbohydrates within an hour or two of finishing your practice or game. Here are some ideas to get you refueled.
To ensure you are practicing PowerFuel™
nutrition, keep some of these (non-perishable) food and fluid items
in your sport bag, gym locker, school back pack, in the car or make
your own survival nutrition kit to carry with you.
Every athlete is different, so experiment to find what foods and
fluids work best for you. Remember that you need to practice sport
nutrition to be successful, just like practicing for your next game.