5 Nutrition Tips for Hockey Players to Improve Their Game
In order to play the high-intensity sport of hockey, players need to have their bodies in optimal condition. This includes doing frequent hockey dryland training, sleeping adequate amounts, and maintaining a proper diet. By having proper nutrition, players can vastly improve their performance during both hockey training programs and games.
Failing to follow basic nutritional advice will cause a player to become sluggish during hockey dryland training drills, practices, try outs and games . To prevent this from happening, players need to be following these five nutrition tips.
Eating Before a Game
In order to properly prepare for a game, players need to eat food that is going to give them the energy to be able to make it through the entire game. Two food groups that will help with this are proteins and carbohydrates.
Protein helps to preserve a player’s lean muscle tissue while also reducing muscle fatigue after intensive physical performances. Carbohydrates help to give the player the energy that they need to make it through their shifts and allows them to recover faster.
Eat After a Game
It is important for players to eat again shortly after they finish a game. What they should be eating post-game is very similar to what they eat pre-game. It involves a lot of protein and carbohydrates to help the body recover and repair the fatigue put on the muscles.
How much they should eat depends on the level of energy that they used during the game. If they were one of the star players who was out of the ice more often than not, then they will need a big meal to recover. However, if they were riding the bench for most of the game, then a light snack will suffice.
Lower Fat and Protein Before the Game
Sometimes players do not have the time or foods avaialble to eat theor typicla meal before the game. This means that they need to find some quick food to eat before the game starts. As it gets closer and closer to game time, players should start scaling down on the amount of fat and protein that they consume. Otherwise, they could be dealing with cramps and stomach issues. So someone who eats only an hour before game time should consume only half as much fat and protein as someone who eats two hours before game time.
High Sugar vs. High Fibre
Food and drink with a lot of sugar in it is never a good idea before a game. Too much sugar can upset the stomach, negatively imapct perfoamnce and in come cases, lead to cramping. High fibre is a much better option for enhancing performance. Although, the player should be careful not to eat high fibre foods right before a game since they take longer to digest.
Water is the best option for maintaining hydration. Players need to make sure that they are drinking plenty of it before, during, and after games. If they lose more than two percent of their body weight in sweat without replenishing it, then their performance will become affected.
If you are interested in improving your hockey performance with one of our trainers, contact us here at NTC or give a session a try for free.