A great performance requires more than practice and fitness. Really, practice and fitness do nothing if you don’t fuel your body properly. To get the most out of any on-ice performance, your nutrition is key and should be focused on just as much as you practice. Here are some tips on how to properly fuel your body for hockey.
For everyone who tries to avoid carbs for weight loss, take a break from that approach on game days. Hockey players need carbs to sustain their energy throughout the game. However, the timing of ingesting carbs is key. Make sure to have that lovely carb filled plate 2 to 4 hours before you hit the ice. This gives your body time to digest properly so you can skate like Connor McDavid out there. Don’t forget to hydrate throughout the day. You should drink roughly half your body weight in ounces before you step out onto the ice.
During the game:
Since you have given yourself lots of time to digest your food, it is normal to feel a little hungry around game-time. Grab a piece of fruit or a granola bar to get you through the game as well as give you a burst of energy. Once again don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! Sports drink is also encouraged during games to keep your glucose levels balanced as well as replenish lost electrolytes.
Within 30 minutes of the game or practice ending make sure to get a quick source of protein. Carry protein powder in your hockey bag so you can mix up a quick shake when you get off the ice. Chocolate milk is a great alternative to protein powder as it is quick, easy and also tastes good. Within an hour after competing, try to get a full meal in you to replenish all of the nutrients you lost while playing. Recovery is very important so you are not sore or tired for the next time you hit the ice.
Look good, feel good, play good!