Nutrition is often the weak link. A good training diet will…
- Increase energy, reduce fatigue
- Reduce body fat
- Teach you to eat healthy on the run and when traveling
- Find specific supplements that really work for you
- Provide the right balance of protein and carbohydrates
- Reduce the risk of injury
- Improve endurance, health, and performance
Hockey nutrition: how to eat and drink BEFORE THE GAME
The purpose of the pre-game meal is to provide easily digested calories to fuel the muscles and to ward off hunger.
Carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel and are often under consumed. The right timing of fluids and nutrition will make all the difference!
Choose carbohydrate-rich foods that are low in fat and low in fiber. Carbohydrate-rich foods include bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruit and sports drinks.
Don’t focus on eating high protein as you get closer to your game. Many players will consume too much protein and not enough carbs. This will impact performance.
Following the right plan will avoid the risk of feeling uncomfortable, having stomach cramps, or skating with legs that feel sluggish.
Nutrition, hydration, supplementation, and recovery are all important factors related to optimizing health and performance.
It’s important to keep in mind that the right nutrition plan is the one that works best for you. Barbara will customize a program that provides all of the nutrients you need for optimal health and energy. With the right nutrition program, you can actually train your muscles to store more glycogen, burn more body fat and enhance lean body mass so that you have the energy you need to reach and exceed your personal best.
I see some of the greatest sweat losses in NHL player that I work with. A player can lose between 3-10 pounds of sweat in a game and I’ve seen some players lose even more! Goalies are especially susceptible to dehydration due to the weight of their equipment.
Losing more than 3% of your body weight during a game can affect both health and performance and can also lead to muscle cramping. I recommend that my athletes calculate their sweat rates in order to determine their fluid needs.
The body is 55-65% water. It’s important to stay well hydrated to avoid heat illness and cramping. Make sure you drink enough during the day-dehydration can affect both your performance and your energy levels. When the temperature is cooler it’s just as easy to get dehydrated. The air is dryer and sweat evaporates quickly -as a result most players don’t drink enough. Thirst is not a good indication of dehydration!
Measuring Your Sweat Rate
Measuring your sweat rate is one way to make sure you are properly hydrating during your runs. The formula below can help you find out what your sweat rate is and how much fluid you should be consuming.
- Weigh yourself before your workout or event
- Keep track of all fluids consumed
- Weigh yourself after your workout or event
Do this on several occasions and in different temperature settings to determine your sweat rate in different environments.
You can also use the color of your urine to assess your hydration status. If you are not urinating every 2-4 hours or your urine is very dark/concentrated, you are most likely dehydrated. Your urine color should be a pale-yellow color, like lemonade. The only exception to this is if you are taking a multivitamin within the past couple of hours.
Dehydration occurs when fluid losses (including sweat, urine and respiration) are greater than fluid intake (fluids and food).
Some tips to keep in mind:
Regular meals and snacks-Eating regularly (every 3-4 hours) helps to maintain blood glucose and energy throughout the day and through practice. This is even true if you’re trying to lose weight. The key is to have the right balance of calories and nutrients to maintain high energy while burning fat and gradually losing weight.
Think of food as fuel and carbs as your best source of fuel.
It sounds simple but as you know there’s a lot to take into account in order to keep your body working at its best and to get you to your best performance!
Make this your Best Season Yet!