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Hockey Nutrition

Hockey Nutrition: The Right Meals To Help Your Game

Checking the fridge first thing in the morning is not uncommon. Sadly, nothing seems appealing, so you decide you will skip breakfast and feast come dinner hour.

Such decisions are made on a regular basis in all parts of the world. But all meals — especially breakfast — are important if you are going to grow as a hockey player. Part of exceling on the ice is exceling at home as well. Proper nutrition is essential to having energy and making key decisions during a game.

Breakfast is important. Skipping it is a major mistake. Having a balanced breakfast will refuel your body after a good night’s sleep and give you functionality that is needed for the remainder of the day.

Lunch is another meal that is constantly skipped. This is where things get a bit tricky. Most people view dinner as the time when they can eat more than they usually do, but lunch is when you should have your large meal. It should be eaten several hours before a game. As mentioned before, making sure that you eat right will help your mental sharpness so you can make better decisions during the game.

Even though hockey games tend to be at night, dinner shouldn’t be eaten until after the game. This may seem like a long time to wait and a bit too late for your taste, but don’t worry. That’s why there are snacks.

Two hours prior to game time is when the first small meal should be consumed. It is recommended at this time to eat foods that are easily digestible. You can have carbs. Yes, you read that right: You can have carbs! However, make sure what you’re eating is low in fat.

An hour later comes snack No. 2 (one hour prior to game time) and should be about half the portion of the first snack. Again, eat easily digestible foods. You wont be able to help the team win if you crash mid-game. Power bars and sports drinks are recommended at this time to provide that last bit of energy you need.

Last but not least, is round three. This is the hardest of the three, due to the fact that your mind will likely not be on nutrition at this time — typically less than 30 minutes after the game. Believe it or not, proper nutritional recovery immediately after a game affects performance in the next game. Carryover actually exists.

Remember, rehydration is key. Drink plenty of water. Even if it seems like you’ve had too much, you must hydrate until you are no longer thirsty.

Hopefully, your last meal of the day is one consumed after victory. However, don’t see this as your time to have an early Thanksgiving. Another balanced meal is the best way to recover and replenish your body. This meal should be consumed from 30 minutes to two hours after competing. You lose a lot of energy during a game, so it’s important to restore it quickly.

A long day indeed. Who would’ve thought that so much went into nutrition when it comes to hockey, right? NHL players follow strict routines so that they are able to deke, pass and score. If you want to play right, then you must eat and drink right.

Below is a complete game-day nutrition guide — compiled with input from NHL trainers and staff — that is sure to fuel you to victory.

Hockey Nutrition Guide from Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for authentic pro 
stock hockey equipment

 

AJ Lee is Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. Lee picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet.