If you have collegiate or professional hockey aspirations or even if you’re just a recreational player, chances are you’re looking for ways to level up your game. Along with proper strength and conditioning, there are certain nutritional principles that hockey players should follow. Check out the hockey nutritional guide below and pick up some great breakfast and pregame meal ideas too.
Hockey Nutrition for Champions
As an anaerobic activity, hockey is a power-based sport. It requires high-intensity intervals as you sprint short shifts on the ice to make big plays. For these intense bursts of exercise, your primary source of fuel needs to be centered around carbohydrates. Now when we say carbohydrates, we’re not talking about Hershey bars. The carbohydrates you consume to fuel your game should come from nutrient-dense foods like quinoa, sweet potatoes, vegetables and greens, fresh fruit, or steel-cut oats.
For the greatest success on the ice, hockey players should try to stick to a diet that is made up of about 50% carbohydrates, 20-25% proteins, and 25-30% dietary fats. Your protein sources should come from foods such as Greek yogurt, lean meats, chicken, or fish. The dietary fats you consume should center around healthy oils, nuts, hemp seeds, or fish. Eating small frequent meals is the best formula for achieving high performance as an ice hockey player.
Hockey Breakfast Ideas
Eating a healthy breakfast is a must for hockey athletes. Pre-workout carbohydrates have been proven to improve performance. Consuming a healthy breakfast will not only have you feeling better throughout the entire day, but will also provide you with the energy you need to push through your intense workouts. Check out these great breakfast options:
Breakfast Option #1
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup of raw pecans, almonds, or nut of your choice
- 1 cup of blueberries or strawberries
Breakfast Option #2
- ½ an avocado
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 cup of blueberries or strawberries
Getting your pregame meals right is an essential component to performing well during crucial game moments. While what you consume is important, so is the timing of food consumption. Timing matters due to digestion and absorption rates, especially on game days.
On games days, you will want to choose faster digesting food sources that can enter your bloodstream at a rate that aligns with the physical demands that will be placed on you. For your pregame meals, choose foods that will sustain your energy throughout the entire game, that will boost performance, and prime your body for successful post-game recovery.
A good pregame meal will consist of a combination of carbohydrates and proteins. If your game runs roughly an hour, a 1:1 ratio of carbs to protein should suffice. However, if your game time typically transpires over a one-hour period, a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein will likely be needed to fuel your body.
For protein consumption, think lean meat, eggs, or low-fat dairy options. For carb consumption, think rice, veggies, fruits, or sweet potatoes. And for men in particular, it would be ideal to consume around 35-45 grams of protein and 35-45 grams of carbohydrates before a game. If your game lasts for over an hour, up the carbs to around 70-90 grams. For women, pregame consumption should be around 25-35 grams for both carbs and proteins. Again, for longer duration games the carbs can be upped to around 50-70 grams.
In order to reap the full benefits of your pregame meal, it is best to consume this meal 1-3 hours prior to the game. This will give your body enough time to properly digest the food, while also allowing the nutrients to still be in your bloodstream when you need them most. Check out some great pregame options below.
Pregame Meal Option #1
- 6 oz chicken breast
- 1-2 cups of brown rice
- ½-1 cup green veggies
Pregame Meal Option #2
- 6 oz turkey breast
- 6 oz sweet potato
- ½ – 1 cup green veggies
Proper Hockey Strength Training
Now with your nutrition in check, you will need to train and condition your body to be the best hockey player you can be. At Sworkit, we provide hockey workouts as well as sports conditioning workouts for all ages. Check it out for yourself and try our Hockey Strength Conditioning Workout today!