Hockey is an intense contact sport. The energy levels required for optimum performance take plenty of the right nutrition to keep the players going. The hockey players needs are different, depending on the time of year. Needless to say, good eating and exercise habits are important for a hockey player year round. The off season is the time for beefing up in preparation for the coming year’s games. During the playing season, the diet should change to reflect the needs of more activity. As with most sports, hockey takes strength, agility and lots of practice. Let’s learn more about essential nutrition for hockey players.
The Best Nutrition Tips for Players
During the off season, along with continuing exercise, nutrition for hockey players include adding muscle and keeping the muscle tone that the player already has. It’s possible to add pounds of lean muscle mass without adding useless pounds that just have to come off later. A high protein diet is best for building up instead of spreading out.
When the hockey games resume, the diet necessarily should change from protein rich to carbohydrates to increase energy as the level of activity increases. Small meals before a game gives the nutrition without being too filling. Soup and crackers or cereal with skim milk are good choices for pre-game or pre-workout snacks. Plenty of fluids are also necessary to maintain a healthy equilibrium while playing.
Fluids, including fruit juices and water keep the athlete’s inner workings lubricated and operating at their peak. They also build the blood supply (blood is mostly water) and prevent overheating during the intense activity of play or practice. Dehydration is always a danger during physical activity because fluid levels decrease as a person sweats. This can cause an elevated temperature, cramps, dizziness and even death if not treated promptly and properly. Sports drinks are especially good for preventing dehydration, since they add vital nutrients such as potassium which the body can lose when sweating.
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