When trying to become a better hockey player, most of the focus gets put on skills on the ice. But what many people don’t realize is that proper nutrition can impact a game too! With water accounting for 73% of lean body mass, it is important that hockey players get proper nutrients to play a strong game of hockey from puck drop to the final horn.
Breakfast: Widely considered the most important meal of the day; breakfast is essential. Having a balanced breakfast will refuel the body after a good night’s sleep from the previous game and give players functionality that is needed for the remainder of the day.
Lunch: Players tend to skip lunch because they think they can eat more food for dinner. Lunch is actually the best time to have a large meal and should be eaten several hours before a game. Even though hockey games tend to be at night, dinner shouldn’t be eaten until after the game. It is definitely a long time to wait, but luckily there are snacks!
Snacks: Two hours prior to game time is the right time to have the first snack. Youth hockey players should eat foods that are easily digestible. Make sure players consume food that 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 one. Again, easily digestible foods are best. This is a great time for any power bars in the house or sports drinks to get that last bit of energy before the game starts. The hardest snack to remember is the third because it comes when you would least expect it — typically less than 30 minutes after the game. Hopefully a win will be celebrated, but don’t let players forget their final snack!
Dinner: Finally, it’s dinnertime. Another balanced meal is the best way to recover and replenish the body. As mentioned before, dinner should be consumed after the game. (After the third snack)
NHL players follow strict routines so that they are able to make highlight reel plays and help their fellow teammates. If players want to play right, then they must eat and drink right.
Check out the Pro Stock Hockey nutrition guide — with help from NHL trainers and staff — that is sure to fuel youth players to victory.
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AJ Lee is a Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet. He’s an avid Blackhawks fan and is an expert in all things hockey equipment.