Nutrition Tips for Hockey Players

Nutrition Tips for Hockey Players

There are five nutrients essential to peak performance in hockey. These are water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins and minerals. Without a balanced combination of these nutrients you will be unable to play and produce at your best. These nutrition tips for hockey players are the key to successful practices and games.

1. Keep hydrated, not only during a game or at practice but during the day as well. If you are thirsty it is too late. You are already down a liter or two and performing below par, maybe as much as 20%. Carry a water bottle and sip all day.

2. Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy and should make up approximately 60% of your calorie intake. The best "carbs" for you are fruits and vegetables and 100% whole grain breads and buns. Drink real fruit juices and avoid soda pops as these have way too much sugar.

3. Proteins should make up about 15% of your calorie intake for the day. Protein is necessary to building and repairing muscle and gives us the key enzymes that make our body work. The best sources for proteins are fish, poultry, meats, beans and dairy products. Go easy on the ice-cream.

4. When we hear the word "fat" it brings up all sorts of bad images. Fats, however are an essential part of a balanced diet. Fat is the way our bodies store energy. We will burn fat just going about our regular daily routines, especially if walking is involved. There are good and bad fats and fats hidden in foods such as cookies, muffins and salad dressings. Vegetable fats are good, whereas animal fats are bad. Do not exceed 25% of your calorie intake with fats.

5. Vitamins and minerals cannot be manufactured by our bodies but are essential to our overall health and performance. Vitamins such as B complex, A, C, D, E and K are the metabolic catalysts that regulate our body chemistry. Minerals, like calcium for our bones and iron for our blood are the elements that help form our body structures. Vitamins and minerals can only be obtained by eating and drinking a wide variety of healthy foods and juices.

Playing hockey is going to make you sweat. When you sweat you not only lose water but other essential nutrients as well. Eat your large meals about 3 hours before heavy exertion to allow time for digestion. Replace lost nutrients with light snacks like bananas and by keeping hydrated with water. Your game performance will only be enhanced by following these nutrition tips for hockey players.

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