Why is nutrition so important for hockey players?
Does your hockey diet include sports or nutritional supplements? If NOT then they
should! They help to balance out diets that lack a particular nutrient or two or more,
as it’s impossible to get the right amount of Nutrition from diets alone. Supplements
have been designed for athletes of all levels to ensure they get the needed nutrition
to be the best they can be.
This is no different for hockey players (and indeed all athletes). In this game of split-second events, having that extra burst or bit of reaction time can mean the difference between winning a faceoff or beating the goalie. Understanding the basics about what some of these supplements provide is the first step towards responsibly and effectively incorporating them into your diet (or at least recognizing what’s in that shaker bottle your friend always carries around).
Due to the high intensity, physically demanding nature of the sport, hockey players need a nutrient rich diet to optimise performance at training and promote recovery between sessions. A hockey player’s diet should be based around lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery and appropriately timed carbohydrate for fuel.
Off Season do’s and don’ts
Do not train with the same type of intensity, frequency, and volume as you did in the offseason because if you do, you will not improve and your performance out on the field will suffer. A lot of hockey players don’t train during the season because they think it fatigues them too much, but this is only true if you are running a hockey training program not specifically designed for the demands of the in-season.
If you don’t train in the offseason and you’re just expressing your current skill and current physical development all the time while not putting the time in the gym to make new gains; you can picture this like staying on the same step on the stairs year in and year out. Never getting closer to your peak hockey performance potential.
Why do so many get nutrition and supplementation wrong?
The most common mistake is that beginners to the sport believe that they capable to perform and succeed in the game as they feel they physically fit, and yes fitness does play a huge role in the game of Hockey, however there are a lot of underlying factors that need to be addressed before you can just hit the ground running. Hand and Eye coordination would be the one of the ultimate factors when coming to Hockey. Running with a Hockey stick in one hand and keeping your eyes on the ball and also on the field can be a lot more tricky then first expected. Also the understanding of how to correctly hold the hockey stick and make a successful pass or dribble without tripping over your own feet. In a nut shell, practice and persistence will ensure you succeed in the sport, just as much as a healthy diet and Nutritional plan to ensure your body can perform at its optimum for the duration of the training session and game.
Benefits of getting nutrition right:
CONSISTANCY is key!
You will notice you will be able to training more intensively and your game skills and endurance will increase. Keep the Protein, Creatine, BCAA, Glutamine, ZMA, Vitamins and Probiotics part of your daily diet, use Caffeine or Pre-workouts on training/ game days. Ensuring your diet and supplements are working for you, your recovery time will be shorter, your endurance and stamina will improve ensuring you perform at you optimum at all times.
Following your nutritional / supplement plan may seem costly in the start, but once you in the swing of things and keep consistent; you will find the results outstanding.
The Benefits of Using Protein Powder for Hockey Nutrition
The amino acids within protein are the essential building blocks of muscle growth and recovery, along with a plethora of other bodily processes. In particular, these acids help to repair and build muscle tissue that has experienced trauma in the form of micro-tears: what we know as exercise. Protein molecules take much longer to break down than sugars or carbohydrates, meaning they last longer as a source of energy, even if you don’t feel
as immediate a boost. Protein shakes can also serve as light meals throughout the day, and you can mix them with fruits, vegetables, and even other supplements. Times when protein absorption is most beneficial tend to lie in the pre- and post-workout stages of physical activity.
Taking a protein shake up to an hour or two before and after you hit the field or gym ensures your muscles have plenty of fuel to use in both the exertion and recovery phases of physical activity.
Best supplements for Hockey Performance
Protein is essential for rugby players in order to promote recovery, muscle growth and repair and there is no other protein source that can compare with whey protein powder in terms quality, cost and convenience. For best results use Whey Protein, 30mins before Training/game ,as soon as possible after training/game and Before bed (Casein Protein best option for evening consumption).
After intense sessions, rugby player definitely need carbs to refill glycogen stores. A ratio of 3:1 carbohydrate to protein refuels the best rugby players after high intensity training. Shoot for a clean whey protein isolate mixed with natural carbs, like fruit juice or a pre-mixed sports drink.
Found naturally in muscle cells, Creatine helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance, for best results, takes before and after training or games, on Non training/game days take in morning and night.
Beta-alanine enhances performance by increasing exercise capacity and decreasing muscle fatigue. Beta-alanine helps reduce lactic acid build up in your muscles. It also has antioxidant, immune-enhancing and anti-aging properties. You can get beta-alanine from foods that contain carnosine or through supplements. The recommended dose is 2–5 grams daily.
(Note: You may feel like your skin is getting pricked, this is not an allergic reaction, this is the effect of Beta-Alanine. Your body will get used to it, keep taking it.)
ZMA, or Zinc Magnesium Aspartate
ZMA is a popular supplement among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. It contains a combination of three ingredients — zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. ZMA helps boosts muscle growth and strength and improves endurance, recovery, and sleep quality. For best results, Take recommended dosage 30 – 60 mins before bed, Don’t take it with any dairy products as the dairy will prevent your body of full absorbing the Zinc.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance, you can consume BCAA’s throughout the day, during training, before and after and even as a replacement drink at night. BCAA’s don’t contain any stimulants (unless added by Manufacture) and have a very low sugar and calorie content.
Vitamin D, plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones. People need vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete. For best results take in the morning and midday as taking in the evenings could interfere with your sleep patterns
Probiotics, help athletes fight infections: Rugby study. Daily probiotic supplements
may reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tract infections for
any level of rugby players, Probiotics contain live microorganisms that can support
and enhance your healthy gut bacteria. For best results take 30mins before meals.
Caffeine allows the athlete to have a much greater potential for maximal voluntary muscular contraction and, thus, enhanced coordination and speed of recruitment of involved musculature for high power movements. For best results, use recommended dosage 30mins before training/game.