Hockey Training and Nutrition
Why is nutrition so important for hockey players?
Hockey (also known as field hockey internationally) is a team-based sport played in two 35-minute halves with 10 players on the field and one player in the goals at any one time, with a short break at half-time.
As an athlete in challenging hot conditions for extended periods, proper nutrition is important to prevent injury, cramping, fatigue and dehydration. Eating and taking the correct supplements will help you train and prepare your body for the endurance side of the game. The more prepared you are the less likely you will get injured.
Hockey is generally played in the winter months, with elite athletes spending the off-season in training or at other competitions. Training sessions typically involve strength and conditioning, technique and match preparation. In season, matches are played most weekends and athletes may have to travel locally, interstate or overseas for competitions. Competitions are also played in tournament format over several days.
Hockey requires a great deal of endurance, strength, speed and agility. Therefore, hockey players will use both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Players are also required to think tactically, have fast reaction time and display tactical and technical ball movement skills for the duration of the game.
Because of these characteristics, energy demands can be high, particularly in tournament settings where several games may be played over a number of days. There is the potential for high levels of fluid loss and injuries making nutrition and hydration strategies essential for optimising performance of players at all levels.
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. In addition, Taking nutritional supplements like Whey Protein, Vitamins and Minerals, BCAA’s and Electrolytes will aid in your performing at your optimum for the duration of the training season or game.
best supplements for Hockey performance
Protein powder is a popular supplement amongst elite sportsman like professional hockey players. It provides high quality and a concentrated amount of protein in the form of powder. Protein powder is mixed with water or milk and consumed by drinking. It is made from either a plant or animal whole food product like milk or peas.
Protein powder is normally used by hockey players looking to increase their muscle mass and strength. It is also an easy snack to add to your diet if you’re struggling to hit your protein intake goals.
Different Types of Protein Powder for Hockey players
Protein powder is made from whole food products. There is a wide variety of protein powders that are produced from different whole foods. Below is a list of the best protein powders for cricket players:
Protein is essential for hockey 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 your game or training session, and again as soon as possible after training/game and just before bed (Casein Protein best option for evening consumption).
Creatine was once looked at as the big bad wolf of supplements. People thought it caused kidney damage, that it wasn’t safe, that it was a steroid, and a host of other negative opinions were formed and circulated on it. Fast forward 20 years or so to now, and it is one of the safest, most efficacious, and well studied supplements on the market
Creatine is a combination of three amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine. Your body naturally creates creatine in the liver and kidneys, and stores most of it in your muscles. Creatine supplementation increases the creatine stores in your body, and Creatine is used in faster ATP formation. ATP is what helps power your muscles during quick muscle contractions – Think of it this way, the more creatine stores you have, the more work your body can accomplish before becoming fatigued
Naturally found 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 take before and after training or games, on Non training/game days take in morning and night.
Beta Alanine is a non essential amino acid, meaning your body is able to create it from other amino acids and does not require a beta alanine food source.
Enhance 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.)
Why is Beta Alanine important for hockey players? Feeling that lactic acid build up when you are caught out on a long shift is a terrible feeling, physically and mentally. Buffer the effects of lactic acid and get another gear for your game by using Beta Alanine!
Fish oil can be a real game changer for health. Fresh wild fish are one of the healthiest meats on the planet, but unfortunately many people do not have access to them, or they are too expensive since they need to be transported far distances inland and kept on ice the entire time. Luckily, companies have created high quality fish oils which can help us offset the inability to get fresh fish!
Fish oil has been shown to improve triglyceride levels, improve brain function and mental acuity (aka keep your brain running and your hockey IQ high!), and finally fish oil is a potent anti inflammatory. Look for brands that harvest fish from cold water and from smaller fish. 3-6g a day of fish oil can have a big impact on overall health and help you feel better to perform your best!
Why is Fish Oil important for hockey players? Keeping your brain in top health, your inflammation low, and improving heart health will all keep you going bar down game in and game out!
Magnesium is another essential element all humans require that athletes require even moreso. Studies suggest over 80% of people may be deficient in magnesium.
Magnesium is important for regulating heart rhythm, allowing muscles to contract and relax, reducing blood pressure, and is also crucial for producing ATP (remember – creatine helps with ATP production, but magnesium is CRUCIAL for it!). Be careful when supplementing magnesium, taking 500 mg/day is a safe starting point but taking too much too soon could cause you an upset stomach!
Many high quality studies have been done around Magnesium and sports performance, with the majority finding a correlation to increased exercise capacity when supplementing with a form of Magnesium!
Why is Magnesium important for hockey players? Other than being responsible for over 325 enzymatic processes in the body, it is crucial for ATP production which is paramount during bouts of intense exercise!
Pre-workouts can defiantly help improve your performance and game, using the correct pre-workout will be vital as some pre-workouts will increase muscle pump and reduce legality. However using something that contains Beta-Alanine will ensure you perform at your absolute best.