How to maximise performance in hockey
To help you determine if your diet needs a boost, we’ve written a series of articles for you! This is important since diet can have an effect on performance by maximizing energy levels from start to finish of workouts and games, in addition to aiding the recovery process and weight gain. muscular.
The three important nutrients
Protein is a major contributor to the development, repair and maintenance of muscle mass as well as the functioning of the immune system. They also help with the feeling of satiety, which is the fact of feeling full and not feeling hungry too quickly after a meal. They should therefore be part of the meals surrounding the practice of sport. They are found in meats, fish, meat substitutes (tofu, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds) and in dairy products.
Carbohydrates should definitely be an integral part of the hockey player’s diet, especially when growing. Depending on the intensity of the workout, a large part of the energy should come from carbohydrates, i.e. fruit, grain products and the milk and alternatives group. Foods that provide carbohydrates give muscle and brain energy as well as contain several nutrients essential for good energy use, such as group B vitamins. It is also important to consume them throughout the day, since carbohydrates help build up glycogen stores. This reserve allows the muscles to be better hydrated, and therefore more efficient, since the glycogen is stored in the muscle with water. In addition, carbohydrates contribute to total energy, thus maximizing the potential for muscle growth, along with protein.
Lipids (fat) serve to meet the rest of our energy needs and help in the absorption of several vitamins. In addition, certain fatty acids are essential for life (such as omega-3). Among other things, lipids are found in oils, butter, margarine, avocados, meats, nuts and seeds, fatty cheese and dairy products and ultra-processed foods.
Before training – maximize your energy
A question of “timing”
The closer we get to the training or game, the more the size of the meal or snack decreases and the more we increase the proportion of carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, it is better to have a moderate meal in addition to a pre-game snack rather than a large, heavy meal.
Here are some examples of pre-game meals or snacks, depending on the time before exercise.
2-3 hours before:
- Vegetable soup, and
- Pasta, couscous or rice, and
- Chicken breast or fish, and
- Fresh fruits
1-2 hours before:
- Crackers or tortillas + cheese
- OR Milk or soy beverage + homemade muffin
- OR Greek yogurt + granola + fruit
- OR Granola bar + 1 handful of dried fruit
30 minutes to 1 hour before:
- Apple sauce
- OR Banana
- OR Smoothie with milk / soy beverage, yogurt and fruit
Amounts vary depending on age, weight, height and intensity level of workouts.
Foods to restrict:
These categories of food can cause intestinal discomfort. They are therefore to be limited to match days:
- Foods rich in fat: fried foods, fatty sauce, chicken skin, cold cuts, high fat cheese, chips, etc.
- Spicy dishes
- Foods rich in fiber (unless you are used to it): legumes, whole grain products …
In general, water is sufficient during training unless you are in a situation where food is limited before playing sports. In this case, a sports drink (such as Gatorade or homemade) can help maintain a stable level of energy.
After training – recovery
The meal or snack following practice or the game is very important for recovery, particularly if there is less than 8 hours before the next demanding physical effort. The objective is to fill the glycogen reserves of the muscles (by carbohydrates) and to promote the synthesis of muscle tissue (by proteins). We therefore aim for a dietary intake of at least 30 g of carbohydrates and 15-20 g of protein.
Here are some examples of snacks that meet these criteria:
- 2 cups of chocolate milk or soy drink
- Protein shake + 1 banana
- Crackers + cheese
- Nuts + dried fruits
- Greek yogurt + fruit
If you think you are not meeting your daily energy needs, please read our upcoming supplement blogs and consult a sports nutritionist!