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Smoothies: Your New Secret Weapon

By Seanna Thomas, Nutrition Consultant, 10/27/22, 11:15AM EDT

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Fuel up and aid recovery before and after a practice or game

Knowing what to feed your young hockey players can be confusing and overwhelming.

You know they need to fuel up before a practice or game, and need something to aid recovery afterwards…but WHAT should they be having and WHEN?

Smoothies are an excellent option for many reasons. They are quick and easy to make, customizable to for any flavour or taste preferences, and they can be utilized for BOTH pre-game fuel and post-game recovery.

There are certain nutrients you want to include. Below is a list of MUST-HAVES categories and some popular options. Having these on hand means you’re always prepared, even when last minute games are scheduled. Of course, there are a million different ways to make a smoothie. Find your favourite recipe, and make that your go-to pre-game fuel, so you don’t have to scramble to find the right fuel.

Carbohydrates:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Frozen fruit
  • Baby Spinach

Protein:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Yogurt

Fats:

  • Hemp Hearts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Avocado

Liquid:

  • Milk
  • Milk alternative
  • Coconut Water
  • Water

Bonus:
Probiotics from yogurt or kefir are excellent to include in a smoothie for your athlete. They contain healthy bacteria for your gut and can help to strengthen your immune system. Keeping those colds and flus away are so important. No-one wants to miss hockey!

PRE-GAME SMOOTHIE: One Hour Before

The focus before a game should be carbohydrates for energy. Too much protein and fibre close to game time has the potential to cause digestive upset and affect performance.

Simple carbohydrates, especially in a liquid form, are quickly digested and therefore, an easily accessible energy for the body to use right away.

My recommendation is to have a pre-game smoothie ONE HOUR before a practice or game to boost energy stores and give you that breakthrough you need, even through double OT!

My favourite easy pre-game recipe:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 apple
  • 3 tbsp plain kefir
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • (Optional: Add in a handful of rolled oats)

Connect with Seanna!
Website: www.seannathomas.com
Instagram: @hockey_snacks
Facebook: Seanna Thomas Nutrition
Facebook Group: Fuel More Wins!


POST-GAME SMOOTHIE: 30-60 Minutes After

The focus after a game should be carbohydrates to replace energy stores and protein to help muscles repair and recover. Fats are a bonus and can help fight inflammation.

This smoothie should be consumed as quickly as possible after a game/practice. The body is primed and ready to accept these nutrients and utilize them. If you won’t be home until later, make sure you bring a post-game smoothie with you in a cooler bag!

My favourite post-game recipe:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup raspberries 
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk

 

Remember, my favourite recipes are simply suggestions! Don’t like banana? Replace with berries or mango or pineapple. Not a fan of almond milk? Use coconut water, dairy milk, or oat milk instead. The combinations are endless! Find your favourite and get ready to play some hockey!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Seanna Thomas is a Nutrition Consultant, Mom to 3 active kids, and founder of Hockey Snacks Inc., where she provides nutrition information for young athletes, sports teams, families, and organizations. Seanna regularly appears on CP24 Breakfast, & is a contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada, as well as multiple other publications. Seanna focuses on whole foods with a spotlight on creating realistic healthy habits. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and seannathomas.com. In her downtime, she enjoys being outdoors with her family and relaxing at home with her husband and a well-deserved glass of wine (and maybe watching a hockey game).

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