While the off-season is a time to put away the skates and sticks for a summer of relaxation, or even play other sports, there are some who are looking to stay in game shape these coming months. When training to master a new skill or trying to keep up your hockey fitness it's important to remember that it's not just about what you do physically but also how you balance it out nutritionally.
These are some of our favourite nutrition tips and easy to make recipes from this past season. They are simple enough that any player can assist with cooking in the kitchen.
Smoothies: Your New Secret Weapon: 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.
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!
The Best Hydration Options for Recovery and Growth: You lose water through sweat, breathing, and going to the washroom-which means you need to constantly replenish your body! One easy way to know if you need to drink more water is if your mouth is dry. If it is, drink more water. If it isn’t dry, you’re probably drinking enough.
My recommendation is to bring a reusable and refillable water bottle with you everywhere you go and just keep sipping! If you forget to drink water, it's ok-just start sipping. Chugging 1-2 litres of water right before an activity will not hydrate your muscles the way you want it to. You will just have to go to the washroom in the middle of practice. Just pick up where you left off.
When fuelling for performance, water always wins! I do, however, LOVE this recovery drink I make for my sporty kiddos at home. It’s sweet, chocolatey, and oh so good for muscle recovery, repair, and growth.
CHOCOLATE RECOVERY SHAKE
Place all ingredients except ice into a blender and let it whirl! Add ice and let the shake get nice and foamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Top Five Power Foods You Can Grab on the Go: Meal planning can be stressful at the best of times, but on busy evenings in between work, school, and sports, what can you grab to fuel up on the go?
Bananas are my ultimate go-to food. They are pre-packaged, pre-portioned, and full of carbs, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Need a bit more? Wrap your banana with some peanut butter in a whole grain wrap or blend with milk for a quick power smoothie!
Hemp hearts can be found in the natural food aisle and are a TOTAL power food for young athletes. Just three tablespoons contains 10g of protein! Plus they have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and they are completely nut-free. I sprinkle them on salads, soups, add them to smoothies and baked goods, and of course, include them in my energy bites (recipe below).
Nuts are a simple way to get some protein and fibre. Include them in a DIY trail mix along with some dried fruit and you have yourself a perfect post-game recovery snack! This can be as simple as almonds and raisins or you can add other dried fruit, seeds, and chocolate chips. Plus you can keep them in the car or hockey bag! Allergic to nuts? Consider seeds like pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds instead.
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