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Why Nutrition Plays an Important Role in Hockey

By Seanna Thomas, Nutrition Consultant, 04/26/24, 9:00AM EDT


Food is our fuel source and gives us energy to play

How can nutrition help a young athlete?

Nutrition plays a very important role in an active life. Food is our fuel source and gives us energy to play. Food can also nourish our muscles and help them recover after a hard practice.

Nutrition is as important as all the skills and drills learned in the sport of hockey, but is often overlooked.

Getting the nutrition you need can be easy, as long as everyone is on board. Players need to take ownership over their nutrition and habits; parents can help by making sure the kitchen is stocked with nutritious foods, and teammates can help by encouraging each other to fuel up and hydrate!

Without the proper nutrition, hockey players can feel fatigued, lose focus, or develop muscle cramps, headaches, and feel unwell. Sometimes all it takes is a simple switch or a bit of planning to have a huge impact on energy levels and performance.

For early morning games or practice:

  • Make sure you eat a proper dinner the night before
  • Have something before getting on the ice, even if it’s a piece of fruit or a glass of milk.
  • Bring something with you to eat afterwards.
  • Remember to hydrate

For midday games or practice:

  • Have a hearty breakfast to fuel up
  • Make sure you don’t eat too much protein, fibre, or fat about an hour before getting on the ice
  • Your body needs time to digest those nutrients. Focus on carbohydrates!
  • Hydrate with water

For late games or practices:

  • Have a good dinner, and allow time to digest 
  • Eat when you get home, even if it’s something small like yogurt or cereal.

Cinnamon Roll Protein Baked Oatmeal


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup milk/alternative
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a bundt pan or 8x8 square baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, Whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, yogurt, and vanilla.
  • Add oats, skim milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well and let sit for ten minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together melted butter, oat flour, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
  • Pour oat mixture into bundt pan. It will be thin-that’s ok!
  • Pour swirl mix in.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
  • Turn onto a plate and drizzle with sweetened greek yogurt and hemp hearts.
  • Enjoy for breakfast or a snack!
  • Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for those early morning practices and games.


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 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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