As with any sport, taking care of your body, your fitness and your health are essential if you want to maximise your performance when playing hockey. Hockey players can benefit from eating the right foods regardless of their playing level, ensuring they stay fit and well all season.
Carbohydrates are well-known for providing energy for sustained periods of time for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, milk, pulses and wholegrain breads and foods are all great for hockey players and should always form the basis of any meal.
Protein is essential for building tissue and repairing tissue damage, in addition to helping to maintain a player’s immune system. Lean meats, fish, eggs and cheese are all versatile foods providing protein in the diet.
Fluids are vital for all areas of the body, and they are necessary to ensure alertness, including proper brain function. Drinking water is the best choice, followed by milk for its nutritional benefits.
Children have additional needs as they are still growing and developing. Ensuring that their meals are nutritionally balanced and snacks are healthy and available at intervals throughout the day will stop them from feeling hungry and lethargic. Celebrities keen to promote a healthy lifestyle to their own children have recently been hitting the headlines.
Planning when to eat meals should be determined by training or match times. Allowing at least two hours before playing means that food has enough time to digest and still provide energy.
Companies such as hockey drill video provide hockey drill video for players from beginners to experienced, in addition to helping coaches get the best out of their players.
Foods To Avoid
Foods high in fat and fibre may take longer to absorb and potentially cause stomach upsets, so avoiding these foods, especially before playing, is a good idea. Foods such as chocolate and sugary snacks, along with fizzy drinks and caffeine, can give bursts of energy followed by a rapid slump, resulting in poor performance.
It is important to replenish as soon as possible so your body can start to repair muscles and replace fluids. Including a variety of foods from all the main food groups into each main meal will have long-lasting health benefits when playing sport and to ensure a healthy lifestyle.