Monday, August 13, 2012

Nutrition for Hockey

About Hockey


Hockey is a team-based sport played in two 35-minute halves with 10 players on the field and one player in the goals at any one time, with a short break at half-time.
The game is played at a fast pace, with short bursts of high intensity sprints along with dribbling, passing, tackling and shooting for goal, which requires a combination of endurance, strength, speed, agility and skill. 


During a game, energy expenditure can be as high as 60-80kJ/minute, with midfielders at the higher end of the range. High energy requirements, coupled with fluid loss and injuries (from flying balls and/or sticks) makes well-established nutrition and hydration strategies a must for optimal performance.

Training diet

Training is physically demanding, which sets up large energy and carbohydrate requirements. A diet rich in carbohydrate foods is important to provide adequate energy to maintain a high standard of play and also assists recovery.

All hockey players need to focus on eating nutrient-dense carbohydrate meals and snacks such as rice, bread, cereal, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Ideally, players should aim to have 50-100 grams of carbohydrate within 30 minutes of finishing training. 

Recovery snacks should always be combined with fluids to replace sweat losses that may have occurred during the session. 

What does 50 g of carbohydrate look like? 
  • 800ml sports drink 
  • 3 medium pieces fruit
  • 1 large bread roll or fruit scone 
  • 2 pancakes with maple syrup 
  • 2 cereal/muesli bars 
  • 2 cups yoghurt (not artificially sweetened)
  • 1½ cups fruit salad with 1 cup low fat yoghurt 
  • 250-350ml smoothie 3 slices toast with honey/jam
Fluid needs

The fluid needs of hockey players during training andgames are generally high because of the high intensity,"stop and go" style of exercise increases sweat rates. If games are played during hot and humid conditions this will increase fluid needs.

To stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids before, duringand after hockey e.g. sports drink and water.You can assess how much fluid you have lost byweighing body yourself before and after the trainingsession or game and aim to drink 1.5L of fluid for every kilogram of weight lost.
Thirst is generally not a good measure of fluid statusand a player may be significantly dehydrated beforebecoming thirsty. Sports drinks can be useful duringtraining and matches as they provide a source ofcarbohydrate (for fuelling on the field) and smallamounts of electrolytes (salts) that may be lost during play.

Dehydration negatively affects exercise ability, skill execution and decision making and thus can
significantly affect hockey performance. Producingregular amounts of clear urine is a useful indicator of good hydration status before exercise

In hot conditions, pay extra attention to fluid needs byhaving plenty of cool, refreshing fluids on hand, drinkingat every opportunity (e.g. during breaks and whencoming of the field) and monitoring and replacing losses aggressively after a match/training session.

What should I eat before a game?

The pre-game meal should be eaten 2-3 hours prior to play. It should be high in carbohydrate and low in fat.To avoid stomach discomfort, foods low in fiber and fat may be preferred. It is important to ensure the meal iswell planned and uses familiar foods and fluids. This could look like either of the following…
  • Breakfast cereal + low fat milk
  • Fresh/dried or canned fruit + yoghurt + low fatmilkshake
  • English muffins/crumpets/toast/scones with jam orhoney
  • Pasta + tomato-based sauce or rice dish
  • Liquid meal supplement
What should I eat and drink during competition?

Although the half-time break is brief (usually five to ten minutes) it is the best opportunity for nutrition during play, and players should make use of this break to consume fluids such as sports drink and water.

Midfielders will benefit from drinking sports drink during the break as they tend to have the greatest requirements for carbohydrate and fluid during a game. Fruit can be good sources of carbohydrate, but sports drink provides fluid along with carbohydrate, which is ideal when rehydration is the main priority at half time.

What about recovery?

It is important to refuel with carbohydrate-rich foods after training and games in order to begin replenishing muscle glycogen stores for future training/games. This is especially important during tournaments when a number of matches are played within a short time frame, or during weeks of heavy training.

It is also important to include a protein source in recovery for muscle tissue repair and growth, especially after a weight-training session.

As a rule of thumb, aim to consume a recovery meal or snack within 30 minutes of finishing a training session or match. This should contain carbohydrates, protein and a source of fluid  (water and electrolytes), e.g. a cheese sandwich with a bottle of sports drink, or a bowl of cereal with fruit and milk.
The meal thereafter should continue in line with usual training eating patterns, and should again contain carbohydrate-rich foods, a source of protein and fluids.

1 comment:

  1. I Really Liked this Blog. The game is played at a fast pace, with short bursts of high intensity sprints along with dribbling, passing, tackling and shooting for goal. Thanks for sharing with us, I want to share more information about Hockey. Please visit at- Match de hockey Encourage your favorites We all have our favorite players, follow yours in every game of the season. Never miss one of their feints, shots or goals.

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