Hockey is a fast-paced, high-energy sport that occasionally requires you to play multiple games in one day. At tournaments, you might have a one-game break or several hours before the next game. As you come off the rink, drenched in sweat, you will require re-hydration, complex carbohydrates and lean protein to replenish your body's energy reserves in preparation for the next game. If you have special dietary needs, consult a registered dietitian for specific instructions and food choices appropriate for your medical condition.
Rehydrating the body is essential between games. Generally, sport drinks provide the carbohydrates, sodium and potassium needed for rehydration. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should drink between 3 and 8 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of playing time. In addition, you should drink between 8 and 12 ounces of fluids within 15 minutes of the next game.
Eat a snack or light meal containing complex carbohydrates such as graham crackers, whole wheat bread or crackers, a bagel, an English muffin or an energy bar if you only have a short break between games. Smoothies, apple slices, bananas or orange sections are also good choices for quick energy. If you have several hours before your next game, a meal that includes a baked potato or sweet potato, brown rice or pasta provides the carbohydrates needed to rebuild your body's energy reserves.
Combine lean proteins with the complex carbohydrates to build long-lasting reserves and stamina. During short breaks, add peanut butter, string or sliced cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese or yogurt to your crackers, fruit and bread. If you have time for a meal, add tomato sauce, light cheese sauces, fish, chicken or lean beef to the pasta, potatoes or rice. But allow at least two hours for digestion before you return to the rink or you risk becoming nauseous during the game.
Foods to Avoid
Prevent sugar and caffeine crashes during the game by avoiding candy bars, sugar-filled snacks and sodas. The simple sugars in these products are quickly absorbed, leaving your body without any reserves for the bursts of speed and exertion needed during the hockey game. Also avoid fatty and fried foods, potato chips and heavy meals to prevent nausea caused by these high-fat and slow-to-digest foods.
With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues.