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Did you know there is something you could do that could give you better results from your efforts with your off-season hockey training? And this something wouldn’t involve changing your workouts in any way or doing anything extra than what you’re doing already? Would you do this one thing? Of course you would. Well this one thing has to with your nutrition. Specifically it has to do with your peri-workout nutrition.

Before we go on we should define what it is we mean by ‘peri’. Peri is another way of saying around or surrounding. So in other words peri-workout nutrition means the nutrition around our workouts. Let’s take a brief look at each portion of the workout.

Before the workout we want to ensure that we have adequate nutrition to fuel our workouts. We don’t want to have excessive calories which cause us to feel sluggish nor do we want to avoid eating before training so we run out of gas part way through a training session. This pre-workout meal should be a combination of low to medium glycemic index carbs and some protein. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a particular carbohydrate gets into the blood stream and to working muscles. Higher glycemic carbs are digested more quickly and low glycemic carbs take longer. You want to choose the low to medium ones so that your energy levels are sustained throughout training. As for the fat and protein portions, keep your fat intake on the low side and choose a lean portion of protein. Too much fat slows digestion and results in blood being diverted away from working muscles and to the stomach.

During your workout you can ingest a carbohydrate drink to keep your energy levels up and replace any electrolytes lost through sweat. Depending on how much you sweat determines how necessary it is to replace these salts (electrolytes) in your drink. Most sports drinks have the appropriate concentration of carbohydrates in them but if you mix your own with crystals and water aim for a concentration of 6-8%. Post a comment below if you need help in figuring this amount out.

When you take a drink during a workout drink more than just a sip. Gastric emptying time simply means how long it takes something to leave the stomach and get taken up by the cells of the body. When we are training we want to have fast gastric emptying. Small sips result in slow gastric emptying whereas larger volumes of fluid get taken up more quickly. One strategy is to drink only when you complete all your sets of an exercise. At that point take a longer gulp rather than a small sip.

As soon as you complete the workout you should be drinking a recovery drink. This should have a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1. So if you ingest 80 grams of carbohydrates you will partner this with 20 grams of protein. There is not a huge benefit of exceeding 20 grams of protein unless you are much larger than average size hockey player. Otherwise for most players 20 grams of protein will do. Within an hour of completing your workout you should have your post workout meal. This is similar to the pre-workout meal in that it should include a source of lean protein, some carbohydrates but now you can include some healthy fats.

Make sure that you have a plan in place for your peri-workout nutrition. Know what your pre and post workout meals look like. And have a sports drink and post workout shake ready to go every time you head out for training. This will ensure you maximize your effiorts in the gym and enhance your ability to recover after.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                 onsidehockeytraining.com

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