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So what does your post-workout plan look like? Is there a plan? Do you know what you’re supposed to be doing but sometimes forget to make the arrangements ahead of time? Or do you have no clue and will follow what everyone else is doing regardless of whether it is effective or not?

I’m amazed at the number of hockey players that don’t give any consideration to what happens post-workout. Specifically I talking about the nutritional end of things. Some players bring a post-workout shake. Others don’t bring anything.

Maybe the ones that don’t do anything aren’t aware as to how crucial this step is. It would be like going in on a break-away, making a great move on the goalie and then letting the puck just drift into the corner. It’s as though you’ve done 90% of the work and simply need to wrist the puck into the empty net to realize the reward.

In the same way putting in all your hard work in the gym and failing to have a post-workout shake is like fanning on an empty net. No, actually it’s worse than fanning on an empty net because that implies you made an effort to finish the deal. Instead this is like lifting your stick and letting the puck slide past the goal.

So why do want to have a post-workout shake? Well, what we are trying to is establish a positive protein balance. This just means some protein is being broken down and some is being built up. We want the balance to be in favour of the ‘build up’ side of the equation. Especially after training. This gives us the best chance to build muscle and enhance our recovery.

So what should we be consuming right after training? Well we could have whole food, a protein supplement or an amino acid supplement. While whole foods do have a number of benefits sometimes this isn’t the most convenient option as it may involve more prep time, refrigeration and longer time to consume.

Protein supplements include whey and casein, which are among the most popular. Whey is quickly digested and has a very good amino acid profile. Casein on the other hand is more slowly digested and therefore is commonly blended with whey to give a mix of fast and slow digesting proteins.

Having a mix of fast and slow digesting proteins can be advantageous as if the proteins are digested too quickly there may not be an opportunity to get to working muscles. Consequently these proteins may be stored as fat, converted to a fuel source, broken down and eliminated from the body. Not a very efficient or effective use of your protein supplementation.

So how much protein should you be consuming post-workout? Well this appears to be related to the quality of the protein. Remember how we mentioned the amino acid profile? Well, the better the profile the less you may need. Benefits have been observed with as little as 6 grams of protein in the post-workout shake and upto as many as 40 grams. Start with 6 and gradually increase the amount of protein until you notice no additional benefits in our workouts, strength gains and recovery and then go with this level.

As you carry on with your hockey training remember your post-workout shake is the finishing touch for all your efforts. Don’t be the guy or girl that puts in all the hard work and leaves the gym ‘fanning on the empty net’. Bring a shake with you to every workout and make sure it follows your last rep.

Your coach,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                              onsidehockeytraining.com

 

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