HOCKEY NUTRITION: Smoothies are perfect for nutritional performance

There’s something about smoothies that make them almost irresistible as a meal, a drink, or a snack, especially on a hot summer day. However in addition to general health benefits they can have a direct influence as an aid to pre and post hockey performance.

Pre Hockey Game/Training Smoothies

When you’re coming up to a big event or competition, loading up on carbohydrates in the few days before can increase your glycogen stores, giving you more energy on the day. Consuming enough carbs from whole foods like bread and pasta can be difficult, as they’re filling and may make you feel bloated, so liquid carbs might be better. Smoothies are best 1-2 hours before playing.

There are many different types of preferred pre performance smoothies. However the AIS Sports Nutrition recommends having a smoothie made with bananas, low-fat milk and honey as a staple snack on a carb-loading day.

You might consider adding a shot of coffee,i.e., Caffeine is one of the best-tested ergogenic aids (substances, devices, or practices that enhance an individual’s energy use, production, or recovery) and is known to help athletes train harder and longer. Caffeine stimulates the brain and contributes to clearer thinking and greater concentration. But only add to a pre performance smoothie upon first consideration of your general body reaction to caffeine. The following amount of caffeine is suggested; 1mg per kg of body weight.

Another additive for consideration is beetroot. Beetroot is which is research proven produces Nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is involved in increasing blood flow to the muscles, which makes it easier for your power generators, known as mitochondria, to produce energy.

Post Hockey Game/Training Smoothies

The difficulty associated with taking a smoothie for post hockey performance is the time lapse between the game or training finishing and when you take a post performance smoothie. Ideally preparing a smoothie beforehand and keeping cold is ideal.

The post performance smoothie needs to address the recovery process requirements which include;

– Refuel the muscle and liver glycogen (carbohydrate stores

– Rehydrate by replacing the fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat

– Repair muscle tissue and promote muscle adaptation

So what are example ingredients to meet these requirements in a post performance smoothie;

– Chocolate milk or chocolate protein added to milk variations or Greek yogurt – carb/protein benefits

– For Electrolytes- Leafy greens, e.g., spinach (for magnesium), banana or kiwi fruit (potassium) plus some salt for sodium replacement

– Add peanut paste – provides protein and healthy fats needed for recovery.

– Add some honey – inflammatory effect

– Take up the smoothie challenge and create your own pre and post smoothies that are beneficial as a performance aid.

Source: various

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