HOCKEY NUTRITION: Micronutrient foods to naturally help improve your hockey performance

Many athletes who give due care to what they eat can overemphasize carbs, protein, and fats, and focus too little on foods rich in micronutrients. If you are hockey player who wants to fuel his or her body with good quality food as a means to better health and improved hockey here are seven foods rich in micronutrients that you may consider to include in your nutritional regime

  1. Beets

It’s great for the circulatory system as a whole, though specifically it’s the nitrates contained in beetroot that researchers are most excited about. Beetroot increases athletic performance by reducing their oxygen consumption and decreasing the time it takes an athlete to reach exhaustion. It is ideal to include beet juice daily for five or so days before a competition to reap the benefits. The colour and composition of beets say it all — it looks like blood and the heart.

  1. Maca

An adaptogenic herb found in Peru that’s usually found in powder form, Maca has high levels of iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the blood; calcium, which is needed for healthy muscle function; and amino acids, which play various roles in the body, but are particularly great for energy production, endurance, and muscle recovery. You can add Maca to smoothies or mix with peanut paste (ensure you are not allergic to peanuts of course)

  1. Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties and for supporting optimal cellular function. Omega-3s also assist with protein synthesis which is good for muscle tone and strength. Although expensive try to eat regularly as possible

  1. Turmeric

Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric helps to prevent oxidative damage during exercise and reduce inflammation in joints. Therefore it is important to recovery. Add to your cooking or send fresh turmeric through your juicer.

  1. Green Tea

The bioflavanoid, quercetin, which is present in green tea, has been shown to increase VO(2max) (the amount of oxygen you can use) and decrease the time it takes  you to reach fatigue  Ideally mix up some green tea and put in the fridge to consume before your session for a natural pre-workout drink without the crash.

  1. Spirulina

The consumption of this member of the blue-green algae family has been a practice for years. It’s been known to decrease oxidative stress, which is perfect for recovery. It also like green tea can improve the time it takes to get to exhaustion. Add spirulina to smoothies or raw balls.

  1. Full-fat yogurt

Probiotics, found in yoghurt, help to replenish the good bacteria within your gastrointestinal system, which is conducive to health. It helps improve immune responses and ability to recover from fatigue. Add yogurt to smoothies or combine with a healthy muesli.

Source: various

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