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All hockey players—all athletes for that matter—should know exactly what they are putting in their bodies. The worst thing a player can do is to ingest something that produces bad side effects. Maintaining a perfect diet is difficult, so safe and effective dietary supplements can be useful. Just be aware that although supplements can replace real food, they're not always better than a diet filled with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats.
Here are some guidelines to follow next time you're in the market for supplements.
Whey Protein Isolate
Local supermarkets are full of packaged goods that contain mostly simple carbs and sugars, so it's not always easy to get protein in your diet. Whey protein powder is an excellent supplement for this purpose. Use it in smoothies or mix it in with pancake or waffle batter. Easily digestible, it's a great choice for around your hockey workouts. Learn more about protein options.
Fish oil is great for boosting the immune system. It also helps to control insulin spikes, so if you consume too many carbohydrates, more of them will be pushed to your muscles instead of being converted to body fat. This supplement is excellent for helping you stay lean during training and competition.
Creatine is an awesome supplement for hockey players for many reasons. Its main job is to replenish ATP stores. ATP fuels every muscle contraction in your body, and as the work of the muscle increases, more ATP gets consumed and must be replaced in order for the muscle to continue working. Since hockey players go through periods of rapid muscle contractions, creatine monohydrate can ensure that each contraction is made with plenty of ATP in your system.
Dietary supplements can also be used to enhance other aspects of athleticism, such as a hockey player's speed. Athletes need ATP for sprinting, and since it is the main source of fuel for short bursts of speed, supplementing with creatine monohydrate will make sure you don't run out of gas too quickly. Learn more about creatine.
Muscles are built with chains of amino acids that form proteins. By taking glutamine after your workout, you will be able to recover faster, and you'll wake up the next day without feeling stiff and sore. For a full report on speed in sports as well as a muscle building diet guide, CLICK HERE.