Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

March 11, 2013 | Heather Mangieri

Must See Hockey Videos

Hockey players have incredibly high sweat rates. Covered with equipment, they find it difficult to cool down despite playing in a cold ice arena. This makes hydration especially important for maintaining performance through three periods. (See Individualize Your Hydration Schedule.)

Research suggests that sweat loss resulting in body mass loss greater than two percent has a negative effect on athletic performance. We know that avoiding fluids during activity is a bad idea. But does what we drink also make a difference? (Here's one opinion: Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players.)

Considering what we know about the high sweat rate of hockey players, consuming a sports drink containing carbohydrate, sodium and other electrolytes may be a better choice. Yet, a 2008 study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that many elite and professional ice hockey players choose water over a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CES) during on-ice practices.

Why is that? Does it just taste better? Or is it because many coaches only have water available for the players?

A more recent study conducted with elite Ontario Hockey League players found that when players were limited to CES beverages, they did not decrease their fluid intake during practice. Drinking the CES improved sodium balance and gave the players some carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates provide fuel that may help offset fatigue for the later stages of a practice or game, so it's important to have a sports drink on the bench.

Healthy Hydration Guidelines

  • Always be well hydrated and fueled
  • Drink 5-7 mL per kg of body weight of water or a sports beverage at least 4 hours before practice (1kg = 2.2 lbs)
  • Have a salty snack a few hours before you step on the ice (Read Why Your Body Needs Sodium During a Workout.)
  • For a practice or game lasting more than one hour, a sports beverage that contains a 6-8 percent carbohydrate solution is recommended
  • Hydrate and fuel during breaks or between shifts
  • Try to drink 1/2 to 1 cup of sports drink every 15 minutes
  • Rehydrate when you step off the ice
  • Check your weight before and after practice to find out how much water you lost during exercise, and drink 20-24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost
Topics: HOCKEY
Heather Mangieri
- Heather Mangieri is an award-winning expert in food and nutrition and a board certified specialist in sports dietetics. She owns Nutrition CheckUp, a nutrition...
Heather Mangieri
- Heather Mangieri is an award-winning expert in food and nutrition and a board certified specialist in sports dietetics. She owns Nutrition CheckUp, a nutrition...

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 70,557
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 19,026
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 78,399
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

New Gatorade Montage Counts 50 Years of Fueling Athletes

Selecting Fluids to Enhance Soccer Performance

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Danger of Over-Hydration

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Best Pre-Workout Energy Drink? You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

Elements of Proper Hydration

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

Living the #JugLife: Javale McGee Wants You to Drink More Water

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

Electrolytes Explained

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

Drinking for Sport Performance

How to Hydrate With Food

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

How to Schedule Your Hydration