Diet Tips to Improve On-Ice Performance

Improve your diet to improve your performance. It's that simple. Learn how with advice and suggestions from STACK Expert Conor Doherty.

Half-Ice Hockey Drills

Diet is crucial for hockey players who want to maximize their performance on the ice. Of the many things that can be neglected in a training program, a well balanced diet is usually at the top of the list. Hockey players need to understand that nutrition is vital for improving their performance on the ice and in the weight room. (See Put Together a Perfect Gameday Meal.)

When training, hockey players need to consider many things in their diets, because they are putting their bodies through demanding workouts. But if players stick to a few basic principles, they will make positive  progress toward their overall goals. (See Nutrition Guidelines For Peak Performance in Hockey.)

Hockey Diet Principles

Eat More Often

A diet for hockey players in training needs to consider their blood sugar levels; if they drop too low, their bodies will start to use lean muscle tissue for energy. Players need to eat every three or four hours, constantly keeping their bodies fueled to handle the amount of work they're doing.

Plan Your Meals

This principle is truly important to your progress. For players looking to separate themselves, planning meals will ensure that nutrition is a high priority. Take some time once or twice a week to write down and prepare what you are going to eat in the coming week. You'll be light years ahead of many of your competitors.

Don't Skip Meals

If you are serious about training, you won't skip a workout, so why would you skip a meal? You must have the mindset that nutrition is just as important as training. Don't skip meals and your progress won't dip.

With those principles in mind, here's a sample meal plan for hockey players in training to follow in their pursuit of improved performance on the ice.

Sample Meals

7 am - Breakfast

  • 1 cup of whole grain cereal with blueberries
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • 2 glasses of water.

10 am - Snack

  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • whole grain crackers with peanut butter
  • 1 glass of water

1  pm- Lunch

  • 1 broiled or grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of vegetables
  • 2 glasses of water

3 pm - Pre-Workout Snack

  • 1 bagel with peanut butter
  • protein shake
  • 1 glass of water

5 pm - Post-Workout Snack

  • Protein/carbohydrate shake
  • 1 cup of yogurt with fruit

7 pm - Dinner

  • 2 cups of whole grain pasta
  • 1 cup of pasta sauce (nothing creamy)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 ounces of lean ground beef
  • 2 cups of water

9 pm - Snack

  • Handful of almonds
  • 1 apple

For more information on hockey training and performance, check out Star Factory Fitness and The Complete Hockey Training System.

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