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Basics of preseason fuelling for hockey players

As you begin to reacquaint yourself with the physical demands of hockey and attempt to start this season as strong as the last, have you considered your nutrition for the upcoming season?



With 2022-23 preseason dates and matches in the calander and beach cocktails coming to an end, it's time to consider your nutrition. A hockey player’s diet should be based around lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery and appropriately timed carbohydrates for fuel.


Making changes to your nutrition does not have to be overwhelming or complicated but rather making small sustainable swaps that will aim to optimise your recovery, support muscle development and maximise performance.


Step 1: Know your weekly schedule


Knowing your work week, family, social and training demands will support planning your nutrition, which aims to ensure you are adequately fuelled for sessions and support recovery. Obviously, plans can change however having a good knowledge of your week will support meal planning and food shopping.


Things to consider:

- Keeping a written or online calendar of your weekly schedule

- Looking at how many meals you will be preparing at home vs out, as this will influence your weekly shop.

- Do you have suitable snacks for any commutes or journeys back from late-night training sessions?

- Are you working late on this week and need something quick and easy whenever you arrive home rather than stopping at a drive-through?

- Is there an opportunity this week to batch cook?


Step 2: Timing


Ideally consuming a meal 3-4 hours and a carbohydrate-based snack 1-2 hours prior to training or competition generally provides sufficient time for digestion, avoids hunger and minimises the risk of athletes feeling ‘sluggish’ on the pitch. However, how does this work in practice?


As evening training sessions generally start between 7-9 pm consider having a larger meal in the middle of the day or early evening rather than pre or post-training to allow sufficient time for digestion and then a lighter meal post-training e.g. sandwiches, beans on toast or milkshake.


Suitable snack options 1-2 hours pre-hockey:

· Yoghurt, fruit and granola

· Banana and a handful of almonds

· Peanut butter on rice cakes

· Toast with vegemite/beans/cheese/jam

· Raisin bagel


Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice


As with reverse skills hits, aerials and drag flicks, planning and optimising your nutrition is down to practice, practice, practice. Prior to the season, start testing out different meal options, snacks and timings of your nutrition to figure out what best suits you.


If you need any support feel free to get in touch!

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