Nutritional Secrets You Need To Know To Be A Successful Hockey Player

15 August, 2013


Next to water, protein is the second most plentiful substance in our body, making up 20% of one's body weight. Organs, muscles, skin, hair and nails consist mainly of protein. Each protein molecule is comprised of smaller units called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids of which 8 are essential - meaning the body cannot manufacture them and must come from the diet. The best food sources for protein are meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fish and seafood.

A carbohydrate is the primary energy source for one's body. Just as the automobile runs on gasoline, the body runs on carbohydrates. All carbohydrate comes from plants and the word starch is often used interchangeably with carbohydrate to describe foods like potato, bread, pasta etc. Each carbohydrate molecule consists of smaller units called sugars. Various types of sugars include glucose, fructose, lactose, sucrose and more. The body functions most efficiently on complex rather than refined or "white" carbohydrates. The best food sources for carbohydrates are whole grains, whole grain breads, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Fats perform many essential functions in the body. They are necessary to form the structure of all cells and play key roles in all metabolic activities within the cell. Furthermore, fat is used as an energy "reserve" for the body in times of need. Fats and oils, also called lipids, come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are some examples. Small molecules called fatty acids, are the building blocks of all fats and oils both in our body and in our foods. Two fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6, are known as essential fatty acids (EFA's), meaning they must come from one's diet because the body cannot make them. The best food sources for healthy fats are deep water fish (salmon, cod, herring, etc.) and non-hydrogenated vegetable oils (extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut and flaxseed), as well as nuts, seeds and butter.

Vitamins are the biochemical "nuts and bolts" that enable the large molecules of proteins, carbohydrates and fats comprising one's tissues to function as a coordinated unit. As coenzymes, vitamins work with enzymes, thereby allowing all activities that occur in the body to be carried out, as they should. Vitamins like A, C, E and B complex, must be obtained from food. Both plant and animal sources are known for their particular concentration of one or more essential vitamin(s).

Minerals are required by all living cells, plant and animal, for function and structure. For example minerals are needed for the formation of bone and blood, and for thecomposition of all bodily fluids, such as saliva and perspiration. Like vitamins, minerals function as co-enzymes, enabling the body to perform its functions including energy production, growth and healing. All enzyme activities involve minerals; therefore minerals are essential for proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients. Major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well as the trace elements like zinc, iron, and copper must be acquired from foods. Again, various animal and plant sources offer variable concentrations of the minerals needed by humans.


It is important to fuel your body with the proper foods and liquids both before and after practice/games. This will give you the best opportunity to skate faster with more endurance, recover quickly between ice times and allow you to be mentally focused on your game. Just as you would not wear figure skates to play hockey, why would you expect to be at the top of your game by eating a poor diet.

Your main goal for a successful hockey season is to consistently have high energy at each ice time (balanced blood sugar), get proper rest and recovery between games, and prevent muscle wasting. Following these nutritional recommendations will allow you to do all of the above. It is important to note that: 1) it takes approximately 3 to 4 hours for meals to digest and be available to your body as energy and build muscle; 2) you need a mixture of all types of foods to fuel your body for the entire day (but some foods are better than others for pre-game meals).

1) Eat well 3 to 4 hours before a game.
2) If you become hungry before a game - a small snack and water 1 hour beforehand.
3) Post game food is important to fuel your body for the next day.

Foods to avoid on game day:
1. Junk Food: candy, soda pop, chocolate, potato chips, all deep-fried foods like french fries. All junk food imbalances your body chemistry so that you will have less energy and endurance.
2. Dairy products, especially milk, within 1 to 2 hours of skating. Dairy is mucus producing which causes breathing problems for many players - something you don't want before competition. Save it for after a game if you need to have it.

Breakfast: a) 1-2 eggs + whole grain toast with butter or coconut oil b) 1 bowl oatmeal + toast with almond butter
Lunch: a balanced meal containing some protein, fat, carbohydrate (see nutritional glossary). Examples: a) pasta + meat sauce, b) chicken + rice + vegetables, c) roast beef sandwiches.
Supper: Same as lunch but a little more food to replenish your body especially for the next day.
Snacks: Protein bar, trail mix + 1 fruit, whey protein shake (with ½ water and ½ juice).
Water: Essential for any serious athlete! 2-3 litres must be consumed throughout the day.

Fast Food Restaurants:
It is best to eat at better quality restaurants or make your own food, however if you eat at McDonald's, Burger King etc. there are still better choices you can make. For example: a burger with a salad or any meat sub with lots of veggies at Subway. Remember that fries, pop, and potato chips are performance killers so avoid them on game days.


WATER - we all know water is important!
• 75% of Canadians are chronically dehydrated.
• In 37% of Canadians, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
• Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
• One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied at the University of Washington.
• Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
• Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease bacj and joint pain in up to 80% of sufferers.
• A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
• Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by an amazing 79%. One is also 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day? I recommend drinking one liter of water for every 75 lbs. that you weigh.

• In many states in the USA, the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
• You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
• To clean a toilet: pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet and let the real thing" sit for one hour, and then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
• To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
• Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals on a car battery to bubble away the corrosion.
• To loosen a rusted bolt: apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the bolt for several minutes.
• Wipe your car windshield with Coca-Cola to remove road haze.
• To remove grease from clothes: empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
• The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8 and it will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
• To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) a commercial truck must use the "Hazardous
• Material" place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
• The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is - would you like a glass of water or a Coke?


It's hard to believe but some people still resist taking food supplements like vitamins, minerals, and herbs. I always eat balanced meals - why bother? I feel fine. This person goes through life in the fast lane and scoffs at the concept of preventive nutrition and thinks why should I worry? Maybe he/she should worry a little!
When life was simpler and closer to the earth, we could eat nutritious meals that contained the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Today, however, we need to be responsible for our health. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves in a polluted environment. We need to learn the elements of good nutrition, one of which is the proper use of food supplements. Why should we take food supplements? Why can't we depend on the food we eat to supply the proper vitamins and minerals? Consider this quote:

US Senate Document #265: "The alarming fact is that food - fruits and vegetables and grains are now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of the needed minerals - are starving us no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them". - written in 1936!

Things are the same in Canada and have gotten much worse in the last 70 years. Here are a few more reasons to indicate the necessity of food supplements:
• The soil our foods grow in are no longer pure. It has been overworked, overdeveloped and has been polluted by chemical fertilizers, insecticides and waste.
• Many of the fruits and vegetables we buy at the supermarkets have been harvested green and ripened with gas. This immature produce is stored shipped great distances. It takes a week to ship a load of lettuce, for example, from California to Ontario. Thus, our produce loses its freshness, nutritional value and even its natural color.
• Most of the foods we eat are dead and processed. They have been chemically fertilized, refined, processed, enriched and stored. The nutrients taken out are replaced by chemicals.
• White flour and white sugar are about as healthy as sandpaper.
• The processed foods we buy are usually overcooked. Their vitamins are dumped out with the cooking water. They are deep-fried and coated with sauces and other decorative but not very nutritious things.

With all of these factors to consider make an appointment with me and enjoy the benefits of:
1. Discovering the exact vitamins and minerals your body needs. This is done through a safe, non-invasive computerized testing program.
2. Saving you time and money from not buying and trying supplements you don't need.

Visit Living Science Clinic for more information or contact Bruce Bonner.

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