Hockey And Nutrition
By Nmami Agarwal
Hockey is an anaerobic and power-based sport requiring high intensity including primary source of fuel i.e. carbohydrates. Bulking oneself with carbohydrates rich foods like quinoa, fresh fruit, sweet potatoes, and steel cut oats.
At least fifty percent of calories must come from carbs that includes foods like grains, vegetables, fruits with twenty to twenty five percent of fuel getting from protein and remaining twenty five to thirty percent from dietary (healthy)fats.
Most of the protein in training diet can be derived from plain yogurt, fish, chicken and lean meats. Dietary fats can be derived from olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fish. Considering high performance is required by hockey players, eating small yet frequent meals is the best formula for busy days with training and fitness sessions.
Here’s the list of nutrients, a hockey player should incorporate in his/her diet as per the ratio discussed above.
Carbohydrates: Wondering why carbohydrates on top? Well, carbs provide fuel to your body. In fact, brain, red blood cells and nervous system must have the constant supply of carbs to keep working optimally.
Furthermore, hockey consists of variety of exercise intensities ranging from standing still to sprinting which requires fuel for such bursted intense activities. Fatigue is caused while playing because of muscle glycogen depletion (carbs stored in muscles). Also, blood glucose levels drops during the game and may lead to loss of field concentration and tactical skills. This is why carbs are important for a hockey player. Carbs stored in the body in the form of glycogen in muscle and liver help body perform at its best.
Sources To Get: Whole grain breads, fruits & vegetables with the skin, pitas, cereals and oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, potatoes with skin and beans/lentils.
Protein: Protein is an extremely important macro-nutrient throughout the course of life to maintain and renew the body cells and muscles. Essential for the growth and repair of body tissues and bone as well. If one maintain a balanced diet with variety of foods can achieve the required ratio of protein.
Hockey is a power sport requiring both, endurance and strength. A hockey player needs slightly high protein than the average person because to the wear and tear of muscles.
Sources To Get: Lentils and beans (kidney, chick peas, black), fish and seafood, soy, chicken, low fat milk and yogurt.
Fats: Fats are waxy components composed up of glycerol and fatty acids. Fat is essential for health that supplies healthy cell membrance to the body and protects tissues of the body while intensified training session and tournaments.
Athletes requir fats as their active muscles burn quickly through carbohydrates and need fats for long-lasting energy. It’s advised for athletes to concentrate on healthier fats, such as unsaturated fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid eating trans which is found in junk, processed and fried foods.
Sources To Get Healthy Fats: Olive oil, canola oil, almonds and walnuts.
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