Now that the off-season is here, it can be tempting to hit the patio this summer and chow down on as many “all-you-can-eat” wings as you can. But good nutrition shouldn’t end with the season, as it’s much harder to get back up to peak hockey playing condition, than it is maintaining your diet. Here are some tips to keep you on the right track.
Prepare, prepare, prepare! - Preparation is key, and prevents you from just ordering a pizza, or hitting up the drive-through at a nearby fast food restaurant. It’s far less tempting to do something quick, and easy (and terrible for you) when you’ve prepared for what you’re going to eat that day. Cook a bunch of food for the next few days (or even the week) and then store it in a couple containers in the fridge. Now when your stomach starts to growl, you’ll have something much better for you at the ready.
Get the junk out of the house - Reaching for a bag of chips, or a stack of cookies is much less tempting when you don’t even have it in the house. If you put it in the cupboard, you’re going to eat it. So skip on the sugary and salty snacks, and stock up on nuts, fruits, and veggies. Our favourite homemade protein-rich snack? This great granola recipe from Men’s Health.
Choose carb-rich foods, and don't forget the protein - Carbohydrate-rich foods are the best fuel for active bodies. They include vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods, milk, and legumes (such as peas, beans, and lentils). Add in some protein, like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and tofu, and you have a great meal. While it may be tempting to stock up on protein, it can actually decrease your energy, and dehydrate you. So go for carbs first, and don’t be excessive with your proteins.
Diet can have one of the biggest impacts on your health and fitness - and with a plan, and the right food in the house, it’s a simple thing that can have a dramatic impact on how we play. So keep to the path this off-season, and you’ll find it’ll be that much easier to get back into the swing of things next season.