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Ice Hockey Nutrition

PHOTO: Skeeze/Pixabay

Nutrition in ice hockey: what ice hockey players should be aware of

Ice hockey is a fascinating sport: fast-paced, physical and in some cases highly dramatic. Although the regular match time is usually three times 20 minutes with breaks of 15 minutes, the effective play time is much longer. Depending on the interruptions during the game, the five field players and the goalie can spend up to two and a half hours on ice. It is obvious that a competition of over two hours requires a targeted and carefully balanced nutritional strategy if an athlete is to fully exploit his performance potential on the ice. We explain in the following what ice hockey players nutrition-wise need to consider before, during and after the competition and make recommendations for product selection from the SPONSER range.

BEFORE COMPETITION

Filling glycogen stores
Full energy reservoirs are the be-all and end-all in a sport with long performing times such as ice hockey. Studies confirm that glycogen supercompensation (carboloading) with a concentrated, carbohydrate-containing drink provides a considerable energy advantage on the day before the competition. Suitable products:

CARBO LOADER: High energy sports drink for replenishing glycogen stores, contains Vitargo®, a barley starch hydrolysate specially developed for this purpose.
LIQUID ENERGY GELS: Those who prefer it quick and comfortable can take carbohydrates directly from the tube with these gels. They deliver easily tolerable energy, which is available within a few minutes after ingestion.
HIGH ENERGY BAR: Competition bars for long-lasting energy. Ideal up to one hour before use.

Increased lactate tolerance
The relatively short, but high-intensity blocks, with sprints and hardly any breathers, as they occur again and again in ice hockey, result in high lactate accumulation. Beta-alanine and soda loading (sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate) in advance increase the extracellular buffer capacity, which in turn delays the muscle acidosis and fatigue. Athletes benefit also from creatine supplementation, especially when it comes to speed and interval performance - two factors that play a central role in ice hockey. Suitable products:

LACTAT BUFFER: For professional soda loading during 4-5 days before important games.
BETA ALANINE: In contrast to soda loading, it does not increase the extracellular but the intracellular buffer capacity and thus ideally complements the LACTATE BUFFER. Loading is necessary for approx. 8 weeks and should be paused after approx. 12 weeks for several weeks.
CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Loading phase during 1-2 weeks, but can also be used throughout the entire season. For even better absorption, a combination with CREATINE PYRUMAX is also possible.

DURING THE GAME

Ensure regular liquid supply
Despite the obviously cool temperatures on the ice field, the loss of liquid is significantly higher than one would expect, due to high-intensity performance and the hindered thermoregulation by full-body clothing and protection gear. For this reason, professional athletes make sure to drink 0.5 to 1 litres of an energy- and electrolyte-containing sports drink per hour during a match. Suitable products:

ISOTONIC: The classic sports drink with 5 fruity flavours.
COMPETITION: The less sweet, less intensively flavoured and acid-free alternative and therefore the first choice in elite sports.

Avoiding blood sugar fluctuations and muscle cramps
In competitive sports, energy supply plays a central role because the body's fuel stores are not sufficient for a duration of more than approx. 90 to 120 minutes. LIQUID ENERGY Gels can therefore also be used in addition to carbohydrate-electrolytes drinks. They provide fast energy, can be taken easily and do not strain the digestion. Players with high sweat losses and/or cramp tendency may benefit from our MUSCLE RELAX Shot. Suitable products:

LIQUID ENERGY GELS: Best tolerated liquid energy concentrate from quick and slow available carbohydrates. The energy kick par excellence! With or without caffeine.
MUSCLE RELAX: 30 ml bottles of cucumber juice and vinegar. At first signs or acute muscle cramps, rinse your mouth briefly with it and drink afterwards.

EXPERT ADVICE

Keeping coordination and concentration high
Reaction time, attention, coordination, concentration and a high focus are elementary performance components in a technical and fast discipline like ice hockey. Suitable products for increased cognitive performance and delayed fatigue:

ACTIVATOR: Ready-to-drink flask with 200 mg caffeine from guarana, mate and green tea. Ideal from the second third or to manage mental fatigue. To be taken approx. 30-60 min before the desired time of effect. Take in two portions depending on tolerance.
MENTAL FOCUS: Caffeine-free formulation with green tea active ingredients and Rhodiola Rosea. Promotes focusing without increasing anxiety.

AFTER COMPETITION

Ensure fast recovery
«After the match is before the match» is a bon mot in ice hockey. It is therefore crucial to take care of regeneration immediately after a match. A high-quality regeneration supplement supplies the body with fluid and electrolytes, fills the glycogen stores and repairs endured muscle damage. Suitable products:

RECOVERY DRINK: Fruity regeneration drink, lactose-free. Preparation with water.
PRO RECOVERY: Efficient, highly professional protein-based regeneration product to balance muscle stress. Lactose-free and without artificial sweeteners. Preparation with water.
NITROFLOW PERFORMANCE2: The professional tip! Its vasodilatory effect enables better nutrient supply and reduction of metabolic end products (e.g. lactate). Ideal for supporting regeneration.

Author: Remo Jutzeler
Head R&D SPONSER SPORT FOOD
Ing. Applied Food Sciences UAS
MAS Nutrition & Health ETHZ

Fitting products

Nitroflow Performance
Nitroflow Performance Short info
EUR CHF 31.50
  • NO-boost effect spectrum, performance optimiser
  • nutrient mix based on functional plant extracts
  • for targeted nutrient optimisation in high-intensity phases
Muscle Relax
Muscle Relax Short info
EUR CHF 13.00
  • Inhibits uncontrolled muscle contractions in sports
  • Pickle juice with vinegar, quinine and ginger
  • With magnesium to support normal muscle function
  • For prevention or in case of acute need
Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine Short info
EUR CHF 27.50
  • Intracellular acid buffer for competition and strength athletes
  • where muscle acidity and lactate accumulation limit performance
  • proven A-supplement, widely used in professional sports
  • slow-release formula
Carbo Loader
Carbo Loader Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • Highly concentrated carbohydrate blend
  • Multi-carb formula plus electrolytes for efficient carboloading
  • Maximises glycogen stores prior to endurance activities
Competition
Competition Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • For maximum endurance and performance
  • Non-acidic and mildly flavoured sports drink to enhance tolerance
  • Multi-carb formula: High energy density & hypotonic
  • Lactose and gluten free, no additives or free fructose
Isotonic
Isotonic Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • Isotonic thirst quencher for optimal endurance performance
  • Fruity taste, available in 5 flavours
  • Multi-carb formula with electrolytes
Liquid Energy
Liquid Energy Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • gels with highest energy density
  • optimal digestibility
  • 6 different variations/flavours
  • without preservatives, lactose free
Pro Recovery
Pro Recovery Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • Protein-carbohydrate recovery shake
  • 44 – 50% protein
  • Unique combination of  7 protein sources, incl. colostrum, and complex carbohydrates
  • No sweeteners
Recovery Drink
Recovery Drink Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • Recovery drink with carbohydrates and protein
  • Quick recovery after sports
  • With whey protein, L-glutamine and L-leucine
  • Practical portion bag, preparation with water
  • Lactose- and gluten-free
Activator
Activator Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • Caffeine shot with 200mg of caffeine from different sources
  • Increased endurance performance
  • Improved concentration and attention
  • At work and in everyday life as a "cold espresso", only 25 kcal
  • Now available in new Cola-Lemon flavour
Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Monohydrate Short info
EUR CHF 23.50
  • 100% pure Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate
  • improves the physical performance during repeated, intensive short-term exercise
  • ideal in anaerobic, high-speed and maximum power exercises (e.g. sprint, weight-lifting and interval loads) 
Creatine Pyrumax
Creatine Pyrumax Short info
EUR CHF 42.00
  • Creatine improves the performance in successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise
  • Innovative product formulation, based on 3 ingredients
  • Maximum guarantee of certified quality and purity
High Energy Bar
High Energy Bar Short info
EUR CHF 0.00
  • High energy density
  • Optimal digestibility
  • Staggered energy release
Mental Focus
Mental Focus Short info
EUR CHF 13.00
  • Easy intake thanks to cure package with ampoule and capsules