Monday, April 15, 2024

Become your best: Nutrition for hockey training

Are you looking forward to playing hockey this spring? Over the coming months, I’m going to be breaking down various areas of hockey nutrition and how we can maximise our performance and recovery in each of these areas.

This week we are covering all things training nutrition.  


My number one piece of advice for training nutrition is to prepare everything in advance. If you pre-set your nutrition for a training day you will reduce the risk of failing to meet your daily intake and avoiding that stop at McDonalds on the way home from training! 

  • Always carry a water bottle with you to training and make sure you’ve filled it before heading out the door.  
  • Prepare your meals the evening before (especially if you don’t have the time to cook before or after training). 
  • Keep a stash of good snacks close to hand before and after training. For example, if you are travelling by car to training make sure you have something to consume on the journey there for energy and on the way back for recovery.  

So we know we need to prepare, but what exactly is the best nutrition for training?  


We need to make sure we consume the energy required for training in advance of our training session. We can do this through our intake of meals, snacks and liquids. Let’s tackle meals first! 

Our pre-training meals want to be high in carbohydrates to provide us with the energy required for training. However, we still want to make sure we are providing the body with all other nutrients, such as fats, protein and micronutrients.  


Before training, keep your protein sources predominately white meat (chicken, fish, turkey), as this is digested quicker than red meats. 

Here’s some examples you could eat before training: 

TIMING: We want to be having our last big meal around 2-3hrs before we take part in sport. This is to allow the body time to digest the food.

As we are planning to eat our last meal before training 2-3hrs before, we might need to consume a snack to stop us from feeling hungry and also to provide us with that extra energy. 

With bananas and other fruit, cereal bars, toast with a choice of your topping and bagels.

TIMING: We want to be having our last snack before training around 60-90mins before we take part in training. This is to allow the body time to digest!


Before training we need to make sure we are well hydrated! We’ve discussed in previous months the negative effects of dehydration. It’s important to maintain our daily hydration, even if we are not planning to train. As we get closer to training we want to make sure we are completely hydrated and ready to train. This is achievable through little and often sips of water, approximately 250mL every 15-20mins!


After we’ve completed training we need to begin to refuel and repair the body. Just like before training we can achieve this through our intake of meals, snacks and liquids.

Our post-training meals want to be high in protein to promote recovery and repair of the muscles. However, we also need to provide the body with other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients. Carbohydrates are important to replenish the energy we have utilised during training.

TOP TIP: Protein and carbohydrates are equally as important when recovering from training to refuel and replenish.

Here’s some examples of meals you could eat after training:

Fajitgas | Lasagne | Toast, Eggs & Meat | Salmon, Veggies & Potatoes

TIMING: We want to be having food as soon as we can after training to ensure we begin refuelling and repairing the body!

A really great way to get nutrients into the body straight after training is snacks! They can be great to keep with you in your bag to consume directly after training.

Granola & Yoghurt | Hummus and Pita | Chicken salad wrap | Roaster Chickpea

TIMING: We want to be having food as soon as we can after training to ensure we begin refuelling and repairing the body! Snacks are a great way to kickstart the recovery phase!


Hydrating after training is just as important as hydration pre-training – we need to begin to replenish the fluids we have lost during exercise. It’s important to remember that pre- and post-training hydration is additional to your daily hydration.


Consuming food both before and after training is critical to performance and recovery. Regardless of the time we need to be consuming all nutrients to maintain healthy nutrition. With this knowledge around training nutrition, you can begin to shape your nutrition to suit your needs!

As mentioned, preparation is key to building a successful training nutrition plan, without the initial planning it will be difficult to follow through with a training day nutrition plan. Remember you can always make multiple meals and refrigerate them for the following days.

If you have any questions around training nutrition, my emails are always open. 

Total Hockey


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