Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Hockey Nutrition Tips: Part 2

More great nutrition tips from Brian St. Pierre.

If you missed it, check out Hockey Nutrition Tips: Part 1

Nutrition Tip #4

Eat Protein at Every Meal or Snack
Protein is the most satiating of all the macronutrients, meaning it will keep that hunger away longer than carbohydrates or fat. Protein also has the highest Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF), meaning it requires more energy to digest protein than any other macronutrient. It is also the least likely nutrient to be stored as fat. Consuming an adequate amount of protein every day (~1g/lb of bodyweight) will maintain lean mass and help create new muscle tissue.

Key Tips:
•    Women should consume approximately 15-30 grams at every meal/snack.
•    Men should consume approximately 30-50 grams at every meal/snack.
•    Get most of your protein from real whole food. No more than 40 grams of powder.

Nutrition Tip #5

Drink 0-Calorie Beverages
The body doesn’t recognize liquid calories as energy intake, and therefore will not downregulate intake for the remainder of the day. Drinking calories is an easy way to overconsume and gain weight, so sticking to non-caloric beverages will help prevent unwanted weight gain.

Key Tips:
•    Best non-calorie choices are water, tea (white, green, oolong, black, rooibos, yerba mate), and black coffee.
•    Some fruit juice is ok in moderation, but only pure juice, no added sugar.

Nutrition Tip #6

Drink Your Calories
This goes completely counter to Tip #5, but if you are purposefully trying to gain weight, drinking calories is an easy way to sneak in extra calories without actually having to eat and chew much more food. Blending up real food is my favorite option. These smoothies can be all the difference in gaining that much wanted muscle.

Key Tips:
•    Blend real food such as cottage cheese, fruit, nuts and some protein powder.
•    Experiment, have fun with it, and enjoy the results.

Nutrition Tip #7

Choose Full-Fat Versions
When trying to gain weight I see far too many people eating fat-free cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and skim milk. These are inferior choices to the full-fat versions for caloric intake, and they are not inherently less healthy. In all actuality they actually contain more nutrients (like vitamin A) and the fat helps the absorption of these nutrients.

Key Tips:
•    Choose whole milk, 4% fat cottage cheese, and whole fat Greek yogurt when appropriate.
•    Eat plenty of nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and fish oil to balance the increase in saturated fat intake (which isn’t a bad thing!)

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Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with the San Jose Sharks. Prior to San Jose, Kevin spent the last 7 years as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ, the last 3 of which he was also the Strength and Conditioning Coach and Manual Therapist for the Philadelphia Flyers Junior Team. Kevin also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey .