After spending the weekend celebrating the 4th of July, a holiday that drives unthinkable spikes in hot dog sales, I thought it’d be an appropriate time for another guest post from my friend Brian St. Pierre, who wrote the Nutrition Guide for my new program Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

As a quick reminder, you can get ~50% off almost all of my products until Friday using these links:

  1. Ultimate Hockey Training ($35.95 $19.95)
  2. Ultimate Hockey Transformation (Pro: $147 $77 Elite: $117 $57)
  3. Optimizing Movement ($97 $47)

Enjoy!

-KN

Tip #7 – Drink Mostly Calorie-Free Beverages by Brian St. Pierre

Water is one of the most important aspects of exercise nutrition. In fact, your muscles are over 70% water!

If you don’t drink enough of it, and you end up even a little dehydrated, you will suffer. Your performance will decline, your health will diminish and your body composition will worsen.

Not drinking enough water will especially hurt your performance.

Lose anything more than 1% of your body water – which you can do exercising for just one hour in the heat – your endurance drops, strength and power disappear, and your heart starts racing during relatively easy activities.

This is why it is critical you drink enough. It strongly affects everything you may want to improve – how you look, how you feel, and how you perform. Being dehydrated prevents any of the other nutrition strategies I’ve covered from providing you as much benefit.

So, how much water should you drink?

As a hard-training athlete, you should aim for 12-16 cups (3-4 liters) every day.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Here is an easy 3-step process that I’ve borrowed from my colleague, Dr. John Berardi, for drinking enough:

Step 1: fill a 1-liter bottle and drink it during workouts and practices

Step 2: fill another 1 liter bottle and drink it right after workouts and practices

Step 3: each time you eat a meal, drink another 1-2 cups of water

Now, your beverage choices are not limited to just water. But you would be best served by consuming mostly calorie-free beverages, including water. I will go over some of the best ones. Even with these other options available to you, it would be best if water still made up at least half of your total fluid intake.

Black coffee

Coffee is a somewhat controversial beverage, but it really shouldn’t be.

Black Coffee
 

Some people metabolize caffeine poorly, or feel jittery from caffeine. If this is you, minimize your coffee consumption. But for everyone else, 1-3 cups of black coffee can provided a nice dose of health benefits:

  1. Improved athletic performance
  2. Decreased risk of some cancers
  3. Decreased risk of neurological diseases
  4. And more.

Tea

Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. It is loaded with antioxidants and powerful nutrients. A few cups per day has been shown to:

  1. Calm nerves
  2. Decrease risk of some cancers
  3. Boost immune system function
  4. And more.

Drinks to minimize

With the focus on consuming mostly calorie-free beverages, that means there are other drinks you should aim to minimize. These drinks usually just provide lots of unnecessary sugar and calories, and don’t provide much value to the body.

These drinks include:

  1. soda
  2. energy drinks
  3. fruit juice
  4. alcohol

Note, that this doesn’t mean you should never drink these beverages. An occasional soda or juice is not a problem. It is what you do consistently that matters, not what you do on occasion.

Sports drinks

There can be a time and a place for sports drinks too (Biosteel, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.), such as during extended exercise, being active in intense heat, or during competition. But for general hydration purposes, water is your best choice.

In the end, it is critically important that you consume adequate amounts of fluid every day. If you’re working out or competing, and start feeling a little confused, get a headache, feel tired too quickly, get dizzy, get light-headed when standing up, or feel really moody, these are early warning signs; you need to start drinking water immediately.

-Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, CISSN, PN1

P.S. For more information on how to get a copy of Brian’s incredible hockey nutrition manual, click here: Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Brian is a Registered Dietitian and received his Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine, where he also received his Master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He is a Certified Sports Nutritionist as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Brian worked for three years at Cressey Performance as the head Sports Nutritionist and as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, working with hundreds of athletes and recreational exercisers of all types. During this time, he also authored the High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, Show and Go Nutrition Guide, Ultimate Hockey Nutrition and dozens of articles for publication.

Nowadays, he works closely with Dr. John Berardi as a full-time coach and a nutrition educator at Precision Nutrition. In particular, working closely with our elite athletes and fitness professionals. As part of the Precision Nutrition mission, he helps to deliver life-changing, research-driven nutrition coaching for everyone.

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

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Year-round age-specific hockey training programs complete with a comprehensive instructional video database!

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“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University

Today I have another awesome sports nutrition tip from Brian St. Pierre. This tip is a “teaser” from the Nutrition Guide he wrote for my new program Ultimate Hockey Transformation. Most youth athletes have significant room for improvement in every aspect of their eating, but having now looked at food logs for a lot of our clients at Endeavor, I can say without hesitation that this is the area most consistently lacking. It’s simple, and incredibly powerful. You just have to make a choice to do it!

Enjoy! – KN

Tip #4: Eat Vegetables at Every Meal and Most Snacks

As an athlete, your vitamin and mineral needs are increased. And all too often, athletes are deficient in critical nutrients. In fact, research has consistently shown athletes to be deficient in at least 3 nutrients, and as many as 15!

One of the easiest ways to take in adequate amounts of these nutrients is to eat more vegetables. Vegetables are rich in some of the nutrients that athletes are most commonly deficient in, such as magnesium and potassium.

In addition, vegetables are rich in compounds called phytonutrients. These phytonutrients are unique to plant foods, and they provide tremendous benefits to how you look, feel, and perform.

So how do you actually make sure you get in as many as you need?

Veggies – What’s a Serving?

Make a fist. That’s one serving. Easy.

At every meal female athletes should aim for 1 fist of veggies, and male athletes should aim for 2 fists. And everybody should try to get 1 fist of veggies at most snacks too. 

Vegetable Portions

Photo Credit: PrecisionNutrition.com

While you can have less at some meals and more at others, the easiest way to get those veggies in is to simply focus on having veggies at each meal and the total intake will take care of itself.

Eat Your Veggies Today

To rock this tip, simply pick some of the veggie options below and, by the end of the day, make sure you’ve eaten 1-2 “fists” (aka serving) of them at every meal. You can eat these raw or cooked; however you prefer.

And if you really love one kind of veggie (such as broccoli or tomatoes), go ahead and eat a couple of servings! There is no best vegetable. The best vegetables are the ones you will eat the most often, and the most consistently. This list is just to give you an idea, it is not meant to be comprehensive.

  1. broccoli
  2. cauliflower
  3. carrots
  4. eggplant
  5. cucumber
  6. large tomato or cherry tomatoes
  7. onion
  8. leafy greens like spinach
  9. green, red, or yellow pepper
  10. mushrooms
  11. zucchini / summer squash
  12. butternut squash or pumpkin
  13. green beans
  14. sweet or snow peas
  15. beets
  16. parsnips
  17. Brussels sprouts
  18. cabbage (e.g. red cabbage, Napa cabbage, etc.)

A Work in Progress

Now, this amount of vegetables may sound like a lot. And it can be. However, you don’t have to perfect here. You simply have to eat a few more veggies than you do now.

If you’re new to eating a lot of vegetables, it is cool to start smaller. If you normally eat only 1 fist of veggies per day, how about we make it 2 fists? Once that becomes normal, lets make it 3 fists. Slowly adding veggies to your diet is a far better option than just trying to add 5 fists of vegetables all at once, when you usually don’t eat any. That is a recipe for failure.

Here are some things to try:

  1. Slowly increase your vegetable intake over time.
  2. Try new vegetables to find ones you like.
  3. Try a new way of prepping or cooking familiar favorites.
  4. Aim for more dark leafy greens.
  5. Hit up the farmer’s market and try something in season, or buy something that’s organic.

Use the above list to get you going, but don’t feel like everything else is off the table. Like acorn squash? Add it in. Kale in a Super Shake? Why not?

Don’t get bogged down in the details or stress about the “best” kind of vegetable. Just pick at least one vegetable and put it in your mouth. Go get ‘em.

-Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, CISSN, PN1

P.S. For more information on how to get a copy of Brian’s incredible hockey nutrition resource, click here: Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Brian is a Registered Dietitian and received his Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine, where he also received his Master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He is a Certified Sports Nutritionist as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Brian worked for three years at Cressey Performance as the head Sports Nutritionist and as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, working with hundreds of athletes and recreational exercisers of all types. During this time, he also authored the High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, Show and Go Nutrition Guide, Ultimate Hockey Nutrition and dozens of articles for publication.

Nowadays, he works closely with Dr. John Berardi as a full-time coach and a nutrition educator at Precision Nutrition. In particular, working closely with our elite athletes and fitness professionals. As part of the Precision Nutrition mission, he helps to deliver life-changing, research-driven nutrition coaching for everyone.

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Get Ultimate Hockey Transformation Now!

Year-round age-specific hockey training programs complete with a comprehensive instructional video database!

Ultimate Hockey Transformation Pro Package-small

Get access to your game-changing program now >> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University

Today I have another awesome sports nutrition tip from Brian St. Pierre, who authored the Nutrition Guide for my new program Ultimate Hockey Transformation. Enjoy! – KN

Tip #2: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Have you ever missed out on accomplishing a goal or task because you were overwhelmed? Maybe you had too much information to sort through or tried to do too much at once.

If so, I’d like to share a powerful principle with you – one that can increase your chances of success.

And not just a little. If you apply the principles discussed here, your chances will skyrocket from less than 35% to greater than 80%.

That’s the difference between: “maybe this will work” and “this is totally gonna happen.”

The principle I want to share today is one that I use very comprehensively with my own clients.

And the principle is called: habit based coaching.  So, what is habit-based coaching?

Well, it’s the commitment to a single, but immensely important idea: Focusing on less helps you achieve more.

What it all comes down to is this. In a world full of distracting “technologies”, “novelties”, “cutting edge resources”, and “gadgets”, one thing ALWAYS rules: the application of basic habits.

Research and experience with thousands of clients – “regular” folks, high school athletes, and professional athletes alike – has taught me that this is the best approach.

The key is to go slow and steady for long-lasting success.

  1. Select only one habit at a time. You can choose any habit you want, whatever you think will have the biggest impact on your life. Or follow the monthly tips that will follow this one. Simply choose one habit per month (at most every 2 weeks).
  2. Write this habit down. Put it on post it notes, or use iPhone reminders to help you do it each day.
  3. Tell people you are doing this habit. This helps to provide social support, and social accountability.
  4. Track your consistency daily. It’s not about perfection, simply progress over the long haul. You won’t get it 100% right every single day, and that is okay. Just aim to get better day by day, with the occasional hiccup, until you have that habit down pat.
  5. Only then do you move on to your next habit.

Slow and Steady

Image Credit: OneSocialMedia.com

I know this may sound slow, or even boring. It is definitely more exciting to make big sweeping changes.

But here’s the thing – those big sweeping changes rarely last. There is too much change all at once, and nothing sticks. Instead, by just making one change at a time, you allow for that new habit to simply become what you do everyday.

Then, and only then, you add on a new habit. Before you know it, you will have radically changed the way you eat and think, will be fitter, healthier and performing at a higher level, and doing so in a sustainable manner.

So remember, slow and steady wins the race. Practice one new habit at a time, and you will change your life.

-Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, CISSN, PN1

P.S. For more information on how to get a copy of Brian’s incredible hockey nutrition resource, click here: Ultimate Hockey Transformation

Brian is a Registered Dietitian and received his Bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine, where he also received his Master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He is a Certified Sports Nutritionist as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Brian worked for three years at Cressey Performance as the head Sports Nutritionist and as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, working with hundreds of athletes and recreational exercisers of all types. During this time, he also authored the High Performance Handbook Nutrition Guide, Show and Go Nutrition Guide, Ultimate Hockey Nutrition and dozens of articles for publication.

Nowadays, he works closely with Dr. John Berardi as a full-time coach and a nutrition educator at Precision Nutrition. In particular, working closely with our elite athletes and fitness professionals. As part of the Precision Nutrition mission, he helps to deliver life-changing, research-driven nutrition coaching for everyone.

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Get Ultimate Hockey Transformation Now!

Year-round age-specific hockey training programs complete with a comprehensive instructional video database!

Ultimate Hockey Transformation Pro Package-small

Get access to your game-changing program now >> Ultimate Hockey Transformation

“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University