The hardest part about the training process I run into happens away from the gym. When I get a group in my door, one of the things I have them do is write down what they eat each day and have them bring it to me once a week. I do this so I can see what their eating habits are like and then we can go from there with implementing a plan for a hockey player diet.
The one thing besides keeping my athletes safe and injury free that I focus on most is getting them stronger. It’s the foundation of strength that I believe athletes need in order to improve in all other areas of their athleticism. Get stronger and you increase your ability to become faster. You increase your ability to become quicker and more agile. I really believe this.
Gaining strength only happens efficiently when athletes work hard in the weight room and eat the right type of foods for muscle gains. Now, when I say gaining muscle, I’m not necessarily telling players that they need to look like a bodybuilder. There are some freakishly strong hockey players out there that would totally flop in a bodybuilding contest. I find at times that the bodybuilding type of training creeps too far into the minds of players at times.
Eating the proper types of foods for muscle gains will help players recover from their workouts efficiently. These foods will help rebuild the athlete’s muscles so that they can come back stronger for the next workout, practice or game.
Here are my top 5 foods Too Add To A Hockey Players Diet For Gaining Muscle:
Skinless Chicken Breast
If you’re going for the deep fried chicken you’re missing the boat. Chicken is an excellent source of high quality protein and should be a part of every hockey players diet. You need high quality protein to help build muscle. There are tons of ways to cook chicken but my favourite is to grill it on the BBQ.
Like chicken, lean beef provides the high quality protein you need to recover from tough workouts and rebuild muscle to become stronger in the weight room. If you’re at the grocery store, try to find the “extra lean” type. And if you’re fortunate enough, opt for grass feed beef.
Not only do eggs contain high quality protein, but also healthy fats and vitamin D. This food has become my staple breakfast. Every morning I’ll eat 2 eggs along with some egg whites, cottage cheese, and turkey bacon in an omelet and then pour on some salsa for extra taste.
Cottage cheese contain casein protein which is a slower digesting protein which is great for muscle maintenance. The slow digesting nature of casein protein allows those busy types to go longer periods of time without consuming protein. Like I said before, I like throwing a cup of the low-fat kind on my eggs in my hockey player diet.
Whey protein is probably the most popular form of protein consumption in the exercise world. There are millions of different types of powders out there, so be careful of the ones that pack a lot of extra sucralose for taste purposes. Sometimes you’ll find a 5lb. tub only contains 4 lbs. of protein because the other pound is sucralose that companies add for flavours. However, there are some excellent choices out there that can provide you with a healthy dose of fast digesting protein. This is great for after workouts and games because you muscles are craving protein to rebuild the broken down tissues.
Now these aren’t the only foods that are great for muscle growth. These are just the ones that I enjoy eating the most and find easy to include in my diet.
If you’re looking for a program that encompasses all aspects of off ice training for hockey and need something to accompany your hockey player diet, you will definitely want to check out Kevin Neeld’s Ultimate Hockey Transformation! Kevin is currently the head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins and has worked with the Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.