The Importance of Protein for Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is a grueling, gritty sport that also happens to be the most popular in Canada. Most people (men and women) have played hockey at some point, and even more enjoy watching.
Ice hockey athletes are intense and elite and require precise dietary support based on the sport’s nature. Ice hockey athletes compete for short shifts of just 45 seconds. During these 45 seconds, athletes are pushing their bodies as hard and as fast as they can possibly go.
Energy for Short Shifts
To understand the hockey player’s dietary needs, you need to understand that ice hockey is an anaerobic sport, not an aerobic sport. Examples of anaerobic activities are:
- heavy weightlifting
- ice hockey
A hockey player should focus on nutrient density in their diet to optimize performance and recovery. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats can provide nutrients, while appropriately timed carbohydrates will provide the fuel to perform. Lastly, hockey players require protein for muscle repair and recovery.
While carbohydrates are the most critical dietary piece for performance, protein is essential for healing and growing so players can continue to perform at their best.
How Much Protein do Ice Hockey Players Require?
Hockey players need between 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So, a 72-kilogram hockey player requires between 86.4-144 grams of protein every day, whether they are training or not.
Hockey players should aim to hit their protein goals through their diet first, including several ounces of lean protein with each meal, and use supplement sources to close the gap.
Supplement Sources of Protein
Supplement sources of protein include:
- whey protein shakes
- casein protein shakes
- alternate protein supplement source and vegan protein shakes
- collagen supplement sources
- BCAA and EAA supplements
Canadian Supplement Brands for Ice Hockey Players
Luckily for hockey lovers, there are tons of trusted Canadian supplement brands from which to choose. Check out some of our favourite Canadian supplement brands:
Allmax is a rising, trusted Canadian supplement brand that is hungry to keep improving. They have a complete line of sports supplements from creatine to protein and greens, but we love their whey protein options the most. Isoflex is a great tasting, fast-absorbing whey protein isolate product with 27 grams of protein and only 110 calories. Use Isoflex after every training session.
HD Muscle is a Canadian supplement brand started by two brothers that consistently releases cutting-edge, quality supplements. HD Muscle is one of few supplement brands that has a carb supplement. Carb HD is ideal for fueling up before a competition, especially for anaerobic activities like hockey. Use Carb HD before and during competitions.
This proudly Canadian supplement brand has a “food-first” philosophy with a selection of alternative source, plant-based, vegan protein supplements. They also have a Daily Greens supplement product that we recommend using each morning to get daily micronutrients.
There are many supplement brands from Canada with quality products that you can trust. These three brands are just a few of our favourites. Try the products we mentioned above for your next ice hockey game, and you will be amazed at how awesome you feel throughout all three periods.