By Mark Ysseldyk, HoneyMaxx Co-Founder
Hockey is played at very high levels of physical intensity with high levels of fluid loss. The amount of calories burned by a hockey player can be up to 500 - 700 calories per hour of intense skating. The unique physical demands it puts on an athlete are such that proper nutrition and hydration are of utmost importance if your goal is to perform at your maximum level.
Peak hockey performance requires the proper timing of nutrients at three critical points in one’s day. Ensuring energy and hydration levels are high before hitting the ice is step one. Hydrating during a game or practice along with adequate caloric intake of carbohydrates is step two. Finally, the proper combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats during a very specific timing 'window' post activity will ensure your maximum recovery and the replenishment of liver and muscle glycogen, ensuring that you are fueled properly for your next game or practice.
Optimum Pre-Workout Hydration Using HoneyMaxx
Hitting the ice properly fueled, meaning your liver and muscles are filled with glycogen (energy), is absolutely essential. Low levels of muscle and liver glycogen may cause you to experience low blood sugar during your skate which often leads to poor physical and mental performance (not the desired state you likely want to play under). Low energy, slower reaction time and less endurance are some of the side effects of low blood sugar. Before your game or practice is also the time to ensure your sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium levels are topped off. If you begin to cramp during your skate, you may find it difficult to 'catch up' on the fly. You are already likely experiencing high levels of sweat loss and caloric expenditure so you'd need to 'super-compensate' to actually restore adequate levels of electrolytes. If you've ever watched a triathalon or marathon, you'll notice that once an athlete starts to cramp, it is very difficult for them to 'get caught up' so to speak. In most cases, their race or event is over once they've depleted their electrolyte levels. This is why it is so important to use the 2 hours before your skate to properly hydrate and fuel.
As a honey-based carb and electrolyte drink, HoneyMaxx is a very effective pre-workout source of nutrition. I suggest consuming one serving of HoneyMaxx mixed in 350-500 ml of water each hour starting two hours before your game or practice. This will ensure your liver and muscle glycogen levels are topped off along with your electrolyte stores. If possible, consume some quality protein in this window as well. I recommend using a high quality whey protein shake as whey is the best source of branch chain amino acids which are needed by the body during extremely high intensity exercise. It is also easily digested and most whey products taste quite good. If dairy is an issue for you, I highly recommend using one of the few vegetable based protein drinks available..
How to Use HoneyMaxx For Optimum Hydration
If you've hydrated with HoneyMaxx properly before your game, then staying hydrated during the game is much, much easier and doesn't require as much fluid intake as would be required had you entered the game unprepared. If you are involved in a short game or low intensity game or practice and have hydrated well leading up to hitting the ice, water might be sufficient for you. If you are playing a scrimmage and only 6 guys have shown up, one serving of HoneyMaxx per hour should be sufficient to fuel the huge amounts of ice time you're about to get. If you're an elite level player and playing at maximum intensity for sixty minutes, you should be well hydrated with one serving of HoneyMaxx per hour. Keep in mind that we are all unique with very different metabolisms. If you find that your energy levels are fading in the third period, you may need to consume more carbohydrates during activity and I'd suggest 1.5 servings per hour to start. You can then adjust your intake from there.
If you're showing up to your game without having eaten for four hours and your only hydration was a large coffee, you will want to begin consuming HoneyMaxx as soon as possible in the dressing room and once on the bench. Aim to get a full serving or more into your body as soon as possible and then consume a serving every half an hour.
Post Game - How to Recover Using HoneyMaxx
The forty five minutes immediately following your game or practice have been shown in studies as a 'window' of opportunity to enhance your recovery from the intense effort you just put your body through. This 'window' is the absolute best time to provide your body with protein and carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen and begin the process of rebuilding muscle tissue that was 'torn down' in your game or practice. It has been shown that consuming carbohydrates and protein in a 4:1 ratio is optimal. For an adult male weighing 185 lbs, a post activity drink of two scoops of HoneyMaxx mixed with 10 grams of whey protein (a typical serving is usually about 20 grams) would be ideal and ensure a speedy recovery. This would provide you with 40 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. A 200 lb plus male might want to consider increasing this by one scoop of HoneyMaxx while a child and most females will find that one scoop of HoneyMaxx is sufficient along with five grams of protein.