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Pre-Game Nutrition Tips To Help Improve Your Game

Do I Need To Eat Something Before I Play ?
Yes. Just like a race car you can't expect to win an Indianapolis 500 without the right fuel in your tank. Unfortunately, everyday hockey players around the world run out of gas in the middle of a game and struggle just to finish simply because they forgot to re-fuel before they played
 
When Should I Eat ?
Two hours before a game or practice you should have a small pre-game snack.
 
What Should I Eat ?
Complex Carbohydrates that will digest slowly and provide long term energy like bagels, muffins, toast, cereal as well as fruits like bananas and oranges. Sports nutrition products  can also be an excellent source of energy and can be part of your pre-game snack. These products are designed to give you the right balance of nutrients as well as digest properly for athletes.
 
What Shouldn't I Eat ?
You should try to avoid foods that either upset your stomach or may give you short term energy.  Things that upset your stomach include milk and spicy foods.  Chocolate bars, candy may give you a short term energy boost but tend to cause a real energy drain within a short time and actually hurt your performance more than help it.
 
Should I Drink Extra Fluids Before I Play ?
Yes. Even a small loss of 2% body fluid from sweating during a game can have a significant impact on your performance.  They key is to drink approximately 14 – 20 ounces (or 400 - 600 mls) of fluid before you play to give yourself some insurance against dehydration during the game.
 
When Should I drink ?
You should start your pre-game hydration routine two hours prior to the start of your game or practice. Over the course of first hour you should try to consume 14 – 20 ounces (or 400 –600 mls) of fluids such as sports beverages, fruit juices and water.  You should stop consuming fluids in the immediate hour before you play. DO NOT DRINK A LOT OF FLUIDS IN THE HOUR IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU PLAY. The problem with drinking extra in the last hour is that your kidneys will be stimulated and your urine production will be increased.  This will make you go to the bathroom a lot and can actually de-hydrate you.
 
What Should I Drink ?
As part of your pre-game hydration routine, you should try to have a glass of fruit juice or a sports beverage approximately two hours before you play. Although there is nothing wrong with drinking water, fluids like sports beverages and fruit juices, which contain a small percentage of carbohydrates, have been shown to help accelerate the absorption of fluids into your system and help prevent dehydration.
 
What Shouldn't I Drink ?
You should try to avoid fluids like soda pop (can cause intestinal cramping), and ‘energy drinks’ such as Red Bull, AMP, etc. These drinks are basically just sugar and may give you a short term energy boost but could cause a real energy drain within a short time. These fluids also tend to increase your urine production.  This will cause you to go to the bathroom more and can lead to dehydration.
 
Keep your child well hydrated during a game, encourage a half cup of liquid every 15 minutes. Some parents encourage their child to drink after every shift. Plain water is best but flavored sport drinks are OK if they don't contain more than 8% carbohydrates (8 grams per 100ml)
Keep fluids in a clean bottle on the bench.
 
Wash the bottle with soap and water after every game.