Practice might not be until 4 or 5 p.m. Why is it so important to eat a hockey strong breakfast?
Youth Ice hockey players are growing young athletes. They need great food to help them meet their developmental (brain) and physical growth milestones. In addition they need to have enough “fuel in their tank” to support their goals on the ice. When your skater wakes up in the morning they need a quick breakfast to “break” their “fast” after 8 -10 yrs of sleep. A hockey strong breakfast will give your skater’s brain and body the energy needed to focus and stay energized throughout the day.
Benefits of Making Time for Breakfast
Did you know breakfast can help decrease your skater’s cravings for sugary treats. Skipping breakfast can result in low blood sugar leaving your skater feeling shaky, irritable, unable to focus, frustrated ready to grab the next food item that they see. Many times this will be a quick sugary snack that gives them immediate energy, yet puts them on the “energy roller coaster.”
A Quick Breakfast Should Contain: Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
Even a quick breakfast will help your skater begin to fuel their body for their afternoon practice or game. As a hockey parent you’ve watched many games and know that hockey is a stop and go sport. Stop and go sports rely on carbohydrates to fuel your skater’s explosive starts, quick bursts of speed and support their endurance throughout their time on the ice. When you skater begins the day with a breakfast rich in carbohydrate foods they will be prepared for optimum performance on the ice in their afternoon practice or game.
You may be wondering, if carbohydrates are important, what about protein? Yes! Protein is very important for your skater too and their breakfast should include protein in addition to carbohydrates. Protein rich foods will help your skater feel full longer, as well as support their growth and development throughout their hockey career.
And last but not least fat. Fat is just as important as the carbohydrates and protein food rich foods that your skater eats. Healthy fats provide calories and help your skater’s body absorb the fat soluble vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E and K.
What Happens If Your Skater Skips Breakfast?
Did you know if your skater skips breakfast they are starting their day in a calorie deficit? For example, skipping breakfast cuts out 20-22% of the calories your skater needs for the day, and this means when they arrive at the rink for their game or practice they will be running on a “tank” that is only 78-80% full, not 100%. Your skater will have a difficult time giving 100% on the ice, and this will not increase their confidence or their chances of making it to the starting line up.
Anatomy of a Hockey Strong Breakfast
Help your skater achieve their hockey goals and begin each day with a quick and easy breakfast.
Use the table below to help you build a Hockey Strong Breakfast.
|Carbohydrate Choices (1st)
|Protein Choices (2nd)
|Fat Choices (3rd)
|Combination foods (Carbs + Protein)
|Flax or Chia seeds
|Legumes (black beans, pinto beans)
|Nut butters & nuts
5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas
- Breakfast banana split: slice 1 banana in half, top with vanilla Greek
yogurt, add granola and sliced strawberries and blueberries
- Open face Breakfast Bagel: toast bagel, add 1 scrambled egg to each
half of bagel, top with grated cheese, place in oven to melt cheese, serve
with choice of fruit and milk
- Banana and blueberry Smoothie: Use milk of choice add 1- 2 scoops of protein powder, banana and 1/2 cup blueberries. Add a
toasted bagel with peanut butter, nut or sun butter.
- Bagel toasted with peanut butter: Top each half of the bagel with peanut butter and sliced bananas, add milk to drink.
- Cereal with milk and fruit. Choose a cereal that contains 10g of sugar of less if possible, (Cheerios, Life, Rice Krispies, Puffins, Kix, Wheaties)