By NHL Network.com – Mitzi Dulan
Sustaining energy during a regular game can be difficult. However, when an athlete is involved in an entire weekend of tournament play it can be downright impossible. Hockey mom, Wendy, asks our expert, Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and the team nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals, for advice on the best fuel for tournament play.
Wendy Asks: My child plays in a lot of tournaments throughout the season. By the end of a long weekend he is really burnt out and lacking energy. While I know there are energy gels and other supplements that we can give him to provide quick energy, I would prefer to find natural alternatives that would not only help him during tournaments but also be a great addition to his current diet. Do you have any nutritional ideas that can give him sustained energy throughout these energy sapping weekends as well as the rest of the season?
Answer: Tournaments can definitely be exhausting for both the parents and athletes. Maintaining optimal energy levels is extremely important when your kids are playing several games throughout a weekend. Make sure that you have some quick and easy high energy snacks to eat between games to help recover and maintain blood sugar levels. Even when there is a concession stand, it is usually low-quality fuel for athletes, so planning ahead and packing these snacks to have on hand is always a good idea. I also suggest that athletes consume sports drinks during tournaments to help maintain a good hydration status. Here are some of my personal favorites for high energy, all-natural fuel:
- Peanut butter and honey sandwiches
- Trail mix (make your own: raw almonds with dried cranberries or cherries)
- Energy bar like a Clif Nectar, Lara Bar, or Pure Bar
- Fresh fruit
- Greek yogurt
- Low-fat organic chocolate milk
- Best of luck Wendy and thanks for your question!
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Mitzi Dulan for her expert advice.