Hockey Nutrition: Finding The Best Diet

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Hockey players train harder and are more physical then any other athlete in the big four sports. Slap shot power, core strength, flexibility and rotary strength are all vital to better on ice performance.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been hired by hockey players from both the NHL and OHL to design their diets to increase their on ice performance. Here’s a basic method for setting up your own hockey nutrition program

Enjoy and share, please.

Hockey Nutrition and Diet Plan

Reaching Your Goal Weight Before The Season Starts

Your goal should never be to lose 20 pounds in a month. Your goal must be to lose about 3-6 pounds per week with the numbers being closer to 1-2 pounds per week. Understand that you will lose more in the form of stored water weight and stored carbohydrates during the initial dieting phase but you must aim for 3-6 pounds per month. That’s how you transition from an off season hockey program to an in season hockey nutrition and diet program.

Remember this…

The faster you lose weight, the weaker you get in your training

Keep that in mind.

How Do We Calculate Our Caloric Needs For Our Hockey Diet?

I want to talk about how you should determine your calories that you need for daily function. While the most popular form of calculating your resting metabolic rate is the Harris-Benedict Formula.

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )


While that’s the most popular formula, it tends to underestimate the needs of the physical active or muscular individuals. As a result, I don’t like to use it.

We’re in the business of keeping things simple. So I LOVE this simple formula for determining calorie requirements for our hockey nutrition and diet plan

IMPORTANT point: You must monitor your progress weekly to ensure that you aren’t losing muscle mass.

Let’s face it, most people aren’t serious. Most people just go to the gym to say they go. If they diet, they do so for a few days or don’t even start because they don’t like certain foods. Listen, dieting, like building muscle, is hard work. You MUST focus and you must be driven with your hockey nutrition.

Hockey Nutrition and Diet

So here’s the quick and dirty formula for determining your needs and a general outline of a proper hockey diet.

Our example is a 200 pound male.

First we must establish the caloric needs for this individual based on his metabolism. If he has a fast metabolism I will multiply by 17, if the metabolism is medium then I will multiply it by 15 and if it slow then I will multiply it by 12.

Where do these numbers come from? They come from my personal experience in the field. They weren’t numbers that were designed in a lab but they work well for your hockey nutrition.

Please resist the temptation to multiply your weight by 12 just because you think you have a slow metabolism. Most people do not and under-eating and overtraining is a whole heck of a lot more common than overeating and under-training is.

So we’ll say that the individual has a medium metabolism. So 200 pounds will be multiplied by 15.


We’ll start this individual on a 3,000 calorie diet. Key word is start.

From here, we want to aim to lose about 1.5 pounds per week. So we’ll subtract 600 calories from 3,000 and that leaves us with 2,400 calories. Now we can start our math.

Now how do we determine how we split up the macronutrients of the hockey diet?

There’s multiple ways that you can do this.

My favorite being a steady approach of 50 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrates and 20 per fat. Though do not be afraid to tailor this to your needs and adjust based on fatigue, irritability, hunger and other symptoms.

Hockey Nutrition Meal Frequency

So you heard that you need to eat every 2-3 hours right? Well that depends on your bodytype.

Have a easy time losing weight? Then you need to eat every 2-3 hours.

Have an athletic body? It’s not that hard for you to put on muscle and it’s semi-easy to lose fat? You need to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours.

If you’ve always struggled to lose weight then you need to eat every 3.5-5 hours.



So how much protein, carbs and fat should you eat? That’s where we really get into the in-depth dieting stuff.

Again, we’re in the business of making this easy.

Have a easy time losing weight?

Protein-1.4 g/lb-1.6 g/lb

Fat-24%-28% of your total daily calories

Have an athletic body? It’s not that hard for you to put on muscle and it’s semi-easy to lose fat?

Protein-1.2 g/lb-1.3g/lb

Fat-17%-23% of your total calories

If you’ve always struggled to lose weight

Protein-1.4 g/lb-1.5 g/lb


Now before we get to the carbohydrates, let’s go back to our explain and show you what his protein and fat breakdown of our hockey diets would look like.

He’s 200 pounds and has an athletic body. So we’ll do 200×1.2 and we’ll see that he needs to consume 240 grams of protein per day. So that’s 960 calories from protein.

Hold on, where did I get 960 calories from?

Protein and carbohydrates both contain 4 calories for every 1 gram. Fat is 9 calories for every gram.

So I multiplied his 240 grams of protein by 4 and got 960 calories.

Now we go back to our example and look at his fat intake. We’ll start him in the middle of the pack between 17% and 23%. Let’s say 20% of the his diet comes from fat. He’ll consume about 45 to 60 grams of healthy fat each day. So 50 grams of fat multiplied by 9 gives us 450 calories from fat in our hockey nutrition.


Now whatever calories are left after we add the fat and protein together, gives us our calories from carbohydrates. So now our subject is on a 2,400 calorie diet to lose body fat.

We have 960 calories from protein and 450 calories from fat. That gives us 1,410 calories. So 2,400 calories minus 1,410 leaves us with 990 calories which is 247 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Now I know what your thinking. 247 grams of carbohydrates is a lot. Well our subject has a easy time putting on muscle and preventing bodyfat gain, so he’ll be able to handle the carbohydrates. This is where the personalization comes into play. If our metabolism was fast we would have a different caloric intake of protein and fat and less carbs.

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