Health + Nutrition


#1 Nutrition Plan: To maximize your growth, your strength and your energy, you must have a nutrition plan.

·      Your nutrition plan is a guide – you won’t be perfect – but the goal is to achieve it at least 90 percent of the time.

·      Appropriate nutrition will not improve your hockey skills, but without it you will not be as strong as you could be, nor as fast, and you will tire more quickly than your peers.

#2 Understanding Your Body: A quick and simple physiology lesson:

·      Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel for hockey activity.

·      Protein is necessary for muscle growth and repair of muscles following work-outs and games.

·      Fats provide energy storage and body insulation (~20% of diet).

·      Vitamins and minerals are not made in the body and are only available in your diet. They are important factors in the body working correctly.

·      If taking these as supplements, do not exceed Recommended Dietary Allowance of each vitamin or mineral unless told otherwise by a health professional.

#3 Carbohydrates are energy.

·      (whole grain breads & pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, vegetables, energy bars)

·      Carbohydrates or “carbs” should represent 60 percent of your daily nutrition intake.

·      Not enough carbohydrates results in reduced energy, inability to maintain high intensity activity and muscle breakdown.

·      Carbohydrates should be part of all meals and snacks.

#4  Proteins are building blocks to muscles.

·      (meat such as lean beef or white-meat chicken, fish/seafood, milk/cheese/yogurt, beans, eggs, pork tenderloin, soy)

·      A growing exercising player needs 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of weight per day (a 100-pound player needs 70-90 grams of protein/day). Calculate the amount of protein you need daily: Your weight in pounds x 0.7-0.9 = No. of grams of protein to eat on a daily basis.

·      Protein is not stored in the body.

·      It must be available when the muscle needs it for growth and repair.

·      It is best to distribute your daily protein intake over 4-5 servings per day.

·      Eating excess protein is not helpful – extra protein is either changed into carbohydrate or eliminated from the body.

#5 Eat breakfast every morning.

·      This is often the most important meal of the day.

·      Focus on liquids, carbohydrates and some protein for this meal. Breakfast can be a real meal (eggs, cereal, pancakes, smoothie, milk) or can be as little as an energy bar and a glass of juice as you run out the door.

#6  Hydration is key to an athlete's success.

·      In order for your body to function at its highest level, you must be well hydrated.

·      A good way to measure your hydration is to observe your urine. Urine the color of diluted lemonade is ideal. Darker urine (yellow to orange), like the color of urine the first thing in the morning, suggests the need for more fluid.

·      Hydration before and after workouts and games:

o   Pre-activity

§  4-6 hours before = ideally a well-balanced meal (60% carbs, 20% protein, 20% fat).

§  1-2 hours before = high carbohydrate, low to moderate protein, low (or nonfat) snack, plus approximately 10 ounces water/100 pounds of body weight.

o   Post-activity

§  First hour is very important: re-hydrate plus a high carbohydrate, moderate protein snack (2% chocolate milk or a sports drink accompanied with protein bar)

§  1-2 hours after eat a balanced meal

       During activities, frequent water intake is usually sufficient.

#7 Meal Planning provides a safety net for missing crucial calories.

·      Plan your daily eating of meals and snacks around exercise activities (pre-activity, during activity, recovery after activity) in order to achieve carbohydrate and protein goals.

·      Do not skip meals.

·      Eating meals with your family or team is encouraged because it provides a more balanced meal.

Medical Corner

My name is Dr. James Lohse and I am your medical director for the Nashville Elite Hockey Club (NEHC) otherwise known as the Nashville Jr. Predators.

What is ImPACT?

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most scientifically validated computerized neurocognitive test used by more than 7,400 high schools and 1,000 colleges and universities to help evaluate and manage suspected concussions. Since 2006, over 7.5 million individuals have taken the ImPACT test.

ImPACT comes in two forms:

Baseline Test – Administered by a physician, clinical assistant, or athletic trainer before the start of a hockey season. Baseline scores are collected and stored on our HIPAA compliant server. ImPACT recommends re-administering the baseline test every two years.

Post-Injury Test – Administered by your medical director or a licensed healthcare provider when a concussion is suspected. Test results are compared to baseline scores and/or normative data scores as part of a healthcare provider's assessment of the injury. Multiple post-injury tests may be given to an individual during the course of treatment and rehabilitation.

Here's How ImPACT Works:

25-minute computerized, test for ages 10 and above

Delivered via a secure web portal

Taken via a desktop computer that has an internet connection and a mouse

Administered in the presence of a physician, clinical assistant, or athletic trainer (only a licensed healthcare provider can administer an ImPACT post-injury test)

Results interpreted by your medial director or a licensed healthcare provider

What does ImPACT measure?

The test tracks an athlete’s symptoms and measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning, including attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, non-verbal problem solving, and reaction time.

Concussion Signs and Symptoms

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Concussions are very difficult to diagnose and symptoms may not appear immediately. Children, teens and athletes of any age or level may be reluctant to admit or address the possibility of a concussion, either because the effects are so subtle or because they may want to return to their normal activities as soon as possible.

Today, play of all types is harder and faster, resulting in a steady incline in concussion rates estimated at 4-5 million annually - including an emerging trend among younger middle school athletes. In addition, because of a greater awareness for the long-term medical effects of concussions, legislation in almost every state across the U.S. is driving greater accountability for the management of concussions.

Recognize the general signs and symptoms of concussion (below). For more information, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers comprehensive resources about concussions.