Health Package: Food For Thought

U.S. Women’s Team Learn That Proper Diet Can Be The Key To Success On The Ice

As part of their yearly off-ice training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., members of the U.S. Women’s National Team took part in a nutrition session with sports dietician Carrie Aprik, who walked the team through the step-by-step process, addressing everything from knowing what ingredients to buy and how to prepare them to which tools to use and how to properly clean up once a meal is finished.

For U.S. team member and recent college graduate Emily Pfalzer, the hands-on training has been beneficial.

“I like to cook for myself, but I’m not very good at it,” said Pfalzer, who graduated from Boston College last season. “So programs like this are really helpful. A lot of my teammates have lived on their own for a while, so they know how to cook and can teach me the way.”

According to Aprik, who has been a registered dietician since 2009, nutrition is one of the most important aspects of an athlete’s training, especially when paired with rest and recovery.

“What you’re eating can influence inflammation in the body, blood flow and how sore you are,” she explained. “Different products and different types of foods can help with those things.

“The timing of when you eat can also facilitate recovery faster or slower depending on if you’re doing it right.”

For the majority of players in the women's program, moving out on their own after college was the impetus to start learning how to cook after years of relying on their parents and campus dining halls.

“After college, once I got on my own, I started to learn how to cook,” said Anne Schleper, who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012.

“It’s a life skill that’s very important to have and to know how to feed your body correctly because it definitely makes a difference. I can definitely tell, especially as I get older.”

Even the younger players in the program have learned that eating right is as vital a skill as skating or shooting.

“The biggest part of training is your diet,” said 22-year-old forward Dana Trivigno. “You can’t out-train a bad diet.”

 


 

H20 24/7

Did you know that approximately 60 percent of your body weight is water? That’s why it’s important for every athlete to stay hydrated before, during and after a practice or a game.

As you skate in a drill in practice or in a shift during the game, you lose fluid by sweating or breathing hard. Drinking plenty of fluids before you hit the ice, and periodically during an on-ice session, will help prevent dehydration and reduce the risk of injury.

Waiting to take a drink until you’re thirsty may be too late. According to research from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, athletes who wait to replenish body fluids until they’re feeing thirsty are already dehydrated. And drinking only enough to quench your thirst does not mean you’re no longer dehydrated.

It’s best to keep a bottle of fluids close by so you can take a drink in between drills or as you’re waiting to return to the ice for another shift.

Issue: 
2016-08

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