Eating the right food at the right time to maximize your performance on the ice
Celly Salt is an all-purpose seasoning blend founded in 2020 by a pair of hockey moms. It is trusted by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks for pre- and post-game meals, among other uses.
In addition to being Celly Salt’s co-owner, Pam Aughe is also a culinary nutritionist. She shares her expertise in the field and how youth hockey players can combine their nutrition with Celly Salt for optimal performance on the ice.
Check out Celly Salt’s Meal of the Month and fuel up before your next big game!
Planning your meals carefully on game day
It’s game day. What should you eat to play your best? It may be a little different for each athlete but there are some basic practices that you can follow for peak performance.
Twenty-four hours before game time is when the planning begins. Be sure to eat a carbohydrate rich dinner and drink extra water. One example of a carbohydrate rich dinner is the Celly Salt Game Day Pasta. It’s a whole grain pasta with vegetables for added nutrients and chicken for protein and fullness. Additionally, other examples of carbohydrate rich dinners are: A rice bowl with familiar vegetables and high-quality protein (beef, bison, pork, chicken, turkey, tuna and other fish, seafood, pea protein, tofu and dairy products); Whole grain pancakes and eggs; or Baked potato topped with lean chili. This is the time to avoid new foods that might upset your stomach.
On game day, continue with a high carbohydrate breakfast and lunch. Avoid skipping these important fueling meals. Above all, staying hydrated all day is also important to prevent cramps and fatigue.
Pre- and post-game nutrition planning
A light meal around 2 hours before game time will also prevent fatigue. This could be a smoothie, lean protein sandwich, a banana with nuts or seeds or cereal with yogurt and berries. The size of the meal is dependent on how well you tolerate food before a big game. Limiting high fat items like pizza, fries, ice cream and fried chicken may help you avoid sluggishness or nausea as they take longer to empty from the stomach.
Afterwards, it’s time to refuel. Refueling is within 30 minutes after the game. This will increase muscle growth and strength. Chocolate milk is a quick refueling snack that provides hydration, protein and carbohydrates all in one.
Overall, eat game day smart by filling half of your plate with carbohydrates, eat colorful fruits and vegetables. Also choose high-quality proteins when eating at least three meals per day. Nutrition is an athletes not-so-secret weapon.
Game Day Pasta, with Celly Salt
A carbohydrate rich meal to fuel muscles so they will be ready for action. Adding vegetables helps with inflammation and adding protein (chicken) for sustained fullness.
1 pound whole grain thin spaghetti
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup slice carrots
1 cup snow or snap peas, halved
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Celly Salt Sin Bin Fire
1 whole prepared roasted chicken, cut up
- First, fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Then, add spaghetti and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. After that, add broccoli, carrots and peas to simmering water; cook and additional 2 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water then drain pasta and vegetables; rinse under cold water.
- Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.
- Place pasta and vegetables in a large bowl. Add 2 cups cut up chicken roaster. Add half of peanut sauce and the reserved pasta water; toss gently to combine.
- Serve room temperature or cold with additional peanut sauce and seasoned with Celly Salt Sin Bin Fire.
Cook’s Note: In the event that athletes suffer from allergies, replace peanut butter with sunflower seed butter or almond butter. Adjust the vegetables to your favorite. Shred any remaining roasted chicken for next day sandwiches. Also, for more heat add extra Celly Salt Sin Bin Fire in the sauce.