6 Steps for a Healthy Off-Season Nutrition Plan

April 19, 2017 , ,

The off-season is here and if you are ready to use this time to become a better athlete you will need a plan. Expect that if you have a plan, and you try your best to stick to it, you will achieve top fitness and performance goals. The combination of trying your best and having a great plan in place will help you show up to the next hockey season ahead of your competition.  Follow steps 1 through 6 to make your hockey off-season nutrition plan.

Step 1: Determine your off-season goals

Whether your goal is to gain 10 pounds of muscle or to improve your speed and agility on ice, by simply setting your goals you are more likely to stick to them. The best goals are measurable. This means you can see if you attained your goal at the end of the summer by measuring your improvement. Be sure to set realistic goals that make sense for your hockey aspirations. If you want to be able to bench press 200 pounds because you saw an NHLer do it, you might be disappointed with how this goal plays out. Speak to your coaches, a specialised trainer, a sports dietitian, and a sports psychologist to get some help with planning off-season goals.

optimisedMy Off-Season Goals

  • May 1 – July 31
  • Get 3 seconds faster on shuttle test
  • Go 2 inches farther on jump test
  • Improve snap shot accuracy 6 out of 10 shots go where I want



Step 2: Design the training schedule and include intensity zones


Your training program could be a classic program designed with a trainer, it could be your summer sport, or it could be a mixture of activities you do with friends and family. What is important is that you do activities that support your off-season goals. When you know your training schedule you can note which sessions will make you work harder and which ones will be more leisure. The difference will be important to complete step 3.

Step 3: Plan meal and snack times around training schedule


This is an important step to success. The off-season is the best time to try out new foods and new ways of timing when you eat food before being moderately or intensely active. If you find a combination of meals and snacks that work better for you now think how much better you will be in the next hockey season. At this step it helps to know the general rules of digestion and then make a plan of meals and snack timings that work best for you.

General Rules of Digestion


From: The Nutrition Edge for Hockey Performance

Pages: 1 2


Pearle Nerenberg
Pearle Nerenberg, MSc., R.D. is Canada's leading expert on hockey nutrition, and author of the book The Nutrition Edge for Hockey Performance. She co-founded and chairs the Hockey Nutrition Network, an international non-profit organization dedicated to linking hockey players with top sports dietitians who have an expertise in hockey nutrition.

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