How to make a nutrition program:

4 Steps to Creating Your Best Performance Meal Plan…

4 Steps to Creating Your Best Performance Meal Plan…

Whether you are heading into your off-season, starting up the new season, or in the midst of your playoff run, you will benefit from a well thought out nutrition plan. Announcing the Your Hockey Family is Eating for Performance Nutrition Challenge. This is a nutrition program that is condensed into a 4 step challenge you to make a professional meal plan that supports achievement of your biggest hockey goals. This challenge is meant to be completed in 4 days but you can complete all the steps at once if you are ready!

DAY 3: Plan meal and snack times around training schedules

Eat 4 Performance Hourly

There are 4 key moments around sport or activity when you need to eat the right combination of foods at the right time.

Include performance foods from each of the 3 categories on the E4P foods list (you can get this list of foods below) to balance meals and make them complete.

However, as you get closer to playing an intense sport or doing an intense workout time runs out to move food through the first part of your digestive system. It is this first step of digestion that is most energy demanding and can be a source pain and discomfort if it is not completed by activity time. So the rules of digestion start to apply here and you should stop trying to eat complete meals or typical meal portions.  

Follow these general rules of digestion as shown from the book “Eat This for Performance in Hockey” where the 4 key moments are described. 


3-4 hours before your sport. At this point you have enough time to process (i.e. digest) a full meal and get the energy to your muscles where you need it.


1-2 hours before sport. You are running out of time to process food so you need to have smaller mini meals or incomplete meals (snacks).


During sport. If you need energy during your session (not everyone does!) then you may benefit from eating a snack that is a processed version of the whole food. E.g. apple juice or apple sauce vs a whole apple.


After sport. The recovery process can start right away with an energizing and muscle building foods. These can be snacks or complete balanced meals.

Plan to eat around sport using the 4 key moments.

Planning for the key moments is an important step to success. In practice you could try out new foods and new ways of timing when you eat food before being moderately or intensely active. It is not recommended to do this before a big game however! 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 big hockey game. 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.

Once you know when you are going to eat and generally what type of meal or snack you will eat, you can now move on to the final step and select exactly WHAT FOODS will make your next best performance meal plan… EVER!

Which key moments will help you get energized for your sport?

Share them in the comments. 

This article is written in 4 steps. Find your next step here.

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