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Old
10-07-2012, 02:40 PM
  #1
teal
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Nutrition question

Hey everyone,

I started taking hockey skills lessons (first time ever playing hockey!) about a month ago and I have been experiencing some funky appetite stuff going on. So I wanted to see if anyone here had any ideas/thoughts/suggestions about what I can do...

I'm about 5'1", female, pretty athletic/fit. I was doing Crossfit and eating Paleo pretty religiously for about a year, but stopped about six months ago due to back problems (yes, caused by Crossfit.) Now with my new hockey schedule (Saturday and Monday evenings) I try to do Crossfit once a week and try to fit in a day of running/sprints/HIIT workout also. I was eating about 90% paleo, and now I'm down to about 65% (and feeling good about it! I like it as a good base for what I should be eating, but don't feel bad about adding bread anymore, or eating ice cream or whatever if I feel like it.)

BUT since starting hockey- 2 hrs Saturday evenings and 1.5-2 hrs Monday evenings, my appetite has just gone down the drain. Does this make any sense?? I don't see these sessions as any more intense than a Crossfit WOD, though perhaps the amount of time spent being active in a hockey skill session versus a ~12 minute WOD is what is making the difference.

Also I have noticed that about 30-45 minutes into a Saturday night 2-hr hockey session I feel so fatigued I just want to sit down and stop. I keep going, but it doesn't feel good. These Saturday sessions are with (more experienced) men on a full ice, whereas my Monday night classes are with women my level on a half-rink. So I imagine that this has something to do with it as well...?

Before the Saturday two hour sessions I've had meals like:

- Sandwich consisting of wheat bread, mozzerella, tuna, chard + salad of greenbeans and tomatoes
- Sautee of potatoes, brocolli, peppers, quinoa + hamburger + salad

Both sessions start around 9 pm, so I eat around 6-6:30. Is this too early? I like to give my body time to digest because I definitely don't want to feel like vomiting during the [expensive] classes. I generally go to 11 am Crossfit WODs, and the breakfast I eat at 8 am is always enough to sustain me for that. I've felt starving and fatigued about 30-45 minutes into the 2 hr hockey sessions though. What am I doing wrong here??

Can anyone recommend a good pre-2 hr session meal? Or have any thoughts about what I can be doing differently?

Thanks for any thoughts!

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10-07-2012, 03:18 PM
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My first questions would be whether you're hydrating enough during hockey. You sweat a lot more than you realize during hockey due to the gear absorbing it (hence the gear smelling like something undead), and it's easy to not drink enough. The sensation of thirst can often present as hunger, so I'd rule out that you're downing enough water. If you're getting dehydrated, that would definitely cause some fatigue.

As far as other reasons for fatigue, it may also just be a matter of conditioning yourself to be used to two-hour, full-ice sessions. The anaerobic workout of hockey is a different type of fitness than a straight-up aerobic workout like running. Depending on how long you've played that Saturday night game, your body might just be adjusting to it.

I don't think you're eating too early. I'm not much of an expert on nutrition, but I know NHL players tend to carb-load at lunch before the game. Chicken and plain pasta is the stereotypical meal. They also hydrate like mad. Here's a CBC article on recommended pre-game meals for junior players: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/ourg...ice-meals.html

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10-07-2012, 06:28 PM
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Do you eat a good amount earlier in the day? I found if I don't eat enough early I get hungry later.

When you say getting fatigued or tired, does that mean in terms of muscles or sleepy or what? I am guessing your cardio conditioning is really high but hockey is much more of a big muscle sport (closer to lifting IMO).

Also, you're not doing Crossfit the same day are you?

I guess I'm a bad guy to take advice from though since I'm usually playing through a hangover at 30 pounds overweight

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10-07-2012, 06:28 PM
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Do you track your weight? If so, have you noticed a dip in your weight since starting these hockey sessions? Maybe you're not getting enough total calories?

I just recently went thru the 4 Hour Body diet, not paleo but there are parallels, and I never had issues with energy. However, I ate more substantial meals before games, around 3-4 hours before game time, but then topped up with something like a banana 1 hour before.

2 hours is a long time on the ice, though. And these are just lessons so the intensity shouldn't be that high. So I would be tempted to eat a bit more beforehand. Still have your big meal ~4 hours before, eat a banana 1 hour before and then a couple fig newtons when you get to the rink.

And for that long a session, you should be drinking Gatorade from the beginning of the session. I'm a huge hydration guy so I would take two bottles, 1 water, 1 gatorade.

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10-07-2012, 10:09 PM
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I cannot speak to the hockey side of things, but long periods of exertion absolutely decrease my appetite. In these instances, I have learned that I need to force myself to eat even when not hungry. This may be what you are running into.

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10-08-2012, 07:04 AM
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IMO it sounds like you're "bonking". Depleting your glycogen stores to the point where you lose performance. You may have to increase your carb allowance 6-8 hrs prior to playing hockey. I've experienced this feeling myself when going low carb and biking.
your muscles are starved.
Take this for what it is as this is no substitute for an educated evaluation with a dietitian/physician.

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10-08-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Hooah4 View Post
IMO it sounds like you're "bonking". Depleting your glycogen stores to the point where you lose performance. You may have to increase your carb allowance 6-8 hrs prior to playing hockey. I've experienced this feeling myself when going low carb and biking.
your muscles are starved.
You cannot technically bonk after 30 minutes of activity.

To the OP, you originally talked about your appetite going down the drain. Before or after hockey? Or is it a general lack of appetite over the course of the week?

When I raced, I had a tendency to overtrain and a bizarre consequence of overtaining is loss of appetite. One would think that the effects of overtraining would make one want to eat everything in sight but that's not how it works.

Overtaining is more than just being tired or overdoing it for a few days. It's a physiological condition where you've dug yourself into a hole that can take a week or two to get out of. The instinct that you need to work harder to get your conditioning back up is the trap. What you need to do is cut way back on everything.

Maybe this is the problem?

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10-08-2012, 09:18 AM
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True, if you're underweight you might need to take in some sugars right before/during the game.

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10-08-2012, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickchecked View Post
You cannot technically bonk after 30 minutes of activity.

To the OP, you originally talked about your appetite going down the drain. Before or after hockey? Or is it a general lack of appetite over the course of the week?

When I raced, I had a tendency to overtrain and a bizarre consequence of overtaining is loss of appetite. One would think that the effects of overtraining would make one want to eat everything in sight but that's not how it works.

Overtaining is more than just being tired or overdoing it for a few days. It's a physiological condition where you've dug yourself into a hole that can take a week or two to get out of. The instinct that you need to work harder to get your conditioning back up is the trap. What you need to do is cut way back on everything.

Maybe this is the problem?
Yes, it's exactly this- I have had a general lack of appetite over the course of the week (in addition to afterwards, but I force myself to put food in my body.) I generally LOVE food so it's very very weird for me. I find myself eating because I know that I need to, but I am just not enjoying anything, and even become averse/disgusted by some of the stuff I usually enjoy.

I -have- been obsessed with seaweed snacks lately though (random but true.) Is this my body screaming for more iodine? Magnesium? Seafood? One thing one of my Crossfit coaches told me was to add a pinch of (iodized) salt to my water, which seems to help a little. Like when I'm gulping it down during/after [any] workout it feels a lot better/more substantial than just plain old water.

I'm trying to look at some paleo type carbo-loading ideas. Sweet potatoes are one, but I am so sick of those (this new appetite stuff aside.) Any ideas? Or in general, what are some good foods to carbo-load on? I've read a lot about pancakes in runners magazines as well. Would this apply well to a hockey athlete?

I think it really is my body getting used to this... plus the classes take place in the evenings which isn't a big deal on Saturday but kinda rough on Mondays when I'm all amped up afterwards and have to go to sleep and get up for work the next day.

Re: Weight, I've been at about 125-120 for at least a year. I don't notice any major differences in this, but I also don't check it often. I should do this just to keep track now. I don't think I mentioned this, I'm 24 for whatever that is worth in gauging all of this stuff.

Quote:
Do you eat a good amount earlier in the day? I found if I don't eat enough early I get hungry later.

When you say getting fatigued or tired, does that mean in terms of muscles or sleepy or what? I am guessing your cardio conditioning is really high but hockey is much more of a big muscle sport (closer to lifting IMO).

Also, you're not doing Crossfit the same day are you?

I guess I'm a bad guy to take advice from though since I'm usually playing through a hangover at 30 pounds overweight
Definitely not doing Crossfit same day! Or even the day before I guess I haven't been lifting as much in CF lately because of my back, so maybe this is why these muscles get more tired. I prefer body weight movements and tend to scale down any lifting.

I think I am also not eating enough earlier in the day. When I say fatigued, I think I feel it mostly in my head, if that makes sense, like, I just can't summon the energy to do something mentally, I don't have the energy or excitement. In contrast to the Womens skills sessions where I'm amped up the entire time.

I think a part of all this might be mental- I'm a LOT less experienced than the guys, so I always feel like that kid who gets picked last kinda thing (not that we are actually playing)- I feel bad about whoever gets stuck doing drills with me, if that makes sense. But when I'm with the women I feel pretty good.

Quote:
My first questions would be whether you're hydrating enough during hockey. You sweat a lot more than you realize during hockey due to the gear absorbing it (hence the gear smelling like something undead), and it's easy to not drink enough. The sensation of thirst can often present as hunger, so I'd rule out that you're downing enough water. If you're getting dehydrated, that would definitely cause some fatigue.

As far as other reasons for fatigue, it may also just be a matter of conditioning yourself to be used to two-hour, full-ice sessions. The anaerobic workout of hockey is a different type of fitness than a straight-up aerobic workout like running. Depending on how long you've played that Saturday night game, your body might just be adjusting to it.

I don't think you're eating too early. I'm not much of an expert on nutrition, but I know NHL players tend to carb-load at lunch before the game. Chicken and plain pasta is the stereotypical meal. They also hydrate like mad. Here's a CBC article on recommended pre-game meals for junior players: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/ourg...ice-meals.html
I'm trying to avoid pasta for paleo reasons. Any ideas for gluten free carbo loading?

I also could try drinking more often.

Thanks guys for all your input, I really appreciate it!

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10-08-2012, 01:48 PM
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It sounds like you might be overtrained. The psychological component coupled with lack of appetite is the real tell. When you can't get emotionally up for a sport that you love, you're essentially burned out. When you lack the desire to replace the calories that your body has used up, there's something wrong.

You have to listen to your body and your body is basically saying, "No more."

How many days off during the week do you take?

If you are overtrained, you essentially need to take a full week off to get out of the hole. You can do some minimal activities during that week, like VERY short bits of cardio followed up by an extended period of stretching. Basic maintenance stuff and that's it. But you really want to keep your energy expenditure way down because your body needs to refuel its energy reserves.

The downside is, no one likes taking time off. The upside is, you will actually come back stronger and more energized after the week is over. And don't cut the week short just because you're feeling energized, you need to give it a little extra time to fully restore your energy systems. I would expect your appetite to fully return. Take another 3 days off once it does.

Or you can just try to cut back on exercises, maybe skip CF for a week, especially if you're doing it the day before hockey, and see if your body can pull itself out of its hole. I think it's unlikely but I understand the aversion to giving up sport sessions one has paid money for.

I would also look into moving your CF away from the day before a 2 hour hockey class.

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10-08-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickchecked View Post
It sounds like you might be overtrained. The psychological component coupled with lack of appetite is the real tell. When you can't get emotionally up for a sport that you love, you're essentially burned out. When you lack the desire to replace the calories that your body has used up, there's something wrong.

You have to listen to your body and your body is basically saying, "No more."

How many days off during the week do you take?

If you are overtrained, you essentially need to take a full week off to get out of the hole. You can do some minimal activities during that week, like VERY short bits of cardio followed up by an extended period of stretching. Basic maintenance stuff and that's it. But you really want to keep your energy expenditure way down because your body needs to refuel its energy reserves.

The downside is, no one likes taking time off. The upside is, you will actually come back stronger and more energized after the week is over. And don't cut the week short just because you're feeling energized, you need to give it a little extra time to fully restore your energy systems. I would expect your appetite to fully return. Take another 3 days off once it does.

Or you can just try to cut back on exercises, maybe skip CF for a week, especially if you're doing it the day before hockey, and see if your body can pull itself out of its hole. I think it's unlikely but I understand the aversion to giving up sport sessions one has paid money for.

I would also look into moving your CF away from the day before a 2 hour hockey class.
What you're saying makes a lot of sense. I'm going to have about 2 weeks coming up where I won't be able to play any hockey at all, so I'm interested (to say the least) to see how my body will respond. I've definitely had the experience of taking time off from something and then coming back at it with an unexpectedly new perspective, so I'm hoping that this will be a good (though sad!) break.

I've pretty much been taking off the weekdays because it's been so grueling/Because my appetite/energy have been down. I had a night the other week where I just CRASHED, got about ten hours and felt stellar the next day (though still no appetite.) I did a really short, basic Crossfit WOD on Wednesday (sandwiched between the Saturday and Monday classes) and felt fine about it. I feel like I need to do something to keep up my heartrate during the week.

It does hurt to think about skipping a week but if that will help bring me back to normal then I'm going to look at it for sure (in addition to all the other stuff mentioned.)

When you say very short bits of cardio, what kind of a workout are you looking at? Maybe I'll do a yoga recovery week (I know this isn't cardio.)

All of this makes me have even more respect for what NHL players do [to their bodies]. Granted they have huge support systems behind them and the $ to do/eat whatever, but still.

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10-08-2012, 03:00 PM
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I play hockey with a tri-athlete and he will still fatigue pretty easily during games. Doing cross fit and all the other stuff that we have out there is great but it's still not hockey. I'm in great hockey shape, I have my routine down pat, my diet is pretty steady but if you asked me to run a marathon I would be the guy holding his sides gasping for breath. I agree with the other posters who suggested low blood sugar but we're all very different so the key is to try to figure out what you need to be at 100% each time you do that particular sport. What you do for cross fit is great for cross fit but it might not help when it comes to hockey. Listen to your body, make adjustments and try to come up with a better plan for you.

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10-08-2012, 03:13 PM
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Aim for that two week stretch then so you have the extra time to rest and recover. Just keep muddling along until then, then take the first 7-9 days completely off, with just minimal cardio and stretching.

When I say minimal cardio, if you normally run 30 minutes, jog 10. If you ride the bike for an hour, do 15 minutes easy spinning. Follow it up with stretching. View the cardio as a moving massage, the goal is to just get the blood flowing and prevent stiffness. From a "workout" standpoint, it will feel like a joke. You should do ZERO activities that break down muscle for that first week.

Then take the rest of the second week to start introducing normal workouts, but try to do less than normal duration/intensity. Listen to your body and ease into it. Then by the time your schedule allows you to play hockey, you can jump right in.

I would only do yoga during the first week if it's something you do alone at home and it's more on the relaxing side of yoga. And even then, cut it short to 20-30 minutes. Don't get sucked into a real yoga class for the first week. (Although that might be the ideal first workout ~ day 7-9)

The final component of this is mental: Take a break from working out. Get your mind off of things. Do something fun.

Don't worry about losing fitness / strength. For the first week, your body is going to be repairing itself. I have always found myself become stronger after taking the necessary break from overtraining. (Of course I would have been better off not overtraining to begin with.)

The final image I'll leave you with is this: When you're recovering from overtraining, you really want to let your body completely fill in the hole that you've dug yourself. You want to allow for extra time so the hole is completely filled in and you're standing at the same level as the rest of the ground. Don't cut it short just because your head is out of/above the hole, so to speak. But your body needs more time to finish the job.

btw - How's your protein intake normally?

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10-08-2012, 03:21 PM
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Lots of good advice in this thread.

I agree with those that said eating properly and hydrating throughout the day is important. I avoid energy drinks pre-game anymore, but I do have a cup or two of coffee on the drive in along with a 16 oz. water. Sometimes I'll mix in creotine powder with the water. That helps the muscles retain water which helps in keeping lactic acid from storing up and also helps muscle recovery.

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10-09-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
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Aim for that two week stretch then so you have the extra time to rest and recover. Just keep muddling along until then, then take the first 7-9 days completely off, with just minimal cardio and stretching.

When I say minimal cardio, if you normally run 30 minutes, jog 10. If you ride the bike for an hour, do 15 minutes easy spinning. Follow it up with stretching. View the cardio as a moving massage, the goal is to just get the blood flowing and prevent stiffness. From a "workout" standpoint, it will feel like a joke. You should do ZERO activities that break down muscle for that first week.

Then take the rest of the second week to start introducing normal workouts, but try to do less than normal duration/intensity. Listen to your body and ease into it. Then by the time your schedule allows you to play hockey, you can jump right in.

I would only do yoga during the first week if it's something you do alone at home and it's more on the relaxing side of yoga. And even then, cut it short to 20-30 minutes. Don't get sucked into a real yoga class for the first week. (Although that might be the ideal first workout ~ day 7-9)

The final component of this is mental: Take a break from working out. Get your mind off of things. Do something fun.

Don't worry about losing fitness / strength. For the first week, your body is going to be repairing itself. I have always found myself become stronger after taking the necessary break from overtraining. (Of course I would have been better off not overtraining to begin with.)

The final image I'll leave you with is this: When you're recovering from overtraining, you really want to let your body completely fill in the hole that you've dug yourself. You want to allow for extra time so the hole is completely filled in and you're standing at the same level as the rest of the ground. Don't cut it short just because your head is out of/above the hole, so to speak. But your body needs more time to finish the job.

btw - How's your protein intake normally?

Protein intake is normally pretty high I would say? Especially with trying to follow paleo- I often have a couple eggs for breakfast, with a salad of some sort, maybe some chicken or something else added.

Lunch is usually leftovers of dinner the night before, which often consists of chicken/some sort of salad or green.

I've started eating quinoa lately as well, which I think is not technically paleo but has a lot of protein and is delicious and easy to make.

Thanks again for all your ideas. Out of curiosity, where do you get your nutritional expertise from?

Hockey-less though they may be, I'm looking forward to the two weeks. I'll be going abroad for work and I'll enjoy the different tastes/sights/sounds and won't have to feel bad about not doing anything. 8-)

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10-09-2012, 09:13 AM
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Are you more muscular or lean (not your body fat but your lean mass)? I am wondering if you don't have as much muscle that you aren't able to store as much glycogen which is causing you to bonk midway through the game?

If that's the case, get some of that Gatorade powder, it's just sugar and flavor, and add a couple scoops to your water bottle. That should help.

Also, if you want to try and add some more calories, you could make a chocolate mousse with avocado, honey, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maybe a banana. That would add a lot of fat and carbs that would probably be easy on the stomach but give you longer-lasting energy.

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10-09-2012, 12:59 PM
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Protein intake is normally pretty high I would say? Especially with trying to follow paleo- I often have a couple eggs for breakfast, with a salad of some sort, maybe some chicken or something else added.

Lunch is usually leftovers of dinner the night before, which often consists of chicken/some sort of salad or green.

I've started eating quinoa lately as well, which I think is not technically paleo but has a lot of protein and is delicious and easy to make.

Thanks again for all your ideas. Out of curiosity, where do you get your nutritional expertise from?

Hockey-less though they may be, I'm looking forward to the two weeks. I'll be going abroad for work and I'll enjoy the different tastes/sights/sounds and won't have to feel bad about not doing anything. 8-)
2 week vacation, that sounds perfect. Enjoy your time away from exercise and trust that you'll come back stronger. I would still try to be lazy that first week. Walking can still be tiring.

I'm a vegetarian so I can tell you, eggs, beans, quinoa and a bit of meat don't add up to as much protein as you might think. Not sure of the math for your body weight but you probably need around 80g if you're working out as much and as hard as I think you are.

As for my "nutritional expertise", I would call it overtraining expertise. I was notorious for overtraining as a competitive cyclist. So I've learned a lot of this the hard way.

Back to protein: If I could change only one thing about my racing days, it would be to supplement my protein intake to ensure ~100g per day. I do that now and given all the sports and working out I do without that feeling of malaise, I am really convinced that I was taking in far too little protein for the amount of training/racing I was doing. I think I misdiagosed it as a lack energy back then (and ate tons more pasta) when it was really muscles that were never able to fully repair themselves day after day.

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10-09-2012, 01:56 PM
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kind of a weird case, but the OP sounds like she could be depleting glycogen, APT, and hitting catabolism at the same time right at the 30-45 minute mark. i've definitely never heard of it happening at the same time, but it sounds like it could happen.

immediate guess is that yes, you may have been low on calories that day and it's probably a pretty typical occurrence for your workouts. since you came from CF, i would say you are probably underweight and low BF anyway, so you are going to need more protein/carbs pre-workout. chocolate milk + whey + creatine shake does the trick sometimes.

on a more lifestyle change, you can definitely try bumping your protein and supplementing some creatine. not sure what your bodyweight is, but there's really no danger to eating upto 2g of protein per LBM lb each a day.

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