All-Time Hockey Pregame Meals
Whenever someone is successful in their field, you always ask them about their secrets to success. What was your path to success? What drove you to stay motived through all the ups and downs in your career? Who did you look up to as a kid? What did you eat? That's right - the most underrated question to ask a successful athlete is asking what their diet consists of and how what they consume before and after their games.
A pregame (and postgame) meal is one of the key factors in a lot of successful players' regimen and I'm here to break down the all-time hockey pregame meals that feature a wide range of food groups and nutrients.
10. Cottage Cheese (and Berries)
This one is a hit or a miss. Don't get me wrong, a bowl of cottage cheese is definitely healthy, but with the healthiness comes a small price of sacrificing taste. It's by far one of the most controversial pre-game snacks as it's so divided in those who enjoy it and those who choose to steer clear of it. Personally, it looks, smells, and tastes like it should be served at a prison cafeteria, but it can also be a healthy serving of energy and be just enough of a boost before the big game to ensure that you're energetic and ready to go.
9. Concession Stand Hot Dog + Gatorade
This one goes out to all the players that are so lazy or have no concept of time to the point where they don't find time to eat before a big game. Whether you were too caught up finishing second in a game of Fortnite or missed the group text for the pasta party, you're at the rink with greasy hair and an empty stomach. The last resort is the concession stand at the home rink to try and fuel up on a hot dog that's probably been sitting out for a few days and two bottles of overpriced Gatorade. Your meal contains zero nutritional value, your stomach is doing flips halfway through the first period, and you have zero stamina left by the time your last shift comes around. That's the price you pay for mismanaging your time, but at least it's better than eating cottage cheese?
8. Biosteel Pre-Workout
We've all seen Biosteel's #DrinkThePink campaigns that are sponsored by renown athletes like Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin. As ambassadors of the game, they advertise a blender bottle that mixes up a specialized formula that contains enough vitamins and supplements that would put a pharmacist in a mental pretzel. Unfortunately for Biosteel, a lot of younger players utilize their pre-workout for all the wrong reasons. These players think that an ample serving of a protein shake is enough to get them through the day and fail to realize that it isn't actually sustainable throughout the course of a game. Shaking the blender bottle isn't the solution to a balanced pregame meal, but it's seen enough around the rink to warrant a spot on our list.
7. Nature Valley Granola Bars
These things are an all-time snack. It sits in the pantry right next to the White Cheddar Cheez-Its and makes you feel bad every time you reach for the bright red box instead of the healthy option. It's also the bane of every janitor's existence as the packaging unloads an abundance of loose pieces of granola during the process of consumption. With great crunchiness comes great sacrifice, and the stray crumbs that find a home on the floor of the rink is a small price to pay for a pregame snack that provides a kick of energy that'll last throughout the course of the game.
6. Turkey Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread
It's not flashy. It's a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread. It's simply deli meat, a slice of cheese, and some vegetables to get you through the hunger. It covers all the cases of consuming carbohydrates (bread), protein (turkey), and fats (cheese). It's an easy meal to make, it's good for you, and it'll maintain your blood glucose levels for energy throughout the course of the game. It's a grab n' go option that is simple and to the point. If you're a turkey sandwich kind of player, then you're definitely all about fundamentals and don't necessarily care for "dirty dangles" or "highlight reels" in your style of play, but hey, at least you're healthy.
5. Tim Horton's
Tim Horton's cracks the top five as one of the all-time greats when it comes to pregame pit stops. It wouldn't even scratch the surface if it were based on nutritional value, but there is something to be said about a large double-double and a breakfast sandwich on game day. No matter what all nutritionists recommend, Tim Horton's surpasses all laws of health and purely acts as a catalyst for any hockey player that needs to elevate their level of play. With its deep Canadian roots and it's named coined from a former player on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tim Horton's just hits harder and stands a staple at any rink that is lucky enough to be in close proximity of one.
4. Fish and Vegetables
If the top four didn't include meals that were actually healthy, people might have rioted against me for not taking the article seriously this far into it. With that being said, I present to you a meal that is lightyears ahead of the concession stand hot dog and Gatorade combination. We understand that if you're playing low-level college hockey, you probably don't have the budget to be splurging on fresh-caught Atlantic cod every other weekend, but if you've got access to the time and the budget for this meal, this meal should easily be in your rotation of pre-game meals. By covering all bases of 50% protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 25% non-starch vegetables, a plate of fish, quinoa, and grilled vegetables fits the bill of a balanced meal.
3. Grilled Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables
This meal is more balanced than a carnival entertainer that walks on tightropes for a living. As long as you're seasoning your chicken with more than just salt and pepper, this meal is equally easy to make as it is easily accessible. It's affordable and doesn't take too much time to prepare either. As long as you're equipped with the important life skill of knowing how to cook rice, vegetables, and chicken, you're all set to chef it up before the big game. It's the penultimate meal that is full of components that will store energy for the latter part of the day and will also ensure that you're not bloated either. It's a popular menu amongst athletes, dieticians, or those that are simply looking to lose a little wait. It's not flashy, but it gets the job done.
2. Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
We understand that carbo-loading is a popular pregame routine as it often correlates with endurance-based sports. It's important to note that energy must be sustainable and balanced, which in turn means that a balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein, and fats is arguably more beneficial than just carbo-loading.
However, this isn't a health article. This is an article that's all about the all-time pregame meals and chicken and broccoli alfredo is a staple at all pasta parties. If you've ever played a sport, you've probably had a pasta party at someone's house before. A teammate's mom spends all day straining enough noodles to feed an entire team and it's the best way to stay loose, fuel up, and prepare for the big game. It's also a guaranteed win the day of. Any team that hosts a pasta party for lunch before a night game is unstoppable and that's why it's one of the GOAT pre-game meals.
1. Steak and Potatoes
A big 'ol steak and some seasoned potatoes sits at the top of our list as the all-time greatest pre-game meal. It's a huge flex to dig into a heaping portion of a medium-rare sirloin with a healthy serving of potatoes and asparagus or green beans. Eating a steak if carnivorous by nature and allows you to maintain the mindset of superiority as you skate onto the ice. As the head honcho of the food chain, you enter the game having consumed some blood and on the lookout for more (disclaimer: please do not actively look to injure other players - it's just a saying). Our USDA-Grade A meal rounds out our list of all-time pregame meals.
However, regardless of what you eat, stay hydrated. Make sure you drink a lot of water throughout the course of the day. Stick to familiar foods that work for you before a game and make sure that you're eating healthy. Stick to foods that provide a boost of energy without the sugary add-ons (e.g. peanut butter, fruits, and nuts). We're also not nutritionists, health experts, or dieticians. If you want an actual regimen or routine from a professional, find someone in that field or visit your local doctor for recommendations.