Check out these great tips from Ottawa Senators defenseman, Erik Burgdoerfer. Here's one quick tip from Erik: when it comes to performing at your best and making the progress you are looking for on and off the ice, nutrition is key.
Q1: If you could tell a youth athlete one thing that they should focus on as it relates to their eating and nutrition patterns, what would it be?
I would tell them it really does matter. When it comes to performing at your best and making the progress you are looking for on and off the ice, nutrition is key. When you start to take what you eat as serious as your training the results will surprise you.
Q2: What is your favorite refueling meal or snack?
Let’s go with snack. This is what I typically eat after my pregame nap approx. 3 hours before game time. For those that eat a huge pregame meal this may be a big snack but I prefer to space out my calories on game day.
Steel cut oatmeal topped with berries and cinnamon
3 cage free organic eggs or 6oz of high quality meat (organic chicken, bison or grass fed beef, wild salmon)
1/4 of an avocado
Q3: What is a favorite meal you like to cook? Can you share a simple recipe for it?
Stir fry! It’s is a life saver when it comes to getting proper nutrition without a ton of work. Easy clean up and short cook time. It’s a very flexible dish. For those that try and stay away from soy in their diet try out coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, great similar tasting alternative! Another change I make in the summer to limit my carb intake is substituting brown rice, with cauliflower rice.
Q4: Staying hydrated is important for athletes, what do you do to help ensure you arrive to games and practices hydrated?
This is always a challenge for me as I lose a ton of fluids during games and practices. The easiest thing I’ve found is to constantly hydrate. Always have a bottle of water with you. Drink when you are not thirsty! If your body is telling you that you need water it’s to late, you are already dehydrated.
Q5: What are three nutritious foods you always keep on hand and why?
1- COOKED Organic chicken thighs or breasts
2- Organic fruit
3 - Mixed nuts, not peanuts ( Almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts and walnuts)
Let’s face it we all get lazy and want an easy option when hunger hits. I capitalized cooked Chicken because if it’s there and ready to eat you will make the healthy choice. Having fruit around is a great way to take in naturally occurring vitamins and boost energy. Nuts are my go to snack. Lots of healthy fats, help to maintain body weight in season and make you feel full!