Q & A with Erik Burgdoerfer

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.

Erik Burgdoerfer, Ottawa Senators Defender  

Erik Burgdoerfer, Ottawa Senators Defender  

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!

Q & A with Max McCormick

Max McCormick member of the Ottawa Senators  Max also runs McCormick Hockey School in the summers, for more information:  http://mccormickhockeyschool.com/

Max McCormick member of the Ottawa Senators  Max also runs McCormick Hockey School in the summers, for more information: http://mccormickhockeyschool.com/

Q1: What is one piece of advice you can give to young athletes about the importance of fueling their bodies? 
Take your nutrition seriously. It is your source of energy, recovery, and fuel. And it promotes a strong immune system and long term health. 

Q2: Do you have a favorite snack that helps to keep your energy up?
I like to make smoothies as an afternoon snack. It allows me to ingest several important nutrients and helps me keep my weight and energy up throughout the season. I’ve been trying to get more vegetable servings into my diet so I add spinach to my smoothies and I don't even taste it. 

Q3: Staying hydrated is important, what are some strategies you use to keep up with your daily hydration?
I  made it a routine to have a glass of water first thing every morning. I also carry a bottle of water with me throughout the day to sip on. Urine color is a great indicator of hydration levels. If my urine is clear or light yellow I’m hydrated. If it starts to get a darker yellow I know I need to drink more water.

Q4: Can you give players a sneak peak into your training day food routine?
Ideal meal day example: 
Breakfast: Grass feed organic eggs with sauteed spinach, avocado with sea salt, fresh fruit, water and coffee with MCT oil
Post workout lunch: Organic chicken thighs, broccoli, quinoa, water
Dinner: Wild Alaska salmon, sweet potato, asparagus, kombucha tea 

Snacks I like to mix in thought the day: nuts, kefir, smoothie, greek yogurt, fresh berries, avocado, sliced apple with almond butter

I try to always get organic/grass fed/wild/local foods to insure I get the omega three fatty acids from a grass fed diet and stay away from GMO’s and pesticides. I cook with coconut oil or olive oil to get healthy saturated fats. Healthy fats are a good energy source throughout a long season. I drink kefir and kombucha(probiotics) for gut health to keep my immune system strong. And fresh berries for a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. I try to stay away from processed foods. 

Q5: What is one healthy food that you can't believe you like now?
Kale. I saw a recipe for sautéed kale with fresh garlic and coconut oil so I gave it a try. Its now one of my favorite veggies to mix in with dinner. I cook it so it has a little crunch to it and throw some sea salt on top at the end. 

Q & A with Glen Kinney

Working with pro hockey players for many years, athletic therapist Glen Kinney has a lot of insight and practical tips for athletes! Check out the great tips shared below. 

Glen Kinney - Athletic Therapist with the Laval Rockets (AHL Hockey)

Glen Kinney - Athletic Therapist with the Laval Rockets (AHL Hockey)


Q: In your experience in training athletes, what is one nutrition mistake you see commonly made? And one nutrition strength you see commonly among athletes?

A: I find that athletes don't consume enough fruits and vegetables in their diet.  The benefits of the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant properties of fruits and vegetables is invaluable to athletic performance and personal health.  

Athletes are doing a better job of hydrating than they use to.  There are so many colorful, trendy, and stylish water bottles, travel mugs, tumblers, and shaker cups on the market these days it seems like everyone is carrying one.  Take small sips often and refill your bottle throughout the day.

Q: Have you observed that well-fueled athletes meet their training goals or recover quicker? Can you share any examples?

Recently, our hockey team went through a 2 week period where several players and staff members were affected by illness.  I find that athletes who are conscientious about being well fueled recover faster from illness.  They miss fewer games  and practices due to illness and they return to normal training loads faster.  I feel that athletes who are well fueled are less likely to get sick and are affected less severely by symptoms when they are sick.  

Q: If you could give athletes one tip related to nutrition, what would it be?

A: Here are tips for immune system boosting and illness prevention that our team follows:
Maintain regular and optimal meals  containing 1/3 vegetables, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 grains or starch.

In between meals, maintain regular snacks rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats (ex. fruits, nuts, yogurt, whole grain granola/cereal, fruit/protein smoothies).

Antioxidant rich foods.  Examples of fruits include: grapes,blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, guava, papaya, kiwifruit, oranges.  Examples of vegetables include: bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, sweet potato.  

Hydrate regularly with water.  

Probiotic supplement.

2: What is a tip you can share with coaches or trainers in talking to their players about nutrition? 

A: Consistency.  I think consistency is something that people strive for in all facets of life...daily routine, work or school schedule, physical activity, sleep, socializing, etc.  Your nutritional habits should be no different.  I find that athletes are creatures of habit.  Make a nutrition plan or find out what works for you and stick with it.  Make subtle adjustments as required.  

Q:  Do you have a favorite refueling product, shake/snack, or meal? 

A: In Canada, our team found and uses a product called Rekarb.  Rekarb is a maple syrup product containing natural sugars, antioxidants, and sodium.  It is a thin, easy to swallow texture which our athletes find easier to ingest than gels.  Our athletes use Rekarb to maintain or boost carbohydrate/energy levels during games or long training days.  It is an excellent product that can also be added to meals or snacks to enhance taste by providing sweetness (ex. Rekarb added to oatmeal, smoothie, granola, yogurt, sweet potato, ice cream).  
 

Q & A with Mike Sdao

Mike Sdao Professional defenseman currently with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) and formerly with the Binghamton Senators (AHL). 

Mike Sdao Professional defenseman currently with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) and formerly with the Binghamton Senators (AHL). 

Q: What is the biggest challenge around food & nutrition for you as an athlete?

Finding healthy food to eat on the road. 

Grab quick on the go snack ideas with this Fuel 2 Win handout, click here to download it. 

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up?

Simple carb like air popped popcorn or pretzels. 

Q: What is your favorite grain and how do you like to have it (e.g. quinoa, brown rice pasta, etc.)?
Rice, I like to have it on game days because it is easy and I feel like it gives me energy without feeling heavy like pasta or some other carbs.


Q: If you could give a nutrition tip to another athlete what would it be?
It can make a big difference not only in your performance but in your consistency. 


Q: Do you have a favorite smoothie combination that you enjoy?
I've actually moved onto juicing rather than smoothies just because I feel like I sometimes put on weight when I have smoothies often. 

Q & A with Matt Carkner

Matt Carkner is a former professional ice hockey defenceman and an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders.

Matt Carkner is a former professional ice hockey defenceman and an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you found around food & nutrition when you were playing hockey?

Taking the time for food preparation when you're exhausted and craving poor snack choices late at night (nachos, pizza).

Q: What is one (or more) of your favorite go-to snacks to keep your energy levels up?

Greek yogurt, berries and granola or apple, cheese & crackers.

Q: When you are traveling are there any foods you take with you or strategies you use to try and make healthier choices?

I try to bring a bag of healthy snacks to have with me so I can grab a healthier option - apple, protein bar (Lara, Kind) homemade muffins, mixed nuts. When I know I will be at the rink all day, I bring my own lunch from home. It's usually a homemade soup with a lots of veggies, chicken or turkey and a type of bean. 


Q: From a coach perspective, what is a nutrition tip you think every athlete should focus on?

A lot of young athletes tend to miss the most important meal of the day: Breakfast! Always start with a healthy breakfast it will fuel you properly from the beginning. There are lots of choices and that's why it's my favorite meal of the day.

Also, plan ahead and have healthy meal choices ready at home.  My wife always makes extra and Freezes portions for a quick easy dinner.

Q: Do you have a favorite food that you like to make (if you want to share a quick recipe that would be great!)?
I love salmon and so does my wife and my boys. We usually make it as a family:
-Spray aluminium foil with olive oil
-Place 5-6 servings of wild Atlantic salmon on foil
-Drizzle each piece with 2 Tbsp Real Maple syrup
-sprinkle with roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning and/or chilli flakes
-squirt each piece with fresh lemon
-place on grill or in oven at 350 for approx 15 minutes.
Add whatever grilled veggies you like as well as a wild grain rice and you will have a great meal!