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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Performance and Recovery strategies for a multi-day tournament

Updated: Mar 4

Field hockey game

"Gary, I'm off to Tauranga first week of March to play a week of Masters hockey (55s to 59s) - we have 6 games in seven days. My question is two-fold :

1 - I have been following the gentle ketosis diet eating a few carbs at night. For the week of hockey should I increase the carbs / eat them prior to the game?

2 - Recovery - any protocols regarding protocol would be appreciated. I seem to recall you had a blog post but could not locate it."



Read this, which includes some competition nutrition ideas:

Increase the carbs for the day before and during the tournament. I used to play hockey and was okay because I could keep running! A game of hockey comprises a thousand sprints with jogging between. It is hard for aerobically and anaerobically, even for the old hands who are much better than me at pacing and positioning oneself. Carbs supply the energy for high-intensity, although a fat-adapted athlete appears to bypass the need for carbs, but more about this in a future article about ketosis.

Unless you have been an obsessive keto fan and for a year or two it might pay to increase carbs the day before, the hours before a game, during the game and immediately after, to ensure the fullest recovery before the next game. One of the biggest challenges is to get through one game after another without bonking. Topping up one's carbohydrate stores is part of that.

If you have been following a Gentle Keto Diet, you do not need to stuff your face with carbs. Eat modestly so that you are far from feeling bloated. Get a bag of this:

and this:

Mix them thoroughly, then put 4 heaped teaspoons in a drink bottle.

Add a couple of dessertspoons of this:

Fill the bottle with cold water, shake it vigorously, then enjoy it as a pre-competition drink, during competition and post for recovery! You can have up to 6-8 teaspoons a day during the tournament. If there is a lot of sweating then dilute it, or have a bottle or two of plain water handy to swig on as required to maintain hydration. Weigh yourself before and after a game to determine your hydration needs. 1kg lost = 1 liter of water lost so drink a little over one liter of water over the next hour if you have decreased in wight by 1kg. Eat fresh wholesome foods that include natural fats and some protein, but easy to digest. I had healthy homemade bran muffins with butter, wholemeal buns with salad, beetroot, butter and chicken, plus an orange, some plumbs and peaches, when contesting the 3-event Wellington Mountain Bike Championships which went all day last Sunday. Salt your food. While Fulvic supplies the full complement of trace minerals, have some additional multi-mineral salt which is high in sodium, if sweating a lot. There is no need for electrolyte drinks if doing what I recommend.

Rest between games. This is important if there is more than one game per day, or practice sessions. Get off your feet. So once you have come off the field and done a few stretches, cleaned and plastered any grazes and blisters, etc and had a feed and drink, get off your legs. I have a couple of portable deck chairs, one with foot support so I can kip back and elevate the legs a little so they drain. Close your eyes and chill out for half to an hour. Put on some relaxing music or a sleep-inducing podcast. I emphasise: You need nothing fancy, just nutritious food (but not too much if a game is coming up), take my drink, lie back and chill out. Get some sun if you feel like it, but not too much and not too hot and not too cold - keep your temperature just right. Do not get sunburned at all, as it will smash you for the following day.

Avoid the temptation to go out at night on the town with the team. But don't be a party-pooper: have a drink, but just one one or two - not a dozen. Go to bed early and get up for an early breakfast, ready and raring to go for the next round of games!

Have fun!

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