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Your Health, Our Goal: Lightning players and nutrition

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

On game days Lightning players need to fuel their bodies with high energy and protein foods in order for them to optimize their performance.

Once the players arrive, usually around 8:30 a.m. on a game day, they will have a good hearty breakfast. Food is provided for the players and includes an omelet station with numerous healthy toppings such as: spinach, tomatoes, peppers and onions; oatmeal and various fresh fruits. Starting the day off with a healthy, nutritious breakfast is important as it gives the Bolts the energy they need to succeed.

Following the morning skate players will hydrate their bodies with water and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade to maintain a high level of hydration. Throughout the day players will often walk around with a water bottle to keep hydrated.

Players will then have a big lunch around 12:00 p.m. to fuel up before that night’s game. A typical pre-game meal will consist of pastas, chicken breasts, steak, fish, a salad bar, and gluten free options. Once they are done eating, they will go home to rest up and relax before coming back to the rink two-three hours before puck drop.

At the rink, there is a light snack provided around 5:00 p.m. for those who wish to have a little bite before warming up. This will include chicken breasts and brown rice and protein shakes. The players will then proceed with their warm-ups and stretching routines.

During the game, the Bolts will drink water and Gatorade on the bench to stay hydrated, while also having other types of protein based recovery drinks in between periods. Keeping hydrated allows the body to perform to its maximum levels, so this is a key element to nutrition.

Post-games the players will have recovery drinks to help replenish any fluids that they may have lost during the game. They will also have a light meal post game to help the body start the recovery process.

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