How Long To Eat Before Hockey Game

Question: How long before a hockey game should you eat?
Answer: It is recommended to eat a meal 2-3 hours before a hockey game in order to properly fuel your body and ensure optimal performance on the ice.

Supporting facts:

1. Digestion time: It takes approximately 2-3 hours for the food you consume to be fully digested and absorbed by your body. Eating within this timeframe will ensure that you have enough energy during the game.

2. Carbohydrate loading: Consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates before a game can help replenish your glycogen stores, which are essential for maintaining energy levels and preventing muscle fatigue.

3. Muscle recovery: Eating a well-balanced meal before a hockey game provides your muscles with the necessary nutrients to repair and recover from any previous training sessions, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall performance.

4. Hydration: Having enough time between your meal and the game allows for proper hydration. Drinking enough water before the game will help maintain optimal body temperature and prevent dehydration during intense physical activity.

5. Comfort and focus: Eating a meal 2-3 hours before the game allows your body enough time to digest the food, reducing the likelihood of feeling uncomfortable or sluggish on the ice. It also allows you to concentrate on the game rather than being distracted by hunger or a full stomach.


1. Can I eat closer to the game if I’m pressed for time?
It is not recommended to eat within one hour of the game as it may lead to digestive discomfort and can interfere with your performance. Try to plan your meals ahead of time to allow for proper digestion.

2. What should I eat before a hockey game?
Focus on consuming a balanced meal that includes carbohydrates for energy, lean proteins for muscle repair, and healthy fats for sustained energy. Opt for whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and nuts.

3. Should I eat a larger meal if it’s a longer game or tournament?
If you have multiple games or a long tournament, it may be beneficial to consume larger meals to ensure sustained energy levels. However, avoid overeating as it can lead to discomfort and may negatively impact your performance.

4. Can I eat a snack closer to the game if I’m hungry?
If you feel hungry closer to the game, you can have a small snack such as a banana or a granola bar. However, try to consume it at least 30 minutes before the game to allow for partial digestion.

5. Is it necessary to eat a pre-game meal if it’s an early morning game?
Yes, even for early morning games, it is important to fuel your body properly. Wake up early enough to have a small meal or a snack that provides carbohydrates and protein to sustain your energy levels during the game.

6. Can I drink sports drinks instead of eating before a game?
While sports drinks can provide a quick source of energy, they should not replace a well-balanced meal. Eating solid foods ensures a steady release of energy and provides a broader range of nutrients necessary for optimal performance.

7. How should I hydrate before a hockey game?
Aim to drink fluids consistently throughout the day leading up to the game. Water is the best choice for hydration, but you can also include small amounts of electrolyte-rich sports drinks. Listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty, but avoid excessive consumption right before the game to prevent discomfort.

BOTTOM LINE: To properly fuel your body for a hockey game, aim to eat a meal 2-3 hours before the game. This will allow for adequate digestion, replenishment of glycogen stores, muscle recovery, and optimal hydration. Choosing a balanced meal with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats will provide the necessary nutrients for peak performance on the ice.