Confusion reigns with new/budding athletes and what to eat before/during/after practice.
Easy answer: eat something
More detailed answer:
Eat something carb-y beforehand, that won’t make your stomach do flipflops. We’ll leave it at that. You’ll figure out what works. Try to be done eating about 30 minutes before skating (so, don’t eat in the car on the way to practice if you can avoid it!)
During practice: after 30 minutes of sweating you’re starting to lose electrolytes. This in turn will make your muscles slower to react, not to mention your brain. And we need our brains in derby! So eat or drink something to replace the electrolytes. People in our league are all lovin’ up on the coconut water these days. I haven’t had a chance to do my research on it yet, so do yours. Gatorade, Emergen-C, Powerade, or our nutritionist’s cheap-o recommendation: half OJ, half water, and a pinch of salt. Voila. Ultima is another great electrolyte drink without the sugar and crap that’s in sports drinks.
After practice: you need to give your blood sugar a boost again. Actual health professionals actually recommend chocolate milk (!!!!!!). I couldn’t imagine… this might sound weird but right now I’m diggin a bowl of lentil or black bean soup once I get home. Easy, quick, hot, healthy, sodium-y, carb-y, cheap.