I’m a hockey player that has found the perfect performance enhancer. It’s completely legal, affordable, and easily consumed with little to no negative side effects, and a whole load of extra health benefits. And it can be found in a simple cup.
For the uninitiated, ice hockey is a fast-moving and highly exciting sport that requires a great deal of exertion. And for an amateur athlete like me, this is especially true.
Here is my story: I am one of those weekend warriors that decided to take up hockey at 35 years of age, well on the downward curve of athletic prowess. Throughout the 25 or so years I’ve played the game, I must have tried just about every legal substance that purported to increase my performance on the ice.
When I just started out, there were some in my hockey league who espoused using what were called Dragon Balls. Those were sold through the supplement shops and claimed to enhance your on-ice performance. Although many players in my league would swear by them, for me all they did was give me indigestion.
Next came the requisite pre-game meal that most endurance athletes live by, pasta. Sure, a nice bowl of spaghetti marinara was a light enough meal that wouldn’t bog me down. Admittedly, the pasta did provide me with the fuel I needed to get through a grueling game for an hour and a half. But still, something was missing.
A pre-game meal of eggs and rice provided pretty much the same effect as the pasta, but neither of them delivered the jolt I was looking for. I tried a bit of dark chocolate, which was delicious but had no discernible effect on me.
The Magic Bullet
So I searched and searched for the magic bullet that would help me outskate and outlast my opponents, and it was right there in front of me all along: C-O-F-F-E-E.
I keep on eating these pre-game meals for sustained energy. But what really does the trick for me is a shot of espresso. Within seconds after drinking a short cup of this brew, I feel alert, alive, and ready to do battle. Just that one shot of espresso gives me the jolt I’m looking for.
According to the Time.com article,“Can Coffee Make Your Workout Easier?” caffeine may help muscles burn more fat. Some researchers believe that caffeine may work directly on muscles by improving its efficiency in generating power.
How? By aiding glycogen stores in muscles to fire for bursts of and/or sustained energy. Needless to say, at my age I could use as much power as I can get.
So as you can gather, coffee is the liquid energy I need to see me through my games. And the beauty of it all is that even though my hockey games have late-evening start times—at hours I tend to avoid consuming java—a good sweat combined with a couple of trips to the bathroom allows me to get the good night’s sleep I need.
By Warren Tabachnick – The editor of CrossIceHockey.com—For the Adult Hockey & Youth Hockey Player.