USA Hockey Magazine

September 2019

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ILLUSTRATION BY Darren Gygi BEH I N D T HE G L A SS 14 // SEPTEMBER 2019 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM "Beware of products that are a wolf in sheep's clothing," McDowell says. "The industry would have you believe that 5-year-olds need that electrolyte drink after 30 minutes of hockey. But when you take the time to read and research ingredients, you realize more of these products are created in a plant than from a plant—including red dye, sodium benzoate and sugar alcohols. "It's easy to fall victim to the conve- nience of pre-packaged sports fuels, but being a phenomenal athlete has nothing to do with these products." McDowell advocates sports nutri- tion based on science, shown to be essential for optimal muscle glyco- gen available for training and games. "C o n s u m i n g a d e q u a t e c a r b s, protein, and fat will help athletes maintain optimal blood sugar, and provide the nutrients necessary for working muscles," she says. Focusing on a great dinner the night before means muscles won't compete with stomach digestion for blood flow. If you're unable to eat hours before competition, she recommends eating a smaller meal or snack consisting of a combina- tion of protein and carbs two hours before hitting the ice. We also need our kids to get into the healthy habit of properly fuel- ing their little bodies by making wise food choices. "Adding the colors of the rain- bow to your plate improves ath- letic performance, and also makes you feel g reat ," McDowel l says. " E ver y me a l i s a n opp or t u n it y to get better, recover faster, a nd grow stronger." S u r e , i t 's f u n t o t h i n k a b o u t Marshawn Lynch chowing down on Skittles on the sidelines during the Super Bowl, but there's a rea- son why athletes like Tom Brady and Serena Williams have been on top of their games for so long. The sooner our kids learn the value of good nutrition, the brighter their future will be on and off the ice. P Syracuse, N.Y., hockey mom Christie Casciano Burns is the author of "The Puck Hog & Haunted Hockey in Lake Placid," now available on CHUCK LEONARD Age: 47 Middlebury, Conn. Chuck Leonard has a hand in everything that's going on in the Watertown Youth Hockey Association. As the master scheduler at the Taft School ice rink, he coordinates practice ice times and game slots across the organization, where he also serves as vice president. The Level 4 coach spent the last season coaching three teams, including two that his daughter, Allison, plays on. Whether it's with subbing in as a coach, opening the rink and cleaning it after a tour- nament or filling in as a referee, Leonard is willing to do it all. He began coaching over three decades ago, when as a high school senior he and a couple of friends coached a Ridgefield youth house league team. He's stuck with it since, while working as a full-time surveyor. Leonard tries his best to make sure every member on the team is having fun, prompting his players to 'work hard and have fun, a mantra he embodies year after year. "It's just so much fun. The kids are great," he said. "Overall I've had a lot of really good experiences while coaching." COACH OF THE MONTH P A S T A , G R I L L E D C H I C K E N, baked potatoes and … Skittles? Salmon, Gatorade, fruit smoothies and … hot dogs slathered in mustard and onions? H a l l o f Fa m e f o o t b a l l p l a y e r Brian Urlacher's pregame snack of choice consisted of two chocolate chip cookies. And the hot dogs with mustard and onions? That's what helped fuel Wayne Gretzky to stardom. While the wacky diet may have worked for the Great One, what's t h e b e st a p p r o a c h t o n u t r i t i o n f o r y o u r ow n l i tt l e G r et z k y- i n - training ? Stick with the supersti- tious approach? Or balance out the carbs and protein? According to Lisa McDowell, a certified specialist in sports nutri- tion, reading labels is a skill all ath- letes need to have, and it's never too early to start the training. Taking time to simply look at food products that go heavy on the added sugar, salt, and fat are key. As the sports dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings, McDowell is a big believer in a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables. She has seen the difference in performance among athletes fueled by pure, simple, and fresh foods without chemicals manufactured in a laboratory. THE HOCKEY MOM By Christie Casciano Burns A Healthy Solution To The Great Plate Debate "Beware of products that are a wolf in sheep's clothing."

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