Hockey Fuel For Early Morning Games

Hockey Fuel for early morning games

It’s tough enough getting our athletes up and out the door for early morning games, trying to feed them beforehand adds another layer of stress and challenges. Considering it takes about four hours for a full meal to completely digest, it’s safe to say our athletes aren’t going to wake up at 2 or 3 am just to eat. But, trying to practice or compete on an empty stomach isn’t effective either.

While a quick drive-thru donut or fast-food breakfast sandwich might be convenient, they’re typically laden in fat and sugar which will leave players feeling sluggish or experiencing an energy crash before the end of the game.

Eggs are another common choice, but remember, eggs contain protein and fat but no carbohydrates. Be sure to pair eggs with whole grain toast, fruit, or a bagel for their body’s main source of energy.

Since there’s likely only two to three hours between wake-up and game-time, opt for fuel that’s easily digestible and wait until after practice/game for slower digesting dairy and higher fat meats.

Which foods are good fueling options? Whether at home or on the road, give these ideas a try to fuel their game instead of merely getting through their game.

  • Oatmeal with berries
  • Half or full Dave’s Killer Bagel
  • Breakfast “cookie”
  • Strawberry chia seed muffin
  • ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Crepe with berries and hazelnut spread
  • Berries with small handful of almonds 
  • Greek yogurt with granola 
  • Pancakes/waffles topped with berries and Greek Yogurt

Reluctant breakfast eaters? Leftover pasta or half a chicken wrap are great options too!

Don’t forget about water! Rehydrating — especially after waking — is essential for reducing muscle cramping, increasing energy, and maintaining focus.

Questions about early morning fuel specifically for your athlete? Visit