It is not always easy to see routines change over the course of time.
Just as youth hockey has grown and strengthened its foothold in the South, so have new accepted methods of preparing youth players for improved performances in games.
When I was growing up my mom would make me breakfast before I left for any game and she made me promise to drink plenty of water prior to my games.
Those were the good ole days.
With the rink facilities so far away and the logistics of everyone getting in the car or SUV to be where they need to be an hour ahead of time caused nutrition to take a backseat.
Now more youth players are drinking cans of ‘Monster’ and other similar drinks to achieve a quick energy burst and better performance on the ice.
Monster has grown into a tremendous profit center with youth players and athletes consuming more cans each year since its introduction in 2002.
Besides Taurine and Ginseng the listed energy blend on the can is 2500 mg (which includes caffeine).
Industry analysts have said that there is 550mgs of caffeine in the drink.
Lawsuits are pending alleging the drink has led to the death of four children who experienced cardiac arrest after consuming 2 24 ounce cans.
The FDA is investigating five deaths and one non fatal heart attack according to lawyersandsettlementscom.
The packaging contains a warning label advising consumers against drinking more than 48 ounces per day.
It has become somewhat natural for quick fix drinks and energy pills to be utilized more and more to provide what most kids don’t have time to get because of the accelerated pace we live in today.
With the rumors of Alex Rodriquez’s possible lifetime suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, and discussion about illegal drug use by stars such as Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire, it is no longer surprising anymore that performance enhancement supplements are being used more and more.
As everything moves faster and faster and the need to find shortcuts increases the opportunity to use supplements that will provide a quick fix becomes more enticing.
Un-American you say?
If we are fans of Captain America and Ironman and the Incredible Hulk and many other comic book characters we recognize that the message has been around a while.
The interesting thing is that Rocket Richard, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, and Bobby Orr did it the old fashioned way.
TV host, Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers that using real food like cheese and almonds as snacks in addition to a balanced meal will provide the same energy boost without the danger of long-term health problems.
Even in Canada, the birthplace of hockey, coaches are noticing that more and more energy drinks are appearing on the grocers shelves every week and youth players that aren’t even ten years old are consuming mass quantities.
Yes, ‘things are a changin rapidly.’