How Many Calories Does Ice Hockey Burn?
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How Many Calories Does Ice Hockey Burn? And More

How many calories do you think ice hockey players burn? Well, they burn a lot; as a matter of fact, they burn a whole lot more than your average gym regular. Ice hockey is one of the top sports that burns the most calories.

In this article, we will be looking at why ice hockey burns so many calories and some of the pregame diets players take.

How Many Calories Does Ice Hockey Burn?

How Many Calories Does Ice Hockey Burn?

It is simply the reality of the sport; ice hockey requires a lot of energy. The nature of ice hockey accounts for the amount of calories players burn off during a game.

Initially, ice and skates are required to play ice hockey. As a result, moving about is more difficult than simply using your legs to sprint. Ice hockey players’ heart rates also rise significantly during each phase of the game, from moments of rapid movement when skating or pursuing the puck to others of slower movement.

Yet, professional ice hockey players (such as those who play in the NHL) expend more calories per hour than amateur players do.

Whatever the situation, both players use a lot of energy. Players often burn anywhere from 500 calories to around 2000 calories (2kcal) per game. Players may occasionally use more than 2,000 calories.

NHL Player Vs Recreational Players

Ice hockey played for fun is not nearly as intense, fast-paced, or competitive as ice hockey played professionally. The quantity of calories they burn is also accurate.

An amateur hockey player typically expends 450–800 calories per hour. This is determined using 450 calories as the lowest and 800 as the maximum that they may possibly expend.

Although it is a little competitive, recreational ice hockey is not nearly as competitive as pro ice hockey since skaters play more or less for fun and because they love the game.

Thus, how many calories do ice hockey players expend per hour?

The average professional ice hockey player expends between 1,500 and 2500 calories throughout a single game. Players are more likely to burn more than 2.5kcal in a game of competitive hockey than recreational hockey.

Due to their physical exertion and style of play, professional ice hockey players burn a lot of calories. But, there are a few general reasons why ice hockey players burn more calories than others.

Factors That Determine Calories Lost By Ice Hockey Players 

Factors That Determine Calories Lost By Ice Hockey Players 

The number of calories a player loses per game depends on factors such as the player’s age, how much effort the player puts into each game, and how long the player is actively playing, among others. 

Now let’s go in-depth into each one of them. 

1. Age Of Players

It goes without saying that as you age, your stamina, strength, speed, and endurance decline. But these are the main elements required for ice hockey as a player. A lot of calories are burned during these activities for ice hockey players.

Thus it stands to reason that a 21-year-old ice hockey player will undoubtedly expend more energy than a 32-year-old.

2. Players’ Weight

The amount of energy you need to carry yourself depends on how much you weigh. Simply said, a 200 lb athlete traveling at 17 mph will burn a lot more calories than a 170 lb player.

Read more on: How Fast Can Ice Hockey Players Skate?

3. Length Of Playing Time In The Game

Ice hockey players who play for longer periods of time will unquestionably burn more calories than those who play for shorter periods of time. In professional ice hockey, it is even more true because a 10-minute game does not require nearly as many calories as a 20-minute game.

4. Effort & Competitiveness

In addition, we exert effort and compete on a certain level. Recreational athletes cannot exert the same level of effort as NHL players, so they cannot burn as many calories.

NHL players are specifically taught to perform at a very high level of competition, which requires them to exert much more effort than the ordinary skater.

Yet if we examine it more broadly, athletes who exert more effort throughout a game—whether they are professional or amateur—burn more calories than those who don’t.

Why Does Ice Hockey Burn So Many Calories?

If you’ve ever played ice hockey, you’ll understand why it requires so much energy (calories).

In order to keep other players from stealing the puck, an ice hockey player must move on the ice while wearing skates and moving quickly at regular intervals. In the end, all these are for just one goal, to score goals.

While appearing simple, the task is difficult and taxing on the body. Ice hockey works your hands, legs, thighs, joints, lungs, and other body parts simultaneously.

These are all the reasons why athletes expend so many calories. Yet, these body parts are used more frequently in professional leagues like the NHL.

Average Calories Burnt While Playing Ice Hockey (Calorie Calculator) 

The table below shows the approximate number of calories recreational and professional ice hockey players expend per game. Data compiled from

Average Calories Burnt While Playing Ice Hockey

Calories Burned In Hockey Compared To Other Sports

We’ll be comparing the number of calories ice hockey players lose compared to other sports like basketball, swimming, and so on. 


Basketball players who play the entire game (48 minutes) are predicted to remove 570-800 calories. Just simply hooping at a basketball net is projected to cause a player to lose roughly 350 calories per hour.

Basketball is a great sport for losing weight since it requires a lot of movement, turning, and jumping. This in turn increases agility and speed.


Swimming as a sport uses a lot of energy (calories). Why is this so?

Swimming, on the other hand, is a low-impact cardiovascular activity that helps build muscle. Swimming, unlike other activities, engages the majority of muscle in the body, resulting in overall weight loss since every area of the body loses calories.

However, the quantity of calories lost every hour is determined by the type of stroke, intensity, and weight of the player.

According to, a 140 pounds person loses

  • 223 calories per hour when swimming with moderate effort
  • 528 calories per hour when swimming at medium speed 
  • 878 calories per hour when using the butterfly stroke


Boxing is another great way to lose a huge bunch of calories and, at the same learn to defend yourself. Boxers can lose anywhere from 700-1000cal per hour. This depends on if they are fighting or sparring and how intensely they fight. 

Calories Burned In Hockey Compared To Other Sports

Diet Of Ice Hockey Players

Diet Of Ice Hockey Players

An ice hockey player’s nutrition is a crucial consideration, especially when it comes to the number of calories they burn per game. Players must consume more calories than they expend.

This is a crucial rule because if they eat less calories than they expend, they will become fatigued and lose weight. However, gamers may eat fewer calorie meals in order to reduce weight.

What Should Ice Hockey Players Eat Before A Game?

Players’ pre-game meals should combine foods that provide energy quickly and gradually. Let me explain.

Foods that are highly starchy provide a quick energy boost. These energy spikes are typically fleeting, though, and are soon followed by a feeling of fatigue and sluggishness. On the other hand, proteins and fatty foods deliver a more steady and subtle energy increase.

A good pre-game meal should therefore have 50% of carbohydrates, 25% or so of proteins, and 25% or so of vegetables. It is suggested that you eat something like pasta with meat or fish and a side salad.

Moreover, a sandwich with chicken and a side salad makes a tasty choice.

What Should Ice Hockey Players Eat After A Game?

On the other hand, post-game meals are lighter and mostly intended for recovery. In order to aid in body regeneration, they should mostly consist of proteins and enough of liquids. Carbs are also necessary since replenishing lost energy is crucial.

A dairy-based milkshake or fruit smoothie, ham, baked beans, grilled salmon, eggs, baked potatoes, salads, etc. are all possible post-game food options


The participants must drink enough of water before, during, and after a game. Ice hockey players might lose up to 5-8 pounds of weight per game. Most of this weight is made up of water, with very little body fat. Hydration is important because of this.

I appreciate your reading. At least you are aware of how many calories you can burn if you plan to lose weight by playing ice hockey.

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