Heading to the mountains this holiday weekend? Winter sports are a great way to stay active and enjoy some crisp fresh air. A recreational day on the slopes may not seem like an athletic endeavor, but the activity will leave your body screaming for fuel. You may burn up to 750 calories per hour while downhill skiing. Whether you are staying safe on the green trails or challenging the moguls, your body will perform as well as you feed it. Follow these five easy to remember tips to SHRED your way to a fantastic day on the slopes!
Start with a great breakfast!
Not only will fuel keep you at top performance, it will also keep you warm. Carbohydrates are key in the frigid temps! Protein, on the other hand, will help you stay full. Feed your body with a high protein, high carbohydrate breakfast that includes healthy options such as: eggs, whole-wheat pancakes, or cereal and milk before heading out for the day.
It is easy to forget to drink water while you are carving down the mountain. The thrill of heading back up the lift will cause skiers and snowboarders to skip the beverages to avoid bathroom breaks. Cold water may not be the best choice, so pack a thermos with a warm beverage to keep you from getting the chills. Sports beverages will increase your fluid retention, and provide the necessary carbohydrates to meet your increased fuel needs. Keep in mind, the higher the altitude, the more your body will need those fluids to stay hydrated.
Do not forget about your body while you’re on the mountain! Eating a small snack every 30 – 45 minutes may keep you going longer so you can hit all the open trails without falling victim to fatigue. Try simple snacks such as whole wheat or rye sandwiches with peanut butter and banana or a delicious turkey and cheese combo, bananas, oranges, dried fruit, pretzels, trail-mix, and granola.
You expended every ounce of energy on that mountain, and conquered it! Replenish your body with warm soup, chili, or pasta.
Do not fall for empty calories at the lodge!
We’ve all seen it. Skip the pizza, hotdogs, French fries, and bags of chips. Make good choices with soups, wraps, and salads, or skip the lodge food all together!
LeeAnn Kindness is a graduate student at Drexel University majoring in human nutrition. She plans to become a registered dietitian.
Photo Credit: Reina Nicole Hayashi