Yes, it’s that time of year again here in fabulous Colorado. Summer has come and gone, the aspens are changing color, we begin to feel the north winds blow and we look to Mt. Evans for that first glimpse of snow on the peaks that lets us know that ski season is rapidly approaching.
For me it’s a special time of year. I’ve been skiing since I could walk and if I’m lucky I will spend my final days searching for one more powder run before my demise.
As we age, it gets tougher and tougher to get in shape for ski season. Our bodies have aged another year and maybe we’ve kept up with our workout routine or maybe not. Our minds are there, but our bodies seem to lag a little bit behind. So as we get older, how do we get an edge if we don’t have the time to train like an Olympic athlete?
Nutrition of course!
Let’s leave exercise behind for now because that’s a given. Did you know that eating the right foods can make or break your day on the slopes? I’m going to give some healthy tips that are going to enrich your skiing experience whether you’re a casual snow bunny or you’re in constant search for that deep powder utopia.
A day on the slopes can be an exhilarating and exhausting experience. Studies say that an hour of downhill skiing will burn approx. 3.9 calories per pound of body weight. A 150lb person will burn 585 calories per hour. Also, shivering and involuntary muscle tightening to produce heat, burns additional calories which may cause you to hit the wall quicker.
Proper fueling before you hit the first run of the day is critical. Failure to properly fuel up can effect your performance and increase your likelihood of injury. Skiers and snowboarders should consume about 400-900 protein/carb calories. Here are some foods to consume for your pre-ski meal plan:
-Bananas-Potassium will prevent cramping.
-Berries and low sugar yogurt.
-A good nut butter, like raw almond and a multigrain bagel.
-Eggs, meat, and nuts for protein. Our bodies need fat and this a healthy way to get it.
-Energy bars-high protein/carbs, low sugar. Be careful here. Energy bars high in sugar and additives can actually be detrimental to your performance. I would suggest these energy bars for optimal performance:
EVOhemp -Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritionally complete food sources in the world!
ClifKITS Organic- certified organic, gluten free, soy free, dairy free
Fuel on the slopes
Try to consume about 200 calories per hour while skiing. It’s always good to carry some nuts or dried fruit with you or a high quality energy bar.
If you take a break, consume warm energy food like soup, low sugar oatmeal or even hot cocoa made with cacao and coconut milk to keep your core warm.
Not drinking enough water is the biggest mistake skiers and snowboarders can make. Dehydration leads to a decline in performance and actually decreases heat inside the body which can elevate the risk of frost bite. It’s recommended that you consume 4-8 ounces of water every 15 minutes.
Post Ski Refueling
After a full day of skiing/boarding your body is going to be calorie depleted. It’s imperative to replenish those calories. Refueling your body will lessen the energy drain from the day and will also get you ready for day #2 if you plan on hitting the slopes again. Start with liquid refueling. I personally enjoy a fine Colorado craft beer, but not too many! Continue to hydrate with water and also something warm like hot chocolate made with cacao and coconut milk. At mealtime, continue to balance carbs and protein. Fish, turkey, sweet potatoes, rice and plenty of green veggies are foods that will have you back in skiing shape in no time.
If your a powder hound like me, or just looking to make some turns and enjoy the great outdoors. Keeping yourself properly fueled through nutrition will positively enhance your on slope experience. Your body will thank you for it.
If you need additional nutrition guidance or more skiing tips, hit me up for a free health consultation “Here”
I’ll get you ready for the slopes and beyond.
Have a great ski season. Make it fun and be safe.