Nutrition Tips for Skiers
In this article, we are focusing on skiing nutrition. More specifically, we are focusing on the best ways to fuel your body so that you remain energised and recover properly when you are on holiday, ensuring that you can attack the slopes fresh every day to make the most of your trip.
THE VIDEO: Skiing Nutrition – Nutrition Tips for Skiers
Skiing Nutrition: Carbohydrates
Before Holiday: Glucose is our body’s preferred choice of substrate for producing energy within the body as it is incredibly quick, especially when compared to the body’s processes involved for producing energy from fat and protein. If you are traditionally a sedentary human and you do not currently exercise regularly but are looking to get fit for your ski holiday by following the exercises we have provided in the previous blogs, then you are going to be expending a lot more energy than you would do on a day-to-day basis. As such, you need to ensure that you have enough glucose available in your muscles and cells so that you are able to complete your training. As a result, you must make a conscious effort to eat more carbohydrates to fulfil your bodies requirements in the weeks before you go away so that you can complete your training to the required standard and make the most of your time on the slopes without getting too fatigued or tired.
During Holiday: Skiing in an incredibly taxing and tiring activity. It requires lots of concentration, lots of motor control and therefore lots of energy to perform well for prolonged periods of time. For this reason, it is imperative that whilst you are away on a ski holiday you consume a lot more carbohydrates than you would if it were a normal day in the week. You must ensure that your muscles and brain have an adequate supply of glucose for the entire time that you are on the slopes, because a temporary lapse in concentration due to low energy, or not being able to turn because your muscles are fatigued, could result in a serious injury and we would not wish that for you. So please ensure that you increase your carbohydrate consumption for the duration of time that you are away.
Skiing Nutrition: Protein
Before Holiday: Protein forms the building blocks of our muscles and tissues and is therefore crucial for the mechanisms of rebuilding and repair. If you are going to begin physical exercise ahead of your ski trip to prepare yourself for the slopes, then you will be putting your body through repeated mechanical and metabolic stress. In order to recover from this stress, it becomes increasingly important that you begin to increase your protein consumption on a daily basis to enable fast and efficient repair of those stressed and potentially damaged tissues that have been used during exercise. Without increasing protein consumption, it is likely that these muscles and tissues will not repair as necessary, increasing the likelihood and risk of injury, which is the opposite of what we would want for you going into a ski holiday. We want you arriving in the best shape possible so that you can enjoy yourself, so be sure to increase your protein consumption if you start exercising.
During Holiday: As mentioned above, exercise puts the body and in particular the muscles through repeated metabolic and mechanical stress. Skiing is a form of very intense exercise, so the stress applied to the body is amplified compared to anything you may experience in the gym for your physical preparations before your trip. As such, there may be significantly more tissue damage from one day of skiing in comparison to a gym session, so increasing your protein consumption whilst you are away is paramount to ensure appropriate repair and recovery is achieved each day.
Skiing Nutrition: Fat
Before Holiday: The biggest thing you will notice when you arrive at your skiing destination is the temperature. Not only is there lots of snow around, but you will be at altitude so the oxygen levels are lower, meaning your body will struggle to maintain homeostasis as well as it does when there is plenty of oxygen available. For this reason, increasing your fat consumption before you go away becomes very important. By consuming more poly and monounsaturated fats before heading abroad, you will increase your body’s fat stores, in particular your subcutaneous (layer beneath skin) fat stores, helping to keep your tissues and muscles better insulated against the cold inclement weather.
During Holiday: To ensure that you retain the benefits of the work you will have done prior to your holiday in terms of improving your insulation, it is important that you continue to keep your fat consumption elevated whilst you are away as well. This does not mean that you need to consume additional fat compared to your preparations, but eating the same heightened levels compared to a normal day will be beneficial.
Skiing Nutrition: Water
Contrary to what you might think, due to the intense and repetitive nature of skiing and the multiple layers you will be wearing, it is common for people to sweat when navigating the slopes. As a result, dehydration is one of the most common issues people face on the slopes, and this can lead to poor decision making, which can result in serious injury. Subsequently we strongly advise that you increase you water consumption whilst skiing and keep at least a 2 litre water bottle on you at all times whilst on the mountain. This will help ensure that you remain hydrated, keeping your body’s functions working as normal as possible to keep decision making crisp in order to avoid injury.
If you are planning on going on a ski holiday, then, we strongly advise that you begin a physical preparation programme to give you the best chance at having an amazing experience. To supplement this, we also strongly suggest that you follow the advice highlighted in this blog in order to fuel your body adequately during those preparations and also fuel your daily skiing activity correctly.