Eating Well and Properly Hydrating During/After Skiing

It is important to put your health first while you are visiting any of the Massachusetts ski areas. Skiing can put a lot of stress on the body. Performance is often impacted at very high altitudes.

What Nutritional Issues May Arise During Skiing?

One’s carbohydrate requirement increases at high altitudes. Resting metabolic rate also increases. Additionally, high altitudes may lead to appetite suppression. Dehydration is a common problem among skiers. It can affect the mental and physical performance of the skier. It is normal to lose fluid through sweat, but this fluid has to be replaced. People can also lose fluid through breathing.

The Role of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for ski performance. They are stored as muscle glycogen. Muscle glycogen has to be replaced frequently. Skiing can use carbohydrates in the form of muscle glycogen and blood glucose. Both of these sources can be depleted after hours of skiing.

The Effects of a Low Glycogen Store

Low glycogen stores can lead to fatigue. This can put a skier at a greater risk for getting injured. Seven to 14 days of skiing can put more strain on the glycogen stores. A lack of energy and muscle heaviness are some of the symptoms of low carbohydrate.

Replacing Carbohydrates and Increasing Energy Intake

A higher intake of carbohydrates is needed to maintain blood glucose levels and replace glycogen stores. This can be achieved by consuming beverages and foods that are high in carbohydrates. You also want to make sure that you consume 15 to 30 grams per day while you are skiing. Sports drinks are also great to consume while you are skiing. They carbohydrate percentage should range between five and eight percent.

Carbohydrate-Rich Snacks and Foods

-Yogurt

-Sports gels/bar

-Fruit juice

-Bananas

-Grains

-Breakfast cereals

Maintaining Your Hydration Levels

One of the simplest things that you can do to ensure that you get an adequate amount of carbohydrates and stay hydrated is by consuming a sports beverage. Sports beverages also contain potassium, sodium and magnesium.

It is important to remember that just because you do not feel thirsty does not mean that you are not dehydrated. You may lose a lot of fluids before you begin to feel thirsty. Below are some of the signs that you may notice if you are dehydrated:

-Headaches

-Strong-colored urine

-Lethargy

-Cramping

-Inability to concentrate

-Cramping

You should drink 250 to 500 ml of fluids every hour while you are skiing. Avoid energy drinks, soft drinks and fruit juices. They are too high in carbohydrates. They are also too low in electrolytes, which is why they are not a good choice for fluid replacement.

Post-Meal Snack

It is also important for you to keep yourself well-nourished and hydrated after you exercise. Below are some examples of post meal snacks:

-A 600 ml sports drink and cereal bar

-Meat/chicken and salad roll with fresh fruit

-Banana with a low-fat tub of yogurt

-Flavored milk with apple and muesli bar

If you choose to drink, you should be mindful of the fact that alcohol can cause the body to get dehydrated more quickly.