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Maintenir son niveau d'énergie sur les pistes cet hiver

Maintain your energy level on the slopes this winter

What to eat and drink on the slopes this winter to maintain your energy level?

With the opening of the ski resorts fast approaching in this 2021-2022 season, you will soon be able to reconnect with winter hikes, ski sessions or even hit the slopes on a snowboard. Whether you are a winter sports enthusiast or a beginner, your body is put to the test on the slopes, faced with the cold and the altitude, your muscles are used throughout the day.

To avoid injuries, cramps and aches , it is therefore necessary to gain strength and maintain your energy level. In this article, we will explain the impact of altitude on metabolism and how to adapt your diet and hydration to maintain your energy level on the slopes and thus enjoy the most beautiful vacation of the year, the winter vacation!

What is the impact of altitude and cold on metabolism?

At altitude, atmospheric pressure is lower. This means that the air will be less dense than that located at sea level. In other words, the quantity of air inspired in the mountains contains fewer oxygen molecules due to this drop in pressure. The quantity of oxygen present in your body will therefore be reduced and this has an impact on your metabolism. The latter is increased, because the body will have to make more effort to obtain a sufficient quantity of oxygen: the respiratory rate and heart rate increase.

Thus, the body at rest increases its energy expenditure. To support this expenditure, it will use more carbohydrates via glycolysis. The body's glucose reserves will therefore be impacted. You should know that the preferential use of carbohydrates by the body will be to the detriment of other sources of energy usually used by the body such as fatty acids.

Paradoxically, altitude impacts the production of certain hormones. For example, it leads to a drop in leptin levels, which is a hormone involved in the feeling of satiety. Leptin reduces the desire to eat and is said to be anorexigenic. At an altitude below 3000 meters, the body is able to acclimatize and the feeling of hunger returns to normal after a few days.

In addition to the altitude, the climate in the mountains is also harsher with air that is cold and dry. This has an increased impact on hydration levels . The natural evaporation of water from the skin is more intense, explaining the cracking of thin skin such as the lips and hands. Water loss also occurs during breathing. The body must humidify and warm the inspired air, this being colder and drier, requires a greater transfer of water and the water necessary for this process will not be entirely recovered by the mucous membranes, which therefore causes water loss.

Adapt your diet before, during and after skiing

Faced with all these changes for the body, it is therefore essential to adapt your diet and hydration accordingly, in order to have sufficient strength to enjoy sports days without getting injured.

First of all, it is essential not to start your day on an empty stomach, or on the contrary with a stomach that is too full because this will impact your effort, with the body having to ensure both digestion and physical exercise. The ideal is therefore to have a balanced breakfast such as a bowl of muesli accompanied by fruit and honey which will constitute a good supply of carbohydrates.

As said previously, at altitude, carbohydrate consumption is favored by the body to provide energy. Its reserves will be exhausted more quickly, especially since the cold environment requires a greater caloric intake because the body uses a significant quantity of calories to maintain body temperature.

Refueling is therefore very important during your outings. During meals, choose foods rich in carbohydrates such as rice or pasta for example, accompanied by proteins (white meat, chickpeas, red beans) to allow your muscles to recover well after exercise.

As the feeling of hunger is reduced, we advise you to spread out your meals throughout the day. You can opt for consumption of energy bars and drinks , dried fruits between meals and which will contribute very well to sufficient caloric intake.

Hydration during exercise is also essential, especially since dehydration is increased by the cold and altitude. You must be very vigilant, because the feeling of cold eclipses that of thirst despite significant water loss. It is therefore essential to hydrate yourself sufficiently throughout the day, to avoid dehydration and electrolyte losses but also to improve your recovery. By drinking enough water you will avoid cramps and aches at the end of your sporting days and will also reduce the drying out of your skin and chapping. Here are some tips for maintaining hydration on the slopes:

- Take frequent breaks to drink 2 to 3 sips of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

- Take a thermos to drink hot drinks, in addition to participating in your rehydration, you will also be able to warm up and the hot drink will contribute to an increase in temperature in the intestine which will maximize its absorption.

- You can also apply moisturizer and balms before and after your outing. They reduce the evaporation of water from the skin and will prevent dehydration in areas where the skin is thin.

- Drink exercise drinks to maximize your rehydration and have a carbohydrate and electrolyte intake. Thanks to Hydratais lozenges, you just need to dilute 2 lozenges in 500mL of water to obtain an isotonic drink that will maximize your hydration while compensating for electrolyte losses.

- Make the taste of water more appealing to make you want to drink. Hydratis tablets will also be your asset for flavoring water to your tastes thanks to 100% natural and fruity scents.

Adapting your diet and hydration throughout your stay in the mountains using our advice will ensure maximum enjoyment on the slopes and hiking. A diet rich in carbohydrates and a sufficient level of hydration will provide your body with all the energy necessary to support you through exercise and cold, avoiding fatigue, cramps and aches. So before you leave, don't forget to slip a tube ofHydratis tablets into your bag!