Maintain your energy level on the slopes this winter
What to eat and drink on the slopes this winter to maintain your energy level?
As the opening of ski resorts is 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 solicited 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 to you what is 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 best holidays of the year, the winter holidays!
What is the impact of altitude and cold on metabolism?
At altitude, the atmospheric pressure is lower. This means that the air will be less dense than that at sea level. In other words, the quantity of air inspired in the mountains contains fewer oxygen molecules because of this drop in pressure. The amount 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 the 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, the altitude impacts the production of certain hormones. For example, it causes a drop in the level of leptin, which is a hormone involved in the feeling of satiety. Leptin decreases the desire to eat, it is said to be anorectic. For 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 the level of hydration . The natural evaporation of water by the skin is more intense, explaining the cracking of fine skin such as on the lips and hands. Water loss also takes place during respiration. The body must humidify and warm the inspired air, which being colder and drier, requires a greater transfer of water and the water necessary for this process will not be fully 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 injury.
First of all, it is essential not to start your day on an empty stomach, or on the contrary with an overly full stomach because this will impact your effort, with the body which will have 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 carbohydrate intake.
As said before, at altitude, carbohydrate consumption is favored by the body to provide energy. Its reserves will be depleted more quickly, especially since the cold environment requires a greater caloric intake because the body uses a large quantity of calories to maintain body temperature.
Refueling is therefore very important during your outings. During meals, favor 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.
The feeling of hunger being diminished, we advise you to spread out the supplies throughout the day. You can opt for the consumption of energy bars and drinks , dried fruits between meals and which will contribute very well to a sufficient caloric intake.
Hydration during exercise is also essential, especially since dehydration is increased by cold and altitude. You have to be very vigilant, because the feeling of cold eclipses that of thirst despite the significant water loss. It is therefore essential to stay sufficiently hydrated throughout the day, to avoid dehydration, 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 staying hydrated on the slopes:
- Take frequent breaks to drink 2-3 sips of water every 15-20 minutes.
- Take a thermos to drink hot drinks, in addition to participating in your rehydration, you can also warm up and the hot drink will participate in an increase in temperature at the intestinal level 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 of areas where the skin is thin.
- Drink sports drinks to maximize your rehydration, to 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 attractive to make you want to drink. Hydratis tablets will also be your asset to flavor the water to your tastes thanks to 100% natural and fruity fragrances.
By adapting your diet and your hydration throughout your stay in the mountains thanks to our advice, you will ensure maximum pleasure on the slopes and while hiking. A diet rich in carbohydrates and a sufficient level of hydration will provide your body with all the energy it needs to keep up with you in the effort and the cold, avoiding fatigue, cramps and aches. So before leaving, don't forget to slip a tube ofHydratis tablet into your bag!