Skiing And Nutrition: How To Fuel Properly For The Slopes

Feb 10, 2020
By: Lauren Keating

Not eating right during that ski vacation is a slippery slope. That’s because once we fall off the wagon, it is harder to get on track. And for athletes, this means suffering from poor performance when skiing.

Not eating right before skiing leads to feeling sluggish and bloated or lacking the energy needed. This results in being unmotivated and might even cause the athlete to call the ski session short. Failing to fuel properly during the workout further leads to feeling drained and not having the endurance needed. It also means not being able to give our best performance—especially when cross country skiing which requires lots of energy.

This is why nutrition is important for serious skiers.

While it’s fine to sip on that hot chocolate after skiing (it’s actually a great recovery drink post-workout), make sure to focus on what is consumed in order to give it all you got when on the slopes.

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Nutrition For The Serious Skier

The more relaxed skier enjoying a family vacation probably doesn’t need to adjust their normal dietary plan. While vacation tends to bring with it some extra calories, life is all about balance.

The average skier burns about 300 to 600 calories per hour. So enjoy dessert and feel good about burning some calories while on the slopes.

However, more serious skiers should pay attention to their diet to be able to ski at a fast pace and for a long time. Cross country skiers on harder terrains can burn anywhere from 600 to 1000 calories per hour.

This means fueling right before, during, and after the workout to make it up and downhill over and over again or throughout the back country and back home.

Skip the wings and beer at the cabin bar to be ready to shred some snow. Here’s how to fuel right for skiing.

Eat Your Carbs

Athletes need to consume carbohydrates. Carbs are the body’s proffered source of fuel. This translates to having the energy needed for skiing.

However, this should be complex carbs not refined. Complex carbs turns into glucose, what the body uses as energy. Complex carbs include whole grains, beans, peas, brown rice, and quinoa.

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Also make sure to eat enough protein, which supports muscle growth and repair.

Always Eat Breakfast

Never skip the most important meal of the day. This means even if you rise early to hit the slopes before the crowds or when looking out to see a fresh snowfall outside.

The body needs to refuel its tank after a night’s sleep so that it isn’t running on empty. Eating means waking the brain and muscles to be able to workout.

Even something quick and little for breakfast such as a banana with Greek yogurt and granola or a bagel with nut butter is better than nothing.

It’s also okay to have that cup of coffee, but just make sure to continue to drink water all day long—even when out in the snow.

Fuel On The Slopes

For serious skiers who burn lots of calories and are out there for hours, having sports nutrition on hand is crucial.

Pack some snacks and water in a hydration pack, fuel belt, or in ski jacket pockets. This includes options that provides carbohydrates quickly, like Kramp Krusher energy chews.

These are perfect for storing in a pocket, packed with everything needed to boost performance. These energy chews are made of all-natural ingredients and without caffeine. Yet it provides the muscles with the glycogen needed to power

through the workout while preventing muscle cramps and aid in better nerve to muscle communication.

Plus it contains electorates to aid in hydration—which is often overlooked in cold weather sports.

This is an option best suited for elite skiers or for those looking to increase performance.

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Those who are spending extended time skiing should pack snacks like trail mix or a granola bar. Just avoid options with more than 10 grams of protein because these don’t digest as easily during a workout.

Take A Lunch Break

It’s easy to spend a few hours skiing. But make sure to stop for lunch—even if you don’t feel hungry at the moment.

Take the time to give the body break and refuel with slow-burning carbs like whole wheat bread or sweet potatoes and protein like grilled chicken.

Great options that fuel skiers properly include chili, chicken noodle soup with a roll, or a turkey sandwich on a whole wheat roll.

Remember that skiers need the right nutrients to have a healthy body— especially in higher altitudes. So skip the fried foods and beer until after skiing is over.

Don’t Forget To Hydrate

Skiers often forget that they need to drink water. Cold weather sports can result in dehydration because the athlete often doesn’t feel thirsty in the cold. But the body needs to hydrate when sweating and being put to work.

Dehydration also can occur at higher altitudes. Altitude sickness is very real and also includes headaches, nausea and a decrease in appetite. To prevent his, hydration is key. Drinking lots of water leading up to the ski trip and throughout the entire time spent in the mountains.

Make sure to carry some form of hydration like a collapsible water bottle or hydration pack. Do not eat the snow when in the back country. This is because it is polluted with dust, pesticides and other pollution.

What To Eat For Dinner

Post-skiing nutrition is also important to repair the muscles and prevent muscle soreness (which is why a product like Kramp Krusher energy chews is also great for elite skiers).

Consume foods that have anti-inflammatory benefits like spinach and berries. Post-skiing meals like salmon are great because it contains omega-3 healthy fat that is great for the muscles and joints.

Avoid processed foods and fried foods that cause inflammation. Limit red meat and opt for chicken or fish. And don’t forget to eat vegetables.

Also, don’t eat too late so that the body is replenished and the athlete isn’t going to bed full which can affect the quality of sleep needed to do it all again the next day.

Final Thoughts

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Remember that feeling good means being able to ski at the best of the athlete’s ability. Skiing is easier when the body has the nutrients needed to run, while high-quality sports nutrition products further help to aid in optimal performance.

Don’t be afraid to snack when needed on trail mix or dried fruit, but know the level of activity is directly related to how many calories are needed for the day.

It’s okay to have a beer or two, just keep in mind this is adding to calories for the day.

Those on ski trips should also take advantage of massages and hot tubes, which can further aid in muscle recovery and limit soreness.


Nutrition for Skiing, Kristen Gravani,Ultimate Ski, features/useful-ski-tips/​nutrition-for-skiing/

Calories burned skiing,Captain Calculator,​health/ calorie/calories-burned-​skiing-calculator/

5 Nutrition Tips for Skiers, Jenny Wiegand,Ski Mag, performance/nutrition-tips-​for-skiers