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Snow sports require an important physical effort: muscles are called upon for skiing or boarding but one must also face nature, the cold, the dry mountain air… and so prepare accordingly. In fact, to be the best you can be on the slopes and to enjoy your skiing, it is important to be at the top of your game. And that means appropriate nutrition.
Looking forward to the pleasures of being on the slopes this winter? To prepare before you start skiing, it is important to recharge your energy boosters: sleep and an appropriate diet high in carbohydrates and grains. So three days before departure, on the menu, noodles, rice, semolina, potatoes, lentils, split peas or garbanzo beans… for lunch and dinner. It is also very important to drink lots of liquids: the cold, the dry air, heat generated by the physical effort and the wearing of ski clothes can all lead to a greater dehydration on the slopes. To compensate, drink: mineral water of course but juices will also supply vitamins.
For winter sports as elsewhere, breakfast is an essential meal to start the day off right. To boost your energy before hitting the slopes, there are several must-haves on the menu. First, after a restful night, it’s important to rehydrate. Lodgings in the mountains can often be overheated favouring dehydration. A large glass of juice (citrus fruits for the vitamins) and a hot drink (coffee, tea or hot chocolate) are essential. Cereals, rich in carbohydrates that will release their energy over the long day: think whole wheat breads, whole grain cereals… A source of calcium and protein is also necessary. For those who don’t drink milk, opt for a yoghurt or a quark cheese and mix it up in your cereal. Your day of skiing will be intense? Add a slice of ham or some eggs..
Lunch should be light especially if you plan to ski in the afternoon. That being said, this light meal should give you the energy necessary for the efforts to come. To avoid the heavy meals in the resort restaurants, some will pack their own sandwiches and can thus avoid unnecessary fats: finish off with a fruit and a drink for a balanced meal. However, a hot meal could be preferable. In that case, avoid fatty foods, cheese, fried or spicy foods and of course, alcohol. Try a mixed salad, bread and starches (rice, pasta), fish, a sweet dessert, a drink. As always, don’t forget to drink and rehydrate. Of course you can have a coffee at the end of the meal but know that the jolt will be short lived.
Just after skiing, have a snack, a granola bar or a light pastry. Wait off on the mulled wine! Dinner should allow you some quality sleep so you take off right the next morning. The recommendation is for a hearty vegetable soup, some poultry or fish (avoid cured meats except for cooked ham) with some starches, a glass of wine and a milk dessert. But when in the mountains, one of the pleasures is to try the local specialties. Save the “raclette” for the end of your stay and for a “lighter” version, eat the melted cheese and potatoes with lean cold cuts like cooked ham, smoked low-fat ham, dried beef or pork roast with crudités. And for dessert? Fruit!
Read the other topics from the "How to prepare your ski holidays" section.
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