Nutrition for Winter Sports

Written by Julia Tregaskis-Allen 24 November 2014

Rebecca Dent Rebecca Dent

Performance Dietitian Rebecca Dent joins Tracks and Trails to give us top nutritional advise on how to eat to keep eat ourselves healthy this winter!

"As the Winter season is about to commence now is the best time to think ahead and get ready for staying well and thriving during the coming months. What you eat from day to day will impact your energy levels, recovery from a long day on the snow, level of ability to ski day after day and overall health and well being. Those who have daily eating practices that emphasise good quality food, who are fuelled and hydrated adequately will be guaranteed to improve their performance on the snow, increase recovery, reduce the risk of injury and reduce occurrence and severity of illness.

Top Tips:-

1) Plan ahead - Create a shopping list of nutritious food items and plan daily nutritious meals to eat and healthy snacks to take to the mountains.

2) Eat enough energy! Make sure you are eating enough energy to sustain you for the full day, or recovery and refueling ready for the next day on the slopes! Carbohydrate is the preferred fuel supply at altitude so it is important to eat foods rich in this nutrient e.g. oats (porridge/muesli/homemade flapjack or energy bars, oat cakes with peanut butter/boiled eggs), potatoes (frittata, sweet potato fish pie, sweet potato mash with salmon), rice (chicken curry, brown rice with tuna and avocado, brown rice with chick pea and spinach, rice cakes with cottage cheese).

3) Eat nutrient dense foods as part of each meal and snack to make sure your body is getting what it needs to support exercise and health e.g. oily fish, red meat and offal, milk and Greek yoghurt, eggs, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, dark chocolate, berries, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, avocados and olives, garlic and turmeric.

4) Eat iron and antioxidant rich foods: Living and exercising at altitude also places a greater demand on the body for particular nutrients such as iron and antioxidants. Make sure your daily diet is rich in foods containing these nutrients. Iron rich foods include; red meat, offal, pate, lentils, kidney beans, green leafy vegetables, apricots, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, quinoa and brown rice. Antioxidant rich foods include; berries, citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, tomatoes, kiwi), dark green leafy veg (spinach, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cabbage), nuts & seeds, red grapes, sweet potatoes, avocados and green tea.

Eating well day after day will also help you reach your full fitness and skill potential of your winter sport and also maximise the enjoyment of your day."

Stay tuned for Rebecca`s next blogs;

i) Breakfast suggestions (start the day as you meant to go on)

ii) The pros and cons of snacks portability, energy content, ease of digestion (freezing weather/breaking teeth!)

iii) Maintaining hydration at altitude and in the cold.

Produced by: Rebecca Dent - High Performance Dietitian November - 2014 www.rebeccadent.co.ukTwitter: @Rebecca_Dent