The layers of clothing are on. The gear is packed. Poles, boards, boots, and helmet are ready for a great day of whatever the mountain has to offer. Only one thing can stop us is now, lack of energy and dehydration. When I say “energy” I don’t mean the kind you get from the stimulating effects of a good cup of coffee. While that is a nice boost to help feel energetic, it is not actually the energy muscles and mental focus need to keep moving all day.
Hitting the last chair as hard as the first is challenging for us all. You can however, increase your odds of sustaining the energy you need if you plan good nutrition to support your activity.
As a snow sports enthusiast, a mom of two boys who love to charge, and a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) at Clif Bar & Company, I know a thing or two about nutrition for sustained energy.
Her are my top nutrition strategies for full day of snow packed adventu
- Make the activity the main event, not the food
Plan what your will eat and when around the activity instead of the other way around most people are accustomed too. This is a big shift on and off the mountain. Doing this helps me to improve the quality and quantity of what I eat. I am more motivated to by energizing my activity then I am satisfying a fleeting craving. Making the epic activities the centerpiece of the day may help you plan for optimal energy and hydration around your main event.
- Eat at hearty, wholesome, breakfast with staying power.
To best fuel the day around activity start with a hearty breakfast like an oatmeal loaded with nuts, seeds, and topped with some Greek yogurt for extra staying-power. This should ward off hunger pains through the parking lot trek and early morning turns.
- Plan for hydration have easy-to-handle snacks and water available.
Hydration and carrying water on me makes a huge difference in my energy level on the mountain. It doesn’t deliver energy itself but, it keeps the energy from the foods I eat circulating and helps me maintain focus throughout the day. An insulated (so the water doesn’t freeze in the reservoir) hydration pack is a great option for bring water along. I like to think of me brain and muscles as sponges. If they dry out they just don’t function as well as they could.
- Rethink your lunch hour
Plan small energy snacks for two to three key occasions before lunch. You can tuck almonds, CLIF BARs, or dried fruit in your pockets for easy access. Eating small, nutritious snacks will help you extend your appetite for a later lunch and take advantage of shorter lift lines while everyone else fights for seating and chows down.
- Boost the afternoon with small dose of sugar
Yes, you heard me right. I said eat sugar. Sugar eating during activity can serve as a valuable source of quick energy to the muscles and mind. I have one son who is particularly sensitive to a drop in energy which, is really just a drop in blood sugar. So, I keep small “doses” of sugar available in the form of CLIF BLOKS energy chews to distribute when I see the grumpiness sneaking in.
- Après recovery
Everybody loves the cozy comfort of après ski, me included! If however, I want to ski multiple days in a row I consider what my I need in the form of recovery food after a long day. SO long as Foods that provide a combination of carbohydrate (grains, pasta, bread) and protein (fish, cheese, beef) along with a healthy dose of nutrients from vegetables are a great bet and they can be fun foods too. My favorite recovery meal combination is a cheese burger and a side of veggies.
Nutritious food plays a big part in delivering energy to active bodies, and it is common to underestimate the impact it can have on your day. So think of it like this, eating the right food at the right time is like good gear and it is a necessary piece to get the most out of your lift ticket and an excellent powder day!