Four Nutrition Tips for More Energy while Skiing and Riding Your Favorite Mountains


My family and I are fresh off of winter break or as we call it here in the mountains, Ski-Skate week! Really it should be Ski-Ride-Skate week. Or maybe it should be Ski-Skate-Skin-Ride-Glide week to encompass more of the activities we participate in all this week.

Whatever activity de jour is on the menu, to make it happen, especially on back-to-back days, we must be fully fueled

Here are tips for keeping your family fueled for fun and hopefully sans meltdowns for multiple days of winter activity in the mountains!

  1. Eat a Sustaining Breakfast

I get it. I am not much of a morning eater myself BUT I am an afternoon skier so breakfast is a must. Skipping breakfast is a day breaker! Start with something that will stick with you for the morning. My favorite option is a breakfast burrito which I can make the night before alongside making lunches. Load it up with scrambled eggs, cheese, spinach, and tomato. Other options are oatmeal topped with nuts, yogurt, and blueberries and bananas. Any fruit will do here. The key is getting a little bit of carb from grains and fruits and stacking it with protein (eggs, nuts, seeds) and kicking in some fiber (veggies, fruit whole grains) and a fat (olive oil, butter, nuts, seeds). This gives you the magic combo for carb, protein, fat, and fiber that will have you cruising through the morning.

2.Plan for hydration and have easy-to-access water

Staying hydrated makes all the difference for me at the higher altitudes. On the drive to the mountain drink about 32 ounces of a hydrating beverage. Beverages that hydrate you are ones with a small amount of sugar and sodium. I personally like Hydrant or Nuun. They help your body absorb and transport the fluid and start your day with a solid hydration base. Because winter is cold, thirst isn’t triggered like it is when its hot, you have to consciously drink. Fill your water bottle the night before and set it next to your car keys!

Carrying water that you can easily sip also makes a huge difference in my energy level on the mountain. . An insulated (so the water doesn’t freeze in the reservoir) hydration pack is a great option for bringing water along. I like to think of my brain and muscles as sponges. If they dry out they just don’t function as well as they could.

3. Load Your Pockets

Plan for mid-morning, portable snacks that can be stuffed in pockets to help prevent hunger and bonking before lunch. You can tuck almonds, energy bars, or dried fruit in your pockets for easy access. I personally love Trail Butter packets. They come in a variety of flavors and offer a sustaining combination of healthy fat, protein, and a small amount of sugar. Remember, sugar is the most efficient fuel source for your brain and muscles. Combining sugar with nutrients like fat and protein will slow the digestion of sugar and provide a slow release of energy perfect for ski-lift-repeat. If you are not locked into a noon lunch hour with everyone else, these snacks will help extend your skiing while lift lines are shorter and hit the lodge for lunch later.

4. Après recovery

When you have multiple winter play days in a row, recovery nutrition is a must. Your muscles have worked hard, depleted energy reserves, and broken down. To shorten recovery time get something with both protein and carbohydrate into your body right away. I keep a stash of recovery drinks, fruit, and protein bars in a tub in my care. Orgain protein drinks, while a bit pricey, are well worth the it. I have one-hundred percent noticed a difference in my kids’ mood and energy when they get 15-20 grams of protein immediately following their return to the car. I also noticed a clear difference in my ability to keep up with them!

Many people reach for a cold brew after skiing but I find this slows me down for the evening and the next day. I save the alcohol for later in the week and instead reach for an Athletic Brewing Company NA beer. It hits the spot for hydrating and IPA’ing without the lag I feel if I drink alcohol. Try it using a promotion code TARA20 for your first purchase on their website

Try one incorporating one of these five tips into your winter activity days and see what difference it makes for you!

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This entry was posted in: Nutrition


Nutrition Strategist and Registered Dietitian with twenty years of experience creating nutrition strategies that influence and inspire people to accomplish big things.