Make the most of your fitness programme
Nutrition is key for any professional successful athlete, a skier or boarder is no different. Eating the right types of food and knowing the best snow ready nutrition in the run up and during your season will increase you performance on the slopes.
Skiers and snowboarders diets should consist of lean protein, lots of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. This section will include foods that you should eating in the run up, during and after your time on the mountain for optimum performance.
You should consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of body fat whilst training and when out on the slopes. This is an ideal amount to consume to guarantee optimal recovery and performance. For example, someone weighing 150lb should be eating 150 – 225g of protein a day.
Sources of protein
- Poultry – Chicken, turkey
- Fish – Tuna, salmon, prawns
- Beef – Lean beef, lean ground mince
- Dairy – Cottage cheese, eggs, natural yoghurt, skimmed milk
- Protein powder
Carbohydrates should be kept high around workout periods to have enough energy to perform the vigorous exercises needed. When you hit the slopes it is very important to keep the carbohydrates high, and eat every couple of hours to refill glycogen in the body in order to continue high performance. It is important to eat a fair amount of complex carbohydrates like oats and sweet potatoes to keep you fuelled.
Sources of Carbohydrates
- Complex Carb – Oats, sweet potatoes, potatoes, red beans, wholegrain rice, wholegrain pasta, wholegrain bread
- Vegetables – Peppers, onion, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, asparagus, green beans, spinach, cucumber
- Fruits – Bananas, apples, pears, grapefruit, blueberries
Fats should be eaten with every meal for a variety of reasons; they are healthy for the heart and organs as well as lubricate joints in the body. Fats also slow down digestion, which in turn provides longer nutrient flow throughout the body and keeps hunger pains to a minimum.
Sources of fats
- Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
Water, water and more water! You might not notice it on the slopes, but the body uses up a lot of water and you will be sweating. You need to drink a lot of water when you exercise and on the piste – even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you wake up the next day feeling achy, quite often the main reason is that you dehydrated.
A typical day should include about two litres of water, however when skiing or snowboarding for a full day you should aim for between three and four litres.
A backpack with a hydration bladder such as a camelbak is a great way to carry water and keep hydrated on the go.
A Typical Day
It is crucial to have a decent breakfast, especially if you plan on exercising during the day. Muesli is a great option – as there are carbs in the oats and protein in the nuts which support the muscle strength throughout the day. Porridge is a great alternative if you don’t like nuts.
Salads are a good choice, particularly if you are planning to work out in the afternoon or evening and haven’t yet expended much energy.
Potatoes are a great option for those that need an energy reload after an intense morning. Potatoes are high in complex carbs and usually available at lunchtime in resort.
This is by far the biggest meal of the day – but don’t go overboard. Quantity should depend on how much food you have eaten during the day and how much energy your body has stored.
It is wise to bring snacks out onto the mountain with you, even if you are going out for a short time. Ideal snacks are protein bars on the nutrition scale, with around 10-20 grams of protein.
Cliff bars and energy gels are also a good choice – these are easier to each on the go and they contain electrolytes to help keep sodium levels up.
Other great snacks include nuts, trail mix and fresh fruit.
Things to Limit
Too much coffee with dehydrate you, whilst it is best to limit coffee intake, as long as you make sure to drink plenty of water – you can still enjoy your favourite pick-me-up.
Juice from concentrate
The long-life ‘fresh’ juice you pick up from supermarkets is full of sugar, which dehydrates you. It is best to opt for 100% juice not from concentrate.
Our favourite mid-morning break in resort is packed full of sugar that will dehydrate you, affecting your performance and recovery (hello achy legs). We’re not saying you need to ban hot chocolate, but this should be a one off treat and not a mountain-staple.
After Slope Recovery
Very Important: Once you come off the piste, you should fully stretch every muscle. The cool down included in the fitness programme is ideal for stretching off.
After you’ve showered, we recommend rubbing magnesium oil on your muscles – this relaxes muscles and nerves and alleviates joints and muscle pain. Magnesium allows a greater amount of blood to flow into the muscles, and the build up of lactic acid will be removed quicker. Magnesium oil also helps towards a speedier recovery as the cells will be energised and therefore perform much better.
A long day training to be a ski or snowboard instructor will having your muscles screaming for fuel and nutrients for recovery. A high quality protein would be advised directly afterwards. Protein supplementation has been shown to be beneficial, particularly in helping individuals recover and potentially increase muscle strength gain.