Everyone knows the food you eat fuels your body for the day. Whether you’re preparing for a day of carving through backcountry at Steven’s Pass or tackling downhill drills on the bunny hill at Mt. Spokane, consuming nourishing foods will inevitably maximize your performance on the slopes. Ski and snowboard like a champion this winter with our tips for fueling up.
It’s true. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start the day strong by eating carbs, whole grains and lean proteins that will give you energy until lunch. Try this Soaked Oatmeal with Chia Seeds recipe from the Nourishing Gourmet, or LifeWise Kitchen recipes for Apricot Honey Oatmeal or Artichoke Frittata for protein and nutrient-rich options.
Make sure to eat breakfast with a side of fruits and veggies too – they reduce the amount of free radicals that build up in your body during high intensity exercise. The brighter the color, the better. Rich color signifies the produce you selected is full of antioxidants to help fight off illness. Apples, pears and citrus fruits such as yuzus (a Japanese fruit similar to limes) are all in season in the Northwest. For more winter foods local to our region, check out Seasonal Cornucopia.
Healthy snacks help athletes recover between runs during an intense day on the slopes. Eating carbohydrates and a small amount of protein on the mountain can also minimize muscle damage and replenish your energy. Stick with small snacks you can carry in your pocket that won’t freeze. A bag of nuts or a granola bar are perfect for on-the-go noshing. Steer clear of protein bars with over 10 grams of protein – they are hard for your body to digest during activity.
Within 30 to 60 minutes of ending your day of skiing or snowboarding, eat something rich in carbohydrates with a little protein to help your body recover. Post -workout nourishment helps decrease soreness, rebuild muscle and prepare your body for another day on the slopes. A peanut butter sandwich, yogurt and granola, or milk and cereal are wholesome post-workout options.
Muscles rely on water to function properly. Keep your body hydrated by frequently consuming beverages like an electrolyte sport drink or water. Consider using a CamelBak, easily found at local recreation stores, for those longer days on the ski hill. If you’re lunching at the lodge, stay away from saturated and trans fats in fried and processed foods, both known to cause inflammation. Instead, eat anti-inflammatory, un-saturated fats like avocados, nuts and salmon.
Do you have a go-to food item or suggestion to fuel a day on the mountain? Share with us by posting a comment below.
Check out more of Ariana’s Tips and read about her health journey on Actively Northwest.