Nutrition & Winter Sports

FOTO: Alois Lackner/Pexels

Nutrition in Winter Sports - Training and Competition

In fact, sports nutrition in winter does not differ from sports nutrition in summer. But if you take a closer look, there are some major differences.
On the one hand, the training goals of summer athletes in winter differ significantly from the goals in summer. If in summer the competition is in the foreground, in winter it is about laying the foundations for the next competition year. The months of November and December are very often also marked by recreation, and accordingly nutrition has a completely different significance. In January and February, the work is very often in the strength/endurance area. Accordingly the protein supply has a larger meaning.

Competitive sport in winter
Basically, it is important to know that at cold temperatures the demand for energy and, at higher altitudes, also for liquids increases. The dry air at high altitudes causes a lot of fluid to be breathed out. These circumstances are scientifically documented. In the case of sporting activities above 2000 metres above sea level (e.g. ski tours) this can have a major impact on performance. It is therefore important to pay attention to energy intake and regular drinking. Despite comparable fluid requirements, the feeling of thirst is generally lower in winter and the energy requirement is higher to compensate for body heat losses caused by the cold.
The highly energetic sports drinks LONG ENERGY and COMPETITION are recommended for ambitious ski tourers, as they guarantee both a sufficient supply of fluids and energy. By the way, you can enjoy the sports drinks warm, prepared in a thermos flask. The SPORT TEA is also ideal for this.
LIQUID ENERGY GELS can practically always be taken. Bars, on the other hand, often become hard and glassy in the cold. Here it is recommended to wear bars without chocolate coating directly on the body, so they remain in a pleasant consistency until consumption. The demands on the immune system should also not be ignored. As a result of the fact that cold air is constantly inhaled, the immune system and the respiratory tract are very strongly challenged. Nucleotides such as those contained in IMMUNOGUARD can have a supporting effect here.

Regeneration is just as important in winter sports as it is in summer temperatures. The focus is on rehydration and the replenishment of energy and protein stores for muscular regeneration. Other aspects should not be considered from a nutritional point of view in winter. It is naturally appropriate, individually and situatively, to start with warm drinks and/or meals as the first regeneration measure in order to warm up the body and not have to spend additional energy on heat production. The RECOVERY SHAKE Choco, for example, is a good milk preparation. However, only warm milk should be used, not boiling milk.

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Author: Remo Jutzeler
Ing. Applied Food Sciences UAS
MAS Nutrition & Health ETHZ