It’s cold and you’re bundled up like an eskimo, but you’re not going to miss your training run. Kudos to you for staying motivated during these brutally cold months. While you’re certainly focused on staying fit, don’t forget about the importance of good nutrition. What you eat and drink during cold-weather training is just as important as what you eat and drink during the the warmer months.
Here are some tips to help keep you fueled and feeling your best, even during the cold weather:
Tip 1: Make time for hydration
It’s easy to forget about drinking enough fluids when it’s so cold outside. Maybe you’re not sweating as much, you don’t feel as hot as you do in the warmer months, but hydration is key to optimal athletic performance. And hydration should be your focus ALL day. Make time for drinking water. Keep a water bottle with you in your purse or at your desk and sip from it often. This will ensure that when you make it to your workout, you’ll be hydrated.
And don’t forget to hydrate during your activity. And be prepared. Bring your own water if your route doesn’t include a drinking fountain.
Tip 2: Choose nourishing meals and snacks
It’s easy to hunker down with comfort food when it gets cold. That comfort food is fine, but isn’t always the best fuel for athletic performance. Make sure you continue to strive for balance and variety when it comes to your meals and snacks. Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
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Tip 3: Consider alternative, on-the-go nutrition
Gels and other sports-focused foods supply efficient nutrition, but might be harder to open or manipulate when you’re wearing mittens or gloves! To stay nourished without too much effort, consider changing what you nosh on during your outdoor workouts or how your food is packaged. Take foods out of packages and place them in zip-top bags. Freeze small amounts of gels in ice cube trays, then place in zip top or a small screw top container just before your workout. Find a system that works for you!
Tip 4: Add high-water foods to your diet
Back to hydration! It’s hard to drink all of that fluid, but have no fear. You can eat your water too! How? By consuming foods that have a high-water content. Fruits and vegetables are mostly made of water, so they’re a great choice. And as a bonus, they’ll provide other nutrients that support performance and recovery.
Tip 5: Include a post-activity re-fuel
Oftentimes athletes forget to adequately re-fuel after a workout. That’s a missed opportunity for recovering. You wouldn’t skip this important step after a long summer workout, so don’t neglect it now. And pick foods that are seasonal, which should taste great and should be easier to find.
How do you stay fueled during cold-weather workouts? We’d love to hear about it!
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