Fueling for the Cold

by Bea | June 25th, 2013 | Workout Fuel

oatsIn the US it’s summer time; however, in other parts of the world, it’s time to prepare for a cold weather workout. What you consume prior to your cold weather workout will have an impact on your workout and how successful you are.

Hydration will always be a key, no matter what season it is. Even if you do not think that you will need it, you will. You will lose water vapor when you exhale, and you really do need to always consume fluids to replace any water that you may have expelled. If you do not want to drink water because you do not want to take off all of your winter gear to go to the bathroom, that is a terrible mistake. There is actually a study that shows that skiers have the highest rate of chronic dehydration. Being dehydrated will affect your performance and might even cause unfortunate failures.

Food will have a warming effect. This is known as thermogensis or “heat making.” Your body will be able to generate 10% more heat if you have food in your stomach than if you had an empty stomach. If is is cold outside, I think that you are going to want to have that extra 10% of body heat! As you exercise, your metabolism is going to increase and warm/humidify the air you breathe, and you will burn those calories to stay warm.

Soups, bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals, peanut butter, meat, low-fat cheese, chili, and other foods are great to have at least two hours before you exercise. One of my personal favorite winter recovery foods is a hot cocoa. You can enjoy other warm meals like oatmeal, cider, chili, pasta, lentil soup, and more. What you should not eat are cold or frozen foods. These foods can chill your body and cool you off. This is something that you really do not want to do.

The most important things to remember are that cold foods are not the best for you when it’s cold outside, and that hydration is extremely important!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.