By: Melissa Lee, ND

small_5507366593Although winter seems utterly annoying at the moment with days of minus 50 degree weather with no snow, the highs and lows of winter can still be enjoyable. It gets better as you drive north.

Snow sports like cross country/downhill skiing, bobsledding, snow shoeing or snowboarding are great ways to stay fit and have fun in the winter. Two key factors to keep in mind while you are planning a day on the mountain is hydration and good food.


Hydration is important in all types of sports, but we don’t typically feel thirsty in cold weather. Three reasons why you need to be mindful of hydration are:

  1. Improper clothing can lead to increased core temperatures and higher sweat rates.
  2. In cold weather, the body naturally decreases blood flow to the extremities in order to conserve core temperature heat. As a result blood pressure increases, leading to increased urination.
  3. Cold air is usually drier, and our bodies adjust to this by moisturizing the air that comes in. Thus large volumes of fluid are lost through respiration.

With these three mechanisms of fluid loss, ensure you start your morning off with a nice glass of water and an electrolyte drink before you head out to the mountain. Throughout the day drink water and incorporate an electrolyte drink for a total of >2.2L for women and >3.2L for men.

What to pack:

  • Water Bottle (1L-2L)
  • Electrolyte tablets (ex. Nuun) or Electrolyte Drink (1L) of one of the following recipes transported in a mason jar or water bottle.


Good Food

Every time I am off to the ski hill it sometimes can be a struggle to pack a wholesome and easy lunch. Ski lodge pizza and poutines just don’t cut it. When you are considering a lunch you must bear in mind that exercising in the cold will increase energy consumption, primarily in the form of carbohydrates. You may need to consume a higher amount of quality carbohydrates. These include things like: fruits, vegetables, oats, millet, quinoa, and warming gluten free cereals.

What to Pack:


  • Clementines, apples, grapes
  • You own trail mix invention: ex. almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, raisons, cranberries, dried apricots, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. You can even sneak in a few chocolate chips
  • Vegetables sticks: carrots, celery and hummus, or almond butter
  • Protein bars: Homemade or store bought ones (elevate me bars, larabars, pure organic bars, the simply bar).
  • Rice crackers, Mary’s crackers with a hummus/bean dip, or homemade cracker
  • Salsa/Guacamole and organic corn chips

Lunch meals

  • Brown rice wraps of salmon salad, tuna salad, chicken salad or whole meats like chicken, roast beef. Don’t forget to add your dark leafy greens
  • Pre made Crock pot anything transported with a thermos: chicken soups, beef soups, stews, Indian Daal with rice.
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Salad in a mason jar filled with dark leafy greens, radishes, feta cheese, chicken, olives, tomatoes
  • Vegetable omelets
  • Cauliflower crust cold pizza home made

Get ready for the 2015 snow season and enjoy the food along the way!

How to Pack and Healthy and Wholesome lunch for the Ski/Snowboarding Hills
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