Winter nutrition

by Shopify API

Winter nutrition

Adapt your fueling for the cold conditions

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What's the difference?

Whether we're cross country skiing, snowshoeing or snowboarding, we still benefit hugely from fueling during effort. Our body's needs for fuel are the same as when we are running or cycling. The difference is that the cold weather can add challenges, from wearing big gloves to food freezing hard.


Consider where you stash your nutrition - a pocket that is easy to access is important. If you are fuleing regularly, a hard to access pocket is going to slow down your process.  However, some foods can freeze hard and become difficult to eat. So choose your nutrition carefully. The XACT ENERGY Fruit bars stay soft even in the coldest of conditions.


Your hydration needs will vary depending on how much you sweat, which will likely be affected by the temperature and how you dress. You should drink more fluids if you are sweating more or going for hours. Even in the cold you will lose fluids after being active for a few hours. By adding electrolytes to your water, not only you'll absorb your fluids quicker but also lower the water's freezing point - keeping it drinkable in the freezing cold

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Breakfast (pre-workout)

Breakfast is your moment to get plenty of energy into your system and have the time to digest it properly before your race starts. The ideal energy source for moderate to intense exercise is carbohydrates; not too much fibre but plenty of easy to digest and filling carbs, like oats or multigrain bread. Feel free to top your meals with extras like maple syrup and nuts for a mix of fast and slow burning energy. Coffee lover? Caffeine is great for improving alertness and reducing the feeling of fatigue, so a big cup of coffee or tea will go great with your carb rich breaky.

During effort


Your longer workouts are ideal times to practice your fueling strategy. If your intensity level is lower than your race pace, then you may not need to fuel as regularly. However, practicing consistency is still key. Plus, you have the habit of eating while on the go.


 Aim to take an energy gel or chew like the XACT ENERGY fruit bar every 30-45 minutes from the start of the race - something easy to eat with 100 calories of simple carbohydrates. The number of gels or bars you should eat depends on how long it will take you to ski your race distance. Use this table to help plan your fueling needs:

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First step is to start by putting on dry, warm clothes. If it is cold and you are wet with sweat, then your body temperature will drop quickly once you've stopped moving.
Once you're dry and warm, next step is to refuel. The aim is to replenish your glycogen reserves to get your energy nack. Aim to eat a snack with a mix of carbs and protein (4:1 ratio is about right). An XACT PROTEIN Wafer with a banana or bagel is a great idea: XACT PROTEIN has 15 g of protein plus plenty of vitamins to kick start your recovery. If you prefer non-dairy protein, check out our XACT PLANT-BASED protein wafers. Now you’re ready for that celebratory beer (or hot cocoa)!

Pro tips

  • No need to eat more because it is cold. Once you are active you will warm up
  • Avoid foods that freeze up! Many granola bars and gels hardened up in the cold weather, right to the point when chewing will be a workout in itself! XACT ENERGY fruit bars have been tested in the extreme cold and stay soft!
  • Think about where you will stash your fuel. With poles and mittens, the stash pocket needs to be easily accessible
  • Keep your fingers warm. Opening gels and bars is next to impossible, especially if you are one of those who gets numb fingers in the cold. If you can keep your hands warm you can more easily open your XACT ENERGY
  • Prior to your race, you can use a pair of scissors to snip the tip of your XACT ENERGY packet to make it even easier to tear it open while skiing

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