Alexandra Racine is a competitive cross country skier from Orford Quebec, Canada. She is an xact nutrition ambassador and represents both her home province of Quebec and Canada in skate and classic cross ski racing

GATINEAU LOPPET RACE DAY NUTRITION GUIDE

RACE DAY NUTRITION GUIDE TO LONG-DISTANCE CROSSCOUNTRY SKI RACING

 

IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE BUT YOU GOTTA FUEL THE ROCKET! 

 

BREAKFAST:

Carb loading time! This is the energy endurance athletes need! Don’t over indulge, you’ll carry what you eat.  Foods like bagels and porridge provide sustenance and bananas are easy to digest.  If you are a regular coffee drinker then go ahead and have your morning cuppa, caffeine has some great performance benefits. Aim to eat around at least 2 hours before your race to let food digest properly.

 

PRE-RACE:

If it has been 3+ hours since breakfast, we recommend a small snack 30 minutes before the race starts, this will bump up your blood sugar level for the start of the race. A XACT ENERGY fruit bar is a perfect mobile snack to keep your energy reserves up and can be eaten easily between check-in and the start line.

DURING THE RACE:

FRUIT2 perfect for race day nutrition

Aim to take a XACT ENERGY fruit bar every 30-45 minutes from the start of the race.  The number of gels you eat is about how long it will take you to ski your race distance.  Help things go down with a mouth full of water if you can.


30 mins before race XACT ENERGY with electrolytes +/- caffeine
45 mins XACT ENERGY
1h 30mins XACT ENERGY
2 hrs XACT ENERGY  (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)
2 hrs 30 mins XACT ENERGY
3 hrs XACT ENERGY
3 hrs 30 mins XACT ENERGY (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)
And so on..

 

If it is warm and you find yourself sweating more (especially for those who sweat and have sweat crystals on their skins clothes afterwards), swap every other XACT ENERGY for a XACT ENERGY E-beet to ensure you maintain your electrolyte balance.

Aim to consume, 500-1000 ml of fluids each hour. If it is warm then drink more.

PRO TIPS:

canada athlete winter xcski nordi combined

  • No need to eat more because it is cold. You will burn only a few more calories due to heat loss.  Shivering does burn many more calories, but hopefully you are dressed for the task!
  • Avoid ‘freezing’ foods!  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! 
  • 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!

STASH IT!

  • And speaking of stash pocket.  Use a pocket that is easily accessible but still tucked away from the cold. A XACT ENERGY fruit bar may still be soft on sub-zero temperatures but still more fun to eat if it is slightly warmer. Your mid-layer may have a handy stash pocket or on the back of your jacket.
  • 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.

AFTER:

Congratulations on finishing your race!! To start your recovery right away, drink 500-1000ml fluid to help rehydrate (no, beer does not count). Eat a small snack too.  Aim for a mix of carbs and protein to start the recovery process.  XACT PROTEIN Wafer are an ideal choice : 15 g of protein, all the vitamin B complexes and a helping of carbs. If you prefer non-dairy protein, check out our XACT PLANT-BASED protein wafers. Now you’re ready for that celebratory beer!

 

A great way to try a selection of the products mentioned here is the XACT Packs and combo. Only $12.49 including shipping anywhere in Canada, the Disco pack contains 4 XACT ENERGY fruit bars plus 1 Choc XACT PROTEIN wafer,  Yum.