- Sample athlete plates
- Nutrition while traveling
- Reading food labels
- Recovery nutrition
- Breakfast fuel
- Healthy recipes
- Tips for the vegetarian athlete
You might have a “water mom” or “water dad” if you have said…
“I have a headache”
“I can’t sleep”
“The dog ate my homework”
…and your parent has responded with, “DRINK MORE WATER!”
Our body simply cannot survive without water and we cannot perform at our athletic peak if dehydrated. “Gee coach, I always have a sip of water when I feel thirsty”. Unfortunately, thirst is not a good indicator of hydration level. In fact, our body is already dehydrating by the time we feel thirsty.
What Every Athlete Should Know About Hydrating
Water will enhance your athletic performance.
How do I know if I am hydrated? As a guideline, check the color of your urine. A little gross and cool at the same time! Very light or clear colored urine means that you are doing a good job at staying hydrated. Light or darker colored urine means that it’s time to have some water.
Exactly how much water should I be drinking each day? This will depend on your body size and what types of activity you are engaged in. You may have heard to drink 8 – 10 glasses/day or to divide your body weight (in pounds) by two and drink that amount in ounces (e.g., if you weigh 120 lbs., drink 60 oz. of water each day.
Either method will help you to establish the minimum amount of water you should have each day.
Compared to adults, younger athletes are at greater risk of dehydrating.
Try to drink beyond your level of thirst.
Is water my only choice? No. The foods that we eat and other beverages contain water. Diluted fruit juices and non-caffeinated teas are good choices, especially if you have trouble drinking plain water. Even your chocolate milk recovery drink contains water.
When you know the location of every public restroom between your house and the ski area, you are drinking enough water!
Suggested Water Intake Guidelines
Drink two or more glasses with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Have a glass of water at snack time.
Drink two glasses of water before and after training.
Drink at regular intervals during training. This means that you should have a water bottle on the hill!
Drink beyond just quenching your thirst.
Drink water every 20 minutes during exercise (yes – training is exercise!).
What About Energy Drinks?
Energy drink and soda have no place on your training table!
Are Sport Drinks OK?
Sport drinks generally contain electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) and carbohydrate. Electrolytes help the body to distribute water, are important for muscle contraction and nerve signaling, and help move carbohydrate (i.e., glucose) to muscle. The typical Western diet contains plenty of sodium whereas a well-balanced diet will provide adequate potassium.
Foods high in potassium include:
Baked Potato (with skin)
Dark Leafy Greens
Milk and Yogurt
Warning Signs of Dehydration
Sport drinks tend to help most during activities lasting over one hour. In snow sport competition, most athletes won’t benefit from using a sport drink on event day. However, you might try a sport drink or powder mix (e.g., Skratch Labs, Emergen-C) on training days.
Feeling weak or tired
Feeling irritable (tough to know parents!)
Flushing of the cheeks
Dry or chapped lips; constant lip licking