I just received the new issue of Snowboarder Magazine and thought this would be a good time to talk about the importance of staying hydrated on the mountain.
It’s easy to focus our attention on the exciting stuff like getting a new board, boots, gear or googles. Hell, even planning that first session on your local mountain is enough to keep us up all night. It also needs to be said that while we’ll spend good money to buy gear, life tickets and everything else that goes into a day on the mountain, some of us at one point or another seem to forget to prepare our bodies for hitting the slopes.
And nothing ruins that first session of the season than getting hit with a headache or cramps after just a few turns. Trust me, it’s happened to me several times but not since I started taking my hydration seriously.
The article below should shed some light on why hydration is important.
Importance of Hydration for Skiers and Snowboarders
When participating in a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding, you burn a whopping 500 calories per hour. With this in mind, there are some precautions that you should take and one of these is your hydration levels. Even if your body is dehydrated by just 2%, it will affect your performance levels and your ability to have a great session.
Snowboarders and skiers shouldn't underestimate the importance of water and replenishing electrolytes to keep the body functioning correctly while on the slopes and in the hours afterwards. When the body is dehydrated, it has to work harder because it can no longer regulate the temperature as efficiently. As you ride and lose calories, you also lose fluids so you have to drink water before, during, and after skiing or snowboarding to keep that balance of hydration.
High Altitude Sports - In most sports, it’s easy to become dehydrated but this is accelerated when at high altitudes because the air is a lot thinner. Every breath you take is a little deeper and you also have to breathe faster in order to take in the same amount of oxygen; of course, respiration means that you lose water as you breathe.
When at high altitudes, many experts now believe that you lose twice as much water as you do when at sea level. When you exercise at sea level, it’s important to stay hydrated but this becomes imperative when on the slopes because your hydrations levels will dwindle faster and your energy levels will decrease at a quicker rate.
Staying Hydrated - Often, you can forget about drinking water because of the fun that’s had but it is all about getting into a habit. The sooner you get into the habit of taking a drink with you, the more you will benefit from staying hydrated. Nowadays, we aren't talking about carrying a glass of water up to the top and keeping it balanced on the way down because there are a number of cool devices and bottles that you can use or attach to your equipment.
When we ski or snowboard, we tend to forget about everything else for the day and just concentrate on riding. With this in mind, having a water bottle or a hydration pack with you is the perfect solution. If you have this, you won’t have to consume gallons of water in your short lunch break nor will you have to take regular water stops. You can simply take sips while waiting in line or riding up the chairlift.
Whether you hit the slopes once a year, once a month, once a week, or maybe even more, be sure to sip water regularly and for added support, consider replenishing electrolytes and minerals for added hydration and recovery support. As soon as you develop the habit, your body will thank you for it and reward you with improved and longer fun in return!