Nutrition in the winter
In an effort to maintain a certain level of endurance, many runners still do long runs, even though the marathon is still a long way off. Others will practice complementary winter sports, such as cross-country skiing or winter hiking, but they all have a common goal: not to run out of energy on a long run. Here are some tips on how to eat well and not run out of energy.
Outing of 1 hour or more: what to bring?
Since carbohydrates are used to maintain your energy level during exercise, multi-hour, high-intensity rides should be accompanied by a sports drink or sweetened food. If you don’t like homemade or commercial energy drinks, choose water and carbohydrate-rich snacks every hour.
The ideal intake is 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour to keep the same intensity and facilitate digestion. You should also choose foods that do not harden in the cold. Otherwise, it is strongly suggested to store food in pockets close to the body to keep it at a comfortable temperature when it’s time to eat it.
Before leaving, cut these foods into small bites so that they are easier to ingest. It’s better to take small amounts at a time (e.g., every 15 minutes), rather than swallowing everything at once during the hour.
Foods that provide 30 g of carbohydrates
- 1 banana
- 1 cookie-type cereal bar (e.g. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars or 2-3 Newton cookies!)
- 4 large dates
- 1 or 2 dried fruit bars (SunRype Fruit to Go =15g of carbs or FruitSource=30g)
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) mixed nuts and dried fruit
- 1 energy gel or syrup (between 25 and 30 grams of carbohydrates)
- 1 muffin, 1 slice of banana bread or 1 homemade patty
For outings of less than an hour, you can simply hydrate before and after and eat a small snack containing carbohydrates in the hour before your departure or a meal depending on your tolerance. Some people prefer to run on an empty stomach, but hydrating before you leave is still a must for feeling good!
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