June 6, 2023


Exercise makes us healthy

Best Diet for Winter Athletes

With the 2022 Winter Olympic Games fully underway, it’s natural to watch in awe of the inspiring athletes as they reach for gold and excel with elite skill at their sport. We have comprised our best tips for an optimal diet if you are a winter athlete striving for top performance. Keep reading to learn about our top tips!

Speaking of the winter Olympics, U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced that HomeLight, a real estate technology platform, is a title sponsor of the HomeLight Foundation Series. This foundation works as a catalyst to launch the careers of top athletes within winter sports. We hope you get inspired watching these Olympic athletes as you hit the outdoors yourself this winter season.

Participating in winter sports offers different challenges and nutritional needs than typical warm-weather activities. Fueling your body with the right foods can help optimize your training during the cold months of winter. 

Winter endurance differs from other times of year in that it demands a lot of energy from your body, and it’s common for athletes of winter sports to underestimate these needs. It’s a known fact that athletes burn more calories during cold-weather activity. It’s also common for winter athletes to skimp on hydration, as they aren’t necessarily feeling the sweaty heat that a warm climate can provide. So, what exactly do you need to optimize your diet as a winter athlete?

Olympic athletes typically consume between 500 and 1,500 calories for their breakfast, and a total daily caloric intake of about 3,000 to 4,000 calories. Generally speaking, you won’t be training as hard as an Olympic athlete, but it is important to up your calorie intake on days when you’re hitting the slopes or going for a winter outdoor hike.

As for water, it’s important you drink enough to sustain yourself during outdoor winter activities! Proper water intake helps minimize muscle cramps and enhances mental function, motor control, and immune system function. The United States Olympic Committee gives guidance on water intake by stating you should be drinking about 16 ounces of water two to three hours before training, an additional 8 ounces of water 15 minutes before training, and 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound lost during training. This guideline again is a tad extreme for non-elite athletes, but overall it’s important you’re drinking enough so your urine is pale yellow in color.

Some other guidelines for diet when performing winter sports include:

  • Before training have a meal that combines carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of fat between two and four hours before you begin the activity
  • If there are three to four hours between your last meal and your workout, power up with a high-carb snack (such as an energy bar, or fruit)
  • While exercising outdoors for 90 minutes or more, you should aim to consume 30-60 grams of carbs every hour

Once you’ve turned in for the day after your sporty winter fun, it’s important to fuel your body for recovery. Be sure to rehydrate with plenty of fluids, refuel with carbohydrates, and repair muscles with around 20 grams of protein.