Taking part in winter sports involves many challenges, one of which is training. Cold weather can be scary, but well equipped and well fed, you will enjoy your outing! For our part, we particularly appreciate maple syrup to help us have energy.
First, here are some key principles to know:
- The cold can increase energy expenditure by as much as 400 kcal per hour if you are shivering (especially when you are not active).
- Your digestive system also needs to heat up food and drink to burn off extra energy. Digestion is also a source of heat via food thermogenesis.
- Fat, although having a higher energy value, is not to be favored since it is more difficult to digest.
- Sources of carbohydrates (sugars) are more easily digested and protein gives off more energy, which helps warm the body!
- We tend to feel less thirsty, but hydration is still very important.
Before, during and after the cold!
During exercise, the brain and muscles require a supply of sugars (carbohydrates) to function optimally. Several types of sugars are available and present in sports foods. The best foods are usually homemade ones, so why not use natural sugar to make them! Pure maple syrup belongs to this category: it is an energy food, completely natural, unprocessed and without coloring or preservatives. It is an excellent source of manganese and zinc, two minerals vital for muscle recovery. It also contains 63 antioxidant compounds that protect cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals produced by intense physical exercise. For refueling before, during and after your workout, this is also the ideal product.
What you eat before winter training should digest quickly, provide you with energy (in the form of carbohydrates), satisfy your appetite and warm you up (with protein). The time you have before your workout is crucial in choosing your meal or snack. The more time you have, the more you can eat a full meal.
In the case of a long workout, natural sugars, such as maple, can help support more vigorous exertion. Use it to make a homemade energy drink and to incorporate into recipes for energy bars or gels. Keep your snacks close to your body to prevent them from freezing.
After training for over an hour and a half, it is imperative to begin the recovery process. The best way to do this is to eat at a minimum of foods that will provide you with 30 to 60 g of carbohydrates and around 10 to 20 g of protein. Ingested after your workout, maple syrup serves as a source of carbohydrate in a smoothie, cereal bar, or high protein snack to help your body recover by replenishing your glycogen stores.
In summary, it is never recommended to overdo our intake of added sugars, but we can at least choose a natural product from home to cook our snacks and drinks for our workouts and be able to enjoy its benefits!
We strongly encourage you to cook your own snacks and cut them into pieces for the course. Remember to keep them in your coat close to the body and not in the external pockets or backpack to prevent them from freezing. Here’s an example of a good snack to bring on an outing.
Have a good winter training!