Your Winter Sports Nutrition Guide

Winter Recovery Foods

To chase away chills:

  • replenish depleted glycogen stores
  • rehydrate your body
  • enjoy warm carbohydrates with a little protein (oatmeal with nuts, lentil soup, chili)

The warm food, added to the thermogenic effect of eating, contributes to rapid recovery. In comparison, eating cold foods and frozen fluids can chill your body. Save the slushie for summer workouts. In winter, you want warm foods to fuel your workouts. Bring out the mulled cider or thermos of soup!

Winter Weight Gain

Many athletes bemoan winter weight gain. Some eat too much because they are bored and less active. Others experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the change of seasons has a marked affect on their mood. Changes in brain chemicals increase carbohydrate cravings and the desire to eat more. The temptations of winter holiday foods can also contribute to weight gain.  

To limit winter weight gain, stay active. Exercise helps manage health, weight, and the winter blues. The tricks are to invest in proper clothing, fuel well, and prevent dehydration so you can stay warm and enjoy winter's outdoor wonderland.

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Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) helps both casual and competitive athletes learn how to eat a winning sports diet. Her practice is at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for new runners and marathoners offer additional information. They are available at See also

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