Alimentation et sports d'hiver : quoi et quand manger? Isabelle Huot Docteure en nutrition fait le point dans son article en collaboration avec la Boulangerie St-Méthode.

 Collaboration with St-Méthode Bakery

Fans of winter sports are always happy to welcome the season’s snowfalls! Downhill skiing, cross-country, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or riding a fat bike—the winter offers something for everyone! Should you change the way you eat to help improve your winter sports activities? Here’s my advice…

Macronutrients and sports: the basics

In all cases, a balanced diet will provide you with more energy and allow you to better handle temperature extremes. Olympic athletes aren’t the only ones to benefit from eating well! Let’s review the role of macronutrients.


Protein is a source of energy that helps rebuild muscle micro-tears that occur during physical activity.


Often considered to be an endurance athlete’s best ally, carbohydrates fuel your muscles with energy—before, during, and after sports. Your needs vary depending on the intensity and duration of your activity, outdoor temperature, and altitude.


Fats are not just a good source of energy, they also allow for the absorption of liposoluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).


Water can help you stabilize your body temperature and avoid dehydration. When taking part in winter sports, you can lose a lot of water through sweat, breathing, and urine production without even noticing it. This dehydration can affect the regulation of body temperature, bring on a feeling of premature fatigue, and increase the risk of injury.

What and When to Eat


Your goal before engaging in sporting activities is to eat foods that will provide energy, while avoiding anything that will cause digestive discomfort. So, if you prefer to eat a full meal, give yourself about three hours to properly digest it. If you prefer to eat just 30-60 minutes before your activity, you should choose a snack that includes very little fibre and fat but that instead consists mainly of carbohydrates. One or two slices of La Récolte de St Méthode Homestyle Oat Bread would be just right. Since it is high in carbs, it will provide a good dose of energy. You can top it with some homemade jam. Hydrating before exercise is also essential. In general, you should be able to drink .5 L of water two hours before you start exercising without any issue.


When you plan on engaging in a physical activity for more than 60 minutes, it is advisable to consume 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour. For example: a 400-500 ml electrolyte drink, a packet of energy gel, a banana, dried fruits, or a slice of bread with honey. Don’t forget to keep hydrating even though it’s cold outside. Since drinking cold water isn’t very appealing in winter, you can use an insulated bottle filled with hot water.


It’s a good idea to eat once you’ve finished exercising or within a few hours afterwards. Nothing is more comforting than some good pasta or a stew after a day spent outdoors. This comes as no surprise, as the body needs carbohydrates and protein to recover properly. Remember to keep well hydrated before moving on to alcoholic beverages, which have a diuretic effect!

Take advantage of the wonderful winter season to get the whole family moving!

Summing up

  • Good hydration and a healthy diet have an influence on your sports performance, as well as your recovery.

  • While you should choose carbs before starting, a carb-and-protein combo is optimal after exercise.

  • Even though you may feel less thirsty, hydration is essential at all times.

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1 comment

  • Odette Labonté

    Merci pour ces conseils toujours pertinents.
    Félicitations pour votre œuvre utile accessible et combien encourageante pour ceux qui ont à 💖leur santé.
    Bonne et heureuse année 2023.
    Santé et succès dans vos entreprises.
    Longue vie à vous Isabelle 🥂

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