Mountain munchies — Foods to eat to keep you going all day
What are the best things to eat before, during and after a day on the mountain to keep your body in tip-top form? Well, here’s my personal tips on the types of food I choose.
You may be wondering to yourself, why does it matter what I eat? Can’t I eat what I want? Well yes of course you can, but the types of food you may choose to eat on a daily basis may not be the best foods for the mountain environment, or for the massive sporting activity that you happen to be partaking in.
Instead, you will need to be thinking about the types of foodstuff you ingest and the amount needed to keep the body going at full pelt down the slopes. Here’s my favourite things to eat that help to sustain me during a long day on the mountain.
A good balanced breakfast is really important
To get the body going in the morning I tend to eat long-lasting, slow release energy foods. A great example is a hearty bowl of porridge. Make it from scratch with plain ol’ porridge oats and milk to avoid the sugary pre-mixes. You could try adding some chopped fruit or a drizzle of honey to give it an extra tasty twang without adding excess sugars.
I twin the bowl of porridge with a banana for some extra slow release energy and a fruit yoghurt for a sugary fix.
Wash all this down with a glass of juice and a hot beverage of your choice, (mine’s a coffee if you wanted to know :P) to really get the body going. Now you’re ready for a solid day on the hill.
Now the juries out for what is best to snack on in between breakfast and lunch. Most seem to opt for a chocolate bar as they are compact and easy to eat on a ski lift. I’m also a fan of a chocolatey fix, but I like to alternate this with a less sugary granola bar. Sugar crashes can happen quicker than you think when you’re doing this much exercise so you need to be wary of what your own body can take sugar wise and accommodate for your specific needs.
Another alternative which I have utilised in the last few years are homemade energy snack balls. These are normally made up of a few base ingredients like plain oats and peanut butter with a little extra sugary hit like chocolate drops or dried cranberries.
For some more details and to look at a couple of recipes head over to my Pinterest…
Lunch — the conundrum of what to choose!
Just like breakfast, it’s really important to have something to eat around lunchtime to refuel the body. For many years I didn’t eat lunch and only ate chocolate and other sugary snacks all day. That all stopped one year after having the worst possible body sugar crash that made me quite ill. Since then I have made a point of stopping at lunch and taking on a decent meal to make sure I can continue skiing at my best for the rest of the day.
But what is the best thing to eat? That’s a tricky one.
By lunchtime many people are pretty darned hungry and rock up to the nearest mountain restaurant to grab a bite and chill in the sun. Most restaurants serve up similar menus, normally containing items such as Burgers, Chips, Hot Dogs, Spaghetti Bolognese or Sandwiches. My personal preference would be a Sarny, Pizza or Baguette if you happen to be in the French Alps! Light enough not to make you feel bogged down and sluggish, but filling enough to give the body what it needs. Team that with a side salad or maybe some chips to share, (it is holiday after all!) and you’re good to go.
The worst thing you could do is not eat anything at all and the second worst is eating too much. You can’t ski at your best on a stomach bursting full of food!
Aprés and dinner
Many of us just want to chill out and maybe have a few beers after a long day on the hill, but it’s important to refuel and re-charge before hitting the slopes again the next day.
When self-catering it can be a hard task thinking about what to cook each evening and even harder to actually bring yourself to cook the meal, especially if you’re feeling tired and sluggish after a long day and a few cheeky aprés beverages!
It becomes very easy if you’re lucky enough to be a catered chalet or hotel as all the evening meals are cooked for you and all you have to do is chow on down! In my personal experience in previous holidays, a catered chalet / hotel tends to treat you to some really hearty grub, home cooked and fresh – perfect for a nutrition-seeking body. If you can spare the extra money I definitely recommend going catered.
The evening meal is where you can go all out. Treating yourself to some hearty grub and filling your boots with cheese and wine!
For simple to cook meals when you’re self catering try Spaghetti Bolognese, Chilli Con Carne or Chicken with rice and veggies. Along as it is nutritious, healthy and has a decent amount of protein to help the muscles re-build then you’re good.
I hope reading about my mountain eating habits will help you decide on some things to eat while on a ski/snowboard holiday. Remember that it is a serious sporting activity that demands a lot from your body, so you need to fuel up properly!
If you liked reading it, share it with others. Until next time,