1 - Nutrition & CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Cross-country skiing is a particularly energy-intensive sport, not only because it is practised in cold, often dry conditions, but also because it works the heart and all the muscles of the body.
It is therefore necessary to provide sufficient energy with carbohydrates before going out, to preserve it with antioxidants and to hydrate it regularly during your outings.
1 - WHAT DIET IS BEST FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING?
Depending on your objectives, you can adapt your diet or not.
A - If you only cross-country ski occasionally or if you are not particularly looking for performance, don't change your habits and just adapt your diet the day before or in the morning at breakfast, if only to avoid digestive discomfort.
B - If you practice cross-country skiing intensively with performance objectives, you can adapt your diet a few days before or just the old one to increase your carbohydrate reserve. Low glycaemic index carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly and gradually release glucose into the bloodstream, are preferred: wholegrain cereals or bread, quinoa, buckwheat/basmati or wild rice/pulses/fruit and vegetables. Eating slow sugars such as starchy foods the day before can be beneficial because the body will have digested them and will be ready to use them the next day.
In the long term, and in the case of regular and intense practice, sport accelerates the ageing of the body through a process of oxidative stress. Sustained exercise increases the production of free radicals and this affects the cells in the muscles and joints, which can lead to reduced strength, fatigue and digestive problems. Don't panic! If you practice intensively, you can simply compensate with a regular intake of specific foods.
Example: Fresh fruit and vegetables / Dried fruit / Seafood / Garlic, onions, parsley
Again, it depends on your goals!
2 - WHAT TO EAT BEFORE A CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING TRIP
Before you hit the trails, choose foods that will provide you with energy in the form of carbohydrates while being easy to digest. Eat enough to avoid getting tired but not too much to digest properly.
For breakfast, opt for bread or toast, preferably wholemeal with honey for example, a piece of fruit, a yoghurt with some dried fruit. If you like savoury food, eggs and ham, with a slice of wholemeal bread, it can also be a very beneficial meal before a ski session Eat enough to avoid getting tired but not too much to digest properly.
3 - WHAT FOODS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING?
In general, foods that are more difficult to digest or that can cause stomach discomfort are foods that are too fatty, spices, alcohol and stimulants like coffee. It is therefore advisable not to consume them before a cross-country skiing session. However, in absolute terms, no food should be banned for athletes. If you want to indulge yourself and eat a tartiflette the day before your day of cross-country skiing, there's nothing stopping you! It all depends on what you are looking for in your practice (pleasure, performance, release, etc.). Moreover, we all have different eating habits and metabolisms, and we are the sole judges of what will or will not "stick to our stomachs". The most important thing is to feel good about your body in order to enjoy yourself on the slopes.