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The Snow Season Central Blog

Staying Hydrated When Snowboarding or Skiing


Contribution from freelance writer Jennifer Dawson

Water Bottle


Did you know you lose twice as much water when at higher altitudes compared to sea level? It is therefore twice as important to stay hydrated when doing winter sports. When it comes to things to consider when going for a ski or snowboarding trip, most people overlook preparing their bodies yet go great lengths to prepare for the adventure in terms of attire and gear.

It may seem counterintuitive, staying hydrated during winter. The cold temperatures may inhibit any desires to drink up. Maybe you are just trying to minimize the number of bathroom breaks so you can make the best out of your time on the slopes. However, staying hydrated is of utmost importance for your health, performance, and safety.


The Importance of Staying Hydrated

John Seifert, an associate professor in the Movement Science Lab, Montana State University recommends drinking anywhere between 12 and 16 ounces of water before skiing or snowboarding. This water is used by the body to regulate temperature, transfer nutrients, and to lubricate limb joints.

Additionally, drinking the right amount of water could remedy stitches and headaches which are very common among skiers and snowboarders. Furthermore, staying hydrated helps the body function normally despite losing about 500 calories by replenishing all used up electrolytes. Inadequate water in the body results in poor performance for starters.

Water is the largest component of blood and it is needed to transfer both oxygen and nutrients. When you are dehydrated, blood flow and consequently oxygen and nutrient flow to the muscles is cut off. Weak muscles will, in turn, affect your performance.

Since blood will not be reaching your fingers or toes, you will start feeling cold and shivering. This will render you unable to participate in any sport. Lastly, inadequate supply of oxygen to your brain could lead to dizziness and you cannot afford to be dizzy when whizzing down a slope for safety purposes.

How To Stay Hydrated When Skiing or Snowboarding

Before leaving your room, take time to study your journey plan against the plans of the resort. Identify chalets. If you happen to be skiing close to them, you can always hydrate from there. However, if your route is nowhere in proximity to a chalet, you will have to carry your own water.

Most people carry backpacks with them when skiing. You can fit a water bottle or two in the backpack's water sleeves. If it does not have any, place the water bottle inside your backpack.

Alternatively, the cargo style pants of your snowboard pants could come in handy. Take note that while a large water bottle can fit inside, carry a small one, as it will become cumbersome and inhibit your ability to ski or snowboard.

Another viable option is investing in a hydration mask which can be strapped on. This is a bladder fancily packed and connected to your mouth via a hose so you can drink water when skiing without using your hands.

Make a point of hydrating early in the morning before leaving the resort. Avoid drinking alcohol before skiing or snowboarding. Not only can it lead to life-threatening accidents, but it also dehydrates your body.

For every 200 ml of booze you drink, your body loses the same amount and an additional 120 ml. If you drink tea or coffee, make sure to drink water as well, because that in itself is not sufficient.

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