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Stay Safe on the Slopes: Staying Hydrated when on the Slopes

26 DEC 2014 - BY JOSEPH TYSON

Skiing is a lot of fun but it's also a form of exercise, and quite a strenuous one at that! As a result of this, staying hydrated while you are out on the slopes is crucial, not only for your general health, but also for your own enjoyment and performance.

If you don't stay properly topped up with liquids like water throughout the day, your muscles will not receive as much blood flow, causing fatigue and a drop in your endurance levels.

So many people are eager to get in as much skiing as possible that they overlook important things like drinking, which, in the end, will only cause your performance levels to drop and cut short your enjoyment through fatigue and burning muscles.

In order to stay in the best condition for skiing, check out our guide to staying hydrated.

Fill up before you hit the slopes

By drinking plenty of water before you head out for a day of skiing, you'll have a full tank from the beginning and will only need to top up throughout.Have a few glasses in the morning with breakfast and ensure you don't just rely on tea and coffee for hydration - your best bet is always water.

Some people avoid drinking plenty before heading out as they don't want to constantly be stopping for bathroom breaks, but doing this will only cause you to fade quicker.

drink water before you hit the slopes

Knowing when to hydrate

As disgusting as it might sound, the best way to gauge your hydration levels is through the colour of your urine.

The darker it is the more you need to drink. If your urine is clear, then it means that you are properly topped up.

Another giveaway is cold hands and feet. Obviously, when you are up a mountain, this happens anyway but when you are dehydrated it can happen much quicker. The reason for this is that the body doesn't pump as much blood around when it is low on water.

Topping up regularly

Once you have hit one run, it is natural to want to do another straight after. And then another and another. Before you know it, it is lunch time and you haven't stopped for a drink.

The best way to avoid this happening is to set yourself drinking breaks throughout the day, perhaps one every hour, so that you don't get to lunch time craving water like someone who's been lost in the desert.

Another thing to consider is that even when you do finally have a bottle of water at lunch, this may not be enough to carry you through to the end of the day. By three or four, it is likely you will be starting to run out of steam and this is when you are most susceptible to accidents, misjudgments and injury.

ski slope drinking

Remember, altitude is working against you

When you are high up, the air tends to be much drier and when this is combined with the cold it becomes drier still. These conditions mean that even breathing is causing you to lose liquid, as it escapes in the vapour of your breath.

Add to this the fact that you will be sweating a fair bit and cold weather generally suppresses the feeling of thirst and you start to realise that there are a lot more issues in play when it comes to staying hydrated up on the ski slopes.

How to combat it and still get the most out of the day?

As we mentioned before, so many people avoid drinking regularly because they don't want to keep stopping and heading to the lodge.

The solution is to carry the water with you, either a few bottles in your backpack or a specially designed liquid pack, and take regular sips every 20 minutes or so. When you are dry, head down the mountain for a refill, and then start again. You will get much more out of your ski day this way.

Ability doesn't matter

Expert, novice, or beginner, it doesn't matter what your level is, nor does it matter how long you have been skiing. Everyone needs to stay hydrated.

You may think you don't need a drink because you're a pro, or you may just not know any different, but the fact is, drinking will keep you skiing better for longer.

Of course, everyone's body is different but as a general rule, regular water consumption is a must for a day on the slopes.

Further advice from across the internet

http://www.streetdirectory.com/etoday/how-to-stay-hydrated-while-skiing-uffjel.html
http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/106470/staying-hydrated-on-the-ski-hill--improve-performance-and-endurance

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