With the cold weather, both the immune system decreases and malnutrition occurs. When this is the case, performance degradation is inevitable. Especially for athletes! Then I say we should immediately get ourselves into winter mode and start making the necessary preparations, and I am giving you good tips.
Why Is The Immune System Slowed In The Winter?
The lower temperatures allow us to spend more time indoors. Staying behind closed windows all day long, both at home and at work, prevents air circulation. An insufficiently ventilated environment invites disease.
My suggestion; ventilate your environment frequently and take nature walks as much as possible.
Suggestions to Keep the Immune System Strong of Those Who Do Winter Sports
1- Carbohydrate Intake
Since people who do sports have more energy expenditure, the amount of carbohydrates they need is higher than those who do not do sports. What if this need is not met? Yes, that’s the most important part! If this need cannot be met, the body begins to receive its energy needs by using the muscles. When the muscles are used, the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol increases. Once this oscillation begins, the immune system collapses! Especially in the winter months, giving place to quality carbohydrates means protecting the immune system.
2- Water Consumption
Dehydration is one of the most serious problems in winter sports. Because fluid intake often decreases due to cold weather. But the body’s need for fluid does not decrease because the weather is cold! For this reason, at least 1.5-2 liters of water should be consumed on winter days without sports. When sports are included in the work, at least 2-2.5 liters of water should be consumed per day. Consumption of water will both prevent water loss in the body and increase your resistance!
The perception that there is less sweating and less water loss in winter sports is the biggest mistake. In winter sports, the body gets very tired and therefore loses water. Constantly breathing cold air during winter sports will tire the body more than you can imagine. Your body has to expend a lot of energy to heat the cold air it breathes. So every breath you take means a significant loss of water!
You should not leave your tanks without water, you should not miss your canteen! Remember that your body always needs water.
3- Enough Protein
If your protein intake is insufficient during exercise, the muscles you are working cannot be fed and muscle loss occurs. Loss of muscle means that the immune system is destroyed again!
It is beneficial not to miss the protein-rich foods, especially on sports days.
Diet Increases Performance!
Yes, you heard right! I will be recommending you to have an adequate and balanced diet instead of various nutritional supplements. The reason for low performance may be genetic as well as environmental, physical and psychological. However, one of the most important reasons is definitely the nutritional factor.
An adequate and balanced diet ensures that your body temperature is maintained first. It also provides the energy your working muscles need.
Especially during skiing, depending on body weight, energy expenditure is between 400 and 750 calories per hour. Not to decrease the performance is possible by providing this energy to the body. In other words, the nutritional factor, which is important in every field of sports, is also indispensable in winter sports.
A strong nutritional need arises for a vigorous exercise. For this, the body needs 3 important fuels. These are as I said before; carbohydrates, fat and protein.
A balanced diet, especially with high carbohydrates, low fat and adequate proteins, is the ideal athlete’s diet. Those who want to increase their performance; They should plan a diet that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, raw foods, and whole grains. This diet will increase your performance as well as complete the deficiencies in terms of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition, athletes who pay attention to these nutritional recommendations will have observed that the stress factor on the body decreases after exercise.
No Breakfast Never!
A tiring and cold day awaits you, isn’t it? Then don’t rush breakfast and pass it off.
Complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal or whole grain bread are foods that will be very successful in providing your body with the energy you will need throughout the day.
An omelet made with 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites will keep you full for a long time as well as being a protein store.
If you include 1 banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on your breakfast table, then you are ready for a tough and cold day.
Make sure to have a snack! Never Skip Meals!
In cold weather, the idea of taking off your gloves and having a snack may not appeal to you, but remember, you should not neglect to have snacks in order to maintain your energy level and keep your body temperature constant! In those short times when you stop to breathe, you can also take your snacks out of the way.
Choosing options that you can put in your pocket and are easy to carry will also make your work easier. Whole grain or protein bars can come to your rescue at this point!
Especially have lunch! Spending the day by snacking will leave you in very difficult situations. A balanced meal from carbohydrate, protein and fat groups will increase the efficiency of the whole day.
A sandwich with chicken, meat or cheese and plenty of ingredients can be a good choice. Do not choose fast food products and carbonated drinks! This will be a very wrong option and the feeling of bloating felt throughout the day will make you very uncomfortable! After lunch, if you are going to continue skiing or walking, you should also take care not to drink alcohol, instead you can try to prefer hot chocolate or a nice salep.
The best options for dinner are; It can be grilled meat types or fish. You can complete your dinner with a green salad on the side and finish the day fit.