Kurt Ellingson 12:00 AM
Keep your New Year Resolutions on track with some friendly advice from our very own Athlete Ambassadors. All of February we are featuring tips from our ELEVATED athletes on how to stay fit and healthy from New Years and beyond!

Snowboarding is my passion…and excelling in competition is my challenge. After just coming back from World Cups and my first experience in World Championship, I realize how important nutrition is when I need to perform at my best. PROPER PERFORMANCE FUEL!
By Ariane Lavigne- Pro Snowboarder - Canadian National Team

Training, stress, a busy schedule and jet lag are all part of the travel experience, and when it comes to competing; I want to feel as good as possible! As a nutritionist, I know making good food choices with specific timing is the key to supporting proper energy levels.

Here's some personal tip to maximize your performance:

1) Hydration: Staying hydrated makes a big difference in energy levels. Nutrients required for muscle contractions are carried thru water, so even if it's cold outside or you don't feel thirsty, it's essential to drink at least 500 ml of water or sport drink (ex. Gatorade) per hour. If it's warmer, training is more intense or it's higher in altitude, you should double quantity. Drinking regularly all day long also helps with recovery. A minimum of 3 liters/day is the target for any active person.

2) Carbs: Carbohydrates are so important when it comes to performance…it's the primary energy source for brain and muscle function. Energy is directly correlated to glycemic blood levels; thereofore, quantity and timing of consumption is key to success. I usually aim to consume around 30 grams of carbs per meal (2 portions), ideally with fiber (whole grains) for long term energy. To generate a quick BOOST, I add around 15 grams of carbs/hour of training/ pre competition to keep my body and brain as "sharp” as possible. Bars, fruit or sport drinks are good solutions.

3) Protein: Protein has two major functions: (1) to maximize recovery by repairing and building muscles, (2) it slows down digestion, so you stay "full” longer. Having meat, dairy, eggs fish or beans with every meal and right after exercise is important. For short term sport or activity with no high cardio protein can be added to carbs. Up to 5 grams of protein/hour; which will stabilize energy levels and you can avoid feeling hungry.

4) Fats: Contains double more calories for the same quantity as carbs and proteins. Fat also takes more time to digest. Before/during and after training/competing it's better to stay away from greasy food like nuts, cheese, butter, pastry, etc. A maximum of 5 grams of fat/ bar or snack on the slope is my best choice.

Always remember to test new food or drink in preparation training, so you will know how your OWN body reacts to it. Remember quantity and timing are also key so you can prepare the body for competition!

Only you can DO IT!

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