Fueling our Bodies

By Rad Dad and Fitness Expert Mar 9, 2020
Understanding how food fuels us and what we can do to better prepare for a day on the slopes can make our experience that much better.
Fueling our Bodies

Of all the things we can do for our overall health and performance, sleep and nutrition will arguably have the most impact. How we fuel ourselves has a tremendous impact on us. Especially if you get “hangry” like me! Understanding how food fuels us and what we can do to better prepare for a day on the slopes can make our experience that much better.  

If you eat well balanced, whole foods, you generally don’t have to worry about vitamins and minerals as they are found in the macro nutrients. 
I might be going out on a limb here, but understanding what types of food groups there are is the first step. For some, this may feel a bit too simplified but for others, it may be an eye-opener.  When it comes to food we have both macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients (where a majority of our claoric intake comes from) are as follows:


Our Micronutrients are:


For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus more on Macronutrients. In my experience, not all of us fully understand what this is so I will keep things very base level.

Real Foodjpg

Foods can fall into either one macronutrient category or have a mix of them. To start we will cover some of the things the fall into one category.

Red Meat
Some types of Cheese

Grains (quinoa, couscous)
Root Vegetables (Sweet Potatoes, etc)


The list above isn’t comprehensive but it at least gives us a starting point. Some foods can fall into a mix of things. A good example are dairy products.  Depending on what they are you could have quite the mix of protein, carbs, and fats. Some more balanced than others. If you’re trying to decide what a specific food is, simply look at the label and read what the nutritional content is. Whatever has the majority of the macronutrient, that’s what it would fall under. At times we see people confused thinking that peanut butter is a source of protein. Although it has protein in it the overwhelming majority of calories are coming from fat.  Same goes for black beans. Yes, they have protein in them but their carbohydrate content is far more than their protein. 

So what do we do with all of this? First, don’t over complicate things. If this simple blog gets you moving in the right direction with a small understanding of food and what it can do for you I believe it’s more important than our performance. Try to eat real food. Shop the perimeter of your grocery stores. Stay away from the processed foods that are in boxes or bags. In short, if you have to grow it, pick it, or kill it to eat it, chances are you are doing all you need to maximize your health for the short and long term. Focus on those quality foods and cooking your meals. Now that I’m done with my rant on what food is how can we use it to feel like a rockstar on the hill!!

Eat Breakfast!!!
 I’m not just talking about pouring a bowl of cereal. Cook yourself some breakfast and try to have one of each macronutrient in the meal. An example might be something like a few eggs (protein), avocado (fat), sweet potato hash (carb). This alone will get your metabolism going and help you fuel for the day providing more energy on the hill.


Stay fueled while on the slopes.
In a perfect world, we would all prepare our food and have it dialed in ready to go. When that isn't possible, energy bars are simple enough to toss in your pocket but take note of what you’re grabbing. Some of them could be closer to a glorified candy bar than “real food”.  Here are some of the bars that I have found to be a better choice when it comes to more real food than fillers and processed products. 

-Perfect Bar: These have to be refrigerated but I’ve tossed them in my pocket and been good to go. Plus, you’re outside skiing anyway...it’s winter, you’re almost in a fridge. Some of the flavors are better choices than others in regards to ingredients so take a look at that before just grabbing them. For the most part, it’s real food.

-RX Bar: These have become super popular in the past few years and are generally a decent go-to for the hill. They do have some “natural flavors” listed so if that’s something you are considering check out Epic Bars. Both of these are a good, quick bite, choice.

-Lara Bar: Similar to the above these often have real food ingredients but you need to keep an eye on the flavor you’re grabbing. 

More ideas for packable pocket snacks here.

Foods that are higher in fat will also help provide more caloric content which means we can have more of a sense of feeling “full” as well as energy.

These all help us get calories in but many of them are quite high in carbohydrates. Not the end of the world. Carbs are good for us, we need them in order to fuel our bodies. It’s the type and at times the quantity that makes the difference. If you’re looking for a simple way to balance things out toss in some turkey or beef jerky. It’s easy to pack and high in protein. Although not a cooked meal, we are getting close to that balance!  
Most of the foods that we have mentioned above with the bars will have a decent fat content but if you’re looking to add some to the mix shoot for nuts.  Cashew, Almonds, Macadamia nuts (super dense if fat!) are all good choices.   

The good news is that all these things are all generally easy to pack and throw in our pockets. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve and keep your energy going it’s likely that you should be eating every three hours or so. In short, this will help to continue to provide us with the energy we need before we bonk. We don’t need to have a full meal every three hours but if you think of it as three balanced meals/day and two snacks between, now we’re talking.  


You can carry the “snack” option with you while on the hill and fuel up before and after. If you’re out there all day, stop in the lodge and try to get a bit of a larger meal if you’re feeling like you need it.  For some of us, you may do just fine, feel good, and perform well with the addition of the snacks with the food choices we mentioned above. 

Nutrition can be a sensitive topic for some. I’m not here to judge you and what you’ve found works well but YOU are your own lab. You can’t argue with eating real food vs. processed food. It’s no match. When it comes to the types of real food we eat that’s where you may need to do some experimenting. Try taking some foods out of your diet for two weeks and see if you feel better, the same, or worse when you reintroduce them. You can learn A LOT about this. Try different times of the day to eat, different amounts, etc. Give it two weeks at a time and don’t over complicate things. If you find something that is working for you with your health and performance all moving in the right direction stick with it. Hopefully this provides us all with a bit of insight into how we can fuel ourselves and what it can do for us.