Winter Guide To Healthy Snacking

By: ray.perry : January 14, 2014

It’s important to be properly fueled for winter sports, whether you’re skiing the biggest lines you can find or simply cruising on groomers.

Snacking often while outdoors in the winter is vital for a few reasons, according to Becci Twombley, Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics:

  • Battling Extreme Temperatures: Frequent fueling allows the thermic effect of food to aid in maintaining core temperature.
  • Altitude: Decreased appetite and increased risk of dehydration above sea level make every bite important.
  • High Energy Demands: The body burns more calories in the winter while trying to stay warm. It’s important to meet energy needs to prevent early fatigue, decreased alertness and exhaustion.

Pistachios are an excellent, healthy choice for skiers, snowboarders, and winter sports athletes of all levels. Becci Twombley explains why:

  • Electrolyte Balance: The sodium, potassium, and magnesium in pistachios decrease risk of cramping in intense situations.
  • Protection from the Elements: Zeaxathin protects the eyes from sun damage. Polyphenols & Tocopherols boost immune function. Pistachios contain high levels of each of these protective nutrients.
  • Mental Clarity: Pistachios have been shown to improve blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety.
  • Endurance: One serving of pistachios (1 ounce, about 49 nuts) contains 160 calories/ounce of usable energy, unsaturated fats for long lasting energy, and B vitamins to facilitate efficient metabolism.

Per one once serving (about 49 nuts – more than any other snack nut), pistachios contain:

  • 6 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 12.5 grams of mostly mono- and poly-unsaturated fat
  • 15% daily value of vitamins B1 and B6
  • 8% daily value of potassium and magnesium
  • More phytonutrients with antioxidant power than almost any other snack food. This antioxidant power may support recovery from a long day by combating the oxidative stress of your workout.

Enjoy a handful before, during or after your next winter sports adventure!