Undoubtedly, one of the best parts of the winter months are the warm and comforting foods. Because of that, many athletes find it easier to fuel this time of year. Fueling for activity during hot summer months can be quite a challenge, as foods may feel heavy on the stomach in extreme heat. This winter, the possibilities are endless when it comes to fueling for your sport.
When looking for foods to fuel your activity, the right balance of carbohydrates and protein is key. Carbohydrates provide readily available fuel for the muscles and protein aids in satiety during exercise and recovery afterward. Dairy foods deliver both carbohydrates and protein–not to mention are the perfect complement to warm winter foods.
Does anything taste as cozy as a warm bowl of chili topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream? Packed with protein and complex carbohydrates, this is the perfect meal to refuel after a long winter workout. Before a cold morning run, a bowl of oatmeal cooked with milk, cinnamon, and chopped apples provides the tastiest combination of carbohydrates and protein to both warm you up and fuel your muscles.
If you’re looking for a mid-day fuel, include a baked potato topped with plain Greek yogurt or swap that out for a sweeter option using a sweet potato topped with vanilla Greek yogurt and cinnamon. Everyone’s favorite recovery drink, chocolate milk, is also an excellent option to refuel with after a workout. Warm it up and you have hot chocolate, or take it a step further with this recipe for extra indulgence.
However you like to fuel, get creative this season and reap all of the benefits that winter foods have to offer!
Ashley Stickley, RD works in private practice as part of the Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios team in Virginia Beach, VA. Ashley completed her undergraduate studies in 2017 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She went on to complete her distance dietetic internship through Priority Nutrition Care and became a registered dietitian in May of 2018. Currently, Ashley is working towards her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics through Texas Tech University. As the lead dietitian at Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, she is passionate about educating her patients on how to best fuel their bodies in a way that also promotes the most enjoyment from their food. Ashley loves the joy and creativity that food brings and how it is a common bond between all people.