#FOODFRIDAY: Do you use up more energy in cold weather?

This weekend is the start of the cycling season in our region. During these first races of the season, the weather can be pretty fickle. The riders have to endure the cold, rain, wind and bleak weather.

Do bad weather conditions make you use up more energy?
Cold weather alone does not raise your energy consumption. When you’re cold and become shaky, your energy consumption does heighten. At that moment, you use more of your carbohydrate stock, and it’s easier to “hit the wall” (the moment your body’s out of its spare carbohydrates) than during ‘normal’ weather conditions.

 To avoid “hitting the wall” it’s important to make sure you stay warm as long as possible during the race, and to make sure you consume plenty of carbs, before and during the race.  Even though this might come unexpected, it is also important to hydrate. Racing in cold conditions can also lead to dehydration. This is caused, amongst other things, by a lessened thirst and extra loss of fluids via breathing in the cold air.

 It is important to stock up on carbs before the race. You can do so by eating a variation of grains, such as rice, pasta, oatmeal,  cereal, bread and (dried) fruits. It’s also important to continually stock up on carbs during the race. During cold weather, this will probably be done via solid foods such as, breads and bars, instead of liquid foods that are consumed during ‘normal’ weather, such as a sports drinks that are rich in carbohydrates. During these cold days, the team’s soigneurs provide the riders with extra tea for during the race, to stimulate hydration and keeping the riders warm.

Always wanted to know something about nutrition?
Send you question to foodfriday@teamlottojumbo.nl! Maybe Marcel Hesseling, our nutritional expert, will answer your question next time!

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