Nutrition Tips: How to fuel in cold weather

Oct 30, 2018 2:30:38 PM
1 min read

The summer is behind us and temperatures are dropping rapidly. As a result, you are probably making adjustments to your triathlon training.

Did you know you should also make changes to nutrition and fueling?


Triathletes often assume they don't need to hydrate in cold weather, as they feel they are sweating less during training. That is indeed the case, but in cold weather your body will need to warm up the icy air it inhales when breathing in. And as you breathe out, you will lose a lot of water in the form of steam.

On top of this, cold weather blunts the thirst mechanism, so you are probably not going to notice when you are getting dehydrated. A recent study of 12 competitive skiers revealed that 11 of them showed up dehydrated at the starting line!

So, even though you will sweat less and feel less thirsty, keep an eye on your hydration.


The colder the weather, the harder your body needs to work to keep its core temperature stable. In fact, up to 23% of calories burned during cold weather exercise are used only to warm up inhaled air! 

Your body will burn more carbohydrates in cold weather than under normal circumstances, especially when you shiver. Shivering is the body's most efficient way of increasing its temperature. But it is also the one that consumes the most glucose. You actually burn up to 6 times more glucose when your body is shivering compared to when it is at rest.

So try to keep your body temperature high and pay attention to increasing your carbohydrate intake with 10 to 15% during cold weather training.

Practical advice

An easy way to make sure you consume enough energy and liquids, is to change the drink you consume during the workout. We advise you to switch from your Isotonic drink to an hypertonic Carbo Charger

This drink provides more carbohydrates than an Isotonic, as it contains more concentrated sugars. In cold weather, the need for rapid hydration is slightly decreased, so you'll find this an easy way to both hydrate and energize at the same time.

A little tip: you can even heat up the Carbo Charger, making it easier for your body to keep its temperature! 


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