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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Good Nutrition May Keep You Warm in the Cold, Too

In Central Texas, when temperatures drop, it's time to head outside. The cooler temps are a refreshing change from our usual heat, and it's great to enjoy sports and activities outdoors. At the same time, it is a good idea to be aware of how the cold weather can affect your body.

Even when exercising in the cold, your body temperature drops, requiring additional energy to warm up the cold air you breathe in. In fact, up to 23% of calories burned in cold weather exercise go toward warming the air you inhale. This means you may need to take in a greater amount of calories.

Another option for keeping your body warm is to heat up your food. Studies show that eating warm foods can help contribute to your body's heat preservation. Foods like soup, chili, pasta, oatmeal and baked potatoes are all smart options.

Here are 3 tips to keep you fueled up and warmed up out in the cold.

  • Stay hydrated, and try wearing your water bottle tucked inside your clothing and close to your body to keep it warm.
  •  Have a snack every 30-45 minutes such as an energy bar/gels, trail mix, nuts or fruit. 
  • Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption prior to outdoor activities as they can both be dehydrating. 
Also remember to bundle up properly in several light layers and to use sunscreen on exposed areas to protect your skin.

(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)

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