Colder Weather Nutrition

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Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby wayne » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:56 am

Is there some specific nutritional guidelines for training in colder weather? I have read the information on number of calories and necessary hydration. Should I adjust this at all now that is is colder? Thanks
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Re: Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby levi-hoch » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:55 pm

Dear Wayne,

The same guidelines should still apply in colder weather to get you close to optimal fueling but as always, experiment with what works best for you, using the guidelines in our knowledge base such as the Essentials to Getting Started With Hammer Nutrition article that explains proper hydration which should fall between 16-28oz per hour, electrolyte replenishment, caloric intake and recovery, as well as the importance of avoiding simple sugar consumption during exercise. In cold weather, many people find they require less hourly fluid intake, fewer Endurolytes, and some find they can consume a little more in calories in the cold than when the weather's exceptionally hot - keeping in mind of course, that less is best and it's always better to use the least amount of calories possible to prevent bonking vs. the most possible without upsetting your stomach. If you typically drink a 24 ounce bottle per hour during the warm summer months, you may find that you only need 20 ounces/hour during the winter months. Experimentation should reveal what works best for you but try to stay within the parameters provided in the article as they've been shown to facilitate optimal performance for the majority of athletes. Likewise, if you're using 3 Endurolyte capsules per hour in the summer, you may be able to cut back to 2 or even 1 capsule/hr. during the colder months. I would suggest carrying the capsules with you in case you find you need more than you were planning on using when you set out. If you'd normally be more comfortable using HEED or Hammer Gel as a primary fuel on 3-4 hour rides in the summer because the carb only fuels are easier to digest than carb + protein fuels like Perpetuem or Sustained Energy, you might try going with Perpetuem or Sustained as a primary fuel now that it's cold out and see if you like the slower burning, more satisfying fuels with the protein. So if you stick to what you know works well for you in the summer months and make some minor changes to better accommodate your cold weather needs, you'll be right on the money.

I hope this was helpful to you, please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.

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Re: Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby yanta » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:15 pm

Don't forget you need extra vitamin D3. There's limited sunshine in the winter, so you need to get your vitamin D3 from alternative sources. I know it makes a big difference in my mood and how often I get sick during the winter.
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Re: Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby wayne » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:39 pm

I take the Premium Insurance and that has D3 in it. I do not think Recoverite has D3; but I find I am sick far fewer days when I take it after a workout. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby steve-born » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:00 am

Hi Wayne -

Premium Insurance Caps does contain 500 IU of vitamin D in every 7-capsule dose. Recoverite does not contain any vitamin D. Yanta makes a very good point regarding vitamin D; the number of benefits attributed to it seem to increase each and every day.

Not only does adequate vitamin D play a role in a number of health-related issues (including improving mood and alleviating Seasonal Affective Disorder), one study suggests that maintaining adequate serum levels of vitamin D is a highly effective way to lower one's risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections. One site I reviewed stated:

It's estimated that the average U.S. adult typically has two to four colds each year, while children may have up to a dozen. Each year, between five and 20 percent of the US population also come down with flu-like illness, according to Medline. One reason for the widespread prevalence of colds and the flu may be that vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the United States, especially during the winter months when cold and flu viruses are at their peak. Research has confirmed that "catching" colds and flu may actually be a symptom of an underlying vitamin D deficiency. Less than optimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections. In the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date (, involving about 19,000 Americans, people with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu -- and the risk was even greater for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma. At least five additional studies also show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels.

As far as safety is concerned, Vitamin D is typically well tolerated in adults at doses up to 2000 IU daily, with some research indicating that even higher levels up to 10,000 IU daily may be used safely without adverse effects.[1, 2] Excess vitamin D can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, and weakness. [1] Vitamin D is contraindicated in individuals with elevated blood calcium levels or hypercalcemia.[3] Individuals with kidney disease and people who use digoxin or other cardiac glycoside drugs should consult a physician before using supplemental vitamin D.[3]


[1] Available at: Accessed November 17, 2005.

[2] Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):842-56.

[3] Available at: drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/vit_0265.shtml. Accessed November 17, 2005.

If there is a "standard dose" it is typically 1000 - 2000 IU's daily. However, everyone's vitamin D needs are different so if you have an opportunity to get a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test, that will determine your personal requirements with much greater precision.

I hope this information will be helpful!

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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Re: Colder Weather Nutrition

Postby wayne » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:23 am

This is some outstanding information I found on D3:
Eat foods high in Vitamin D3 including Cod liver oil, fortified milk, salmon, mackerel, & sardines, egg yolks, beef liver. If you take Vitamin D supplements make sure it is Vitamin D3 and not D2. Take Vitamin D3 supplements with food. I usually recommend Vitamin D3 2000iu-5000iu/ day depending on lab levels.

Pamela Egan, MN, FNP-C, CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator, & Clinical Specialist in Mental Health. She can be reached at 845-4111 or by email at
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