Are you one of the many affected by dehydration while on the slopes?
Most skiers are inadequately hydrating while "just" riding the lifts. Did you know that ...
- on cold days you lose most of your fluids through respiration?
- altitude is a thirst suppressant as well as an appetite suppressant?
- elevations above 6,000 feet you exhale and perspire twice as much moisture as you do at sea level?
- you can lose between a half to one quart of fluid per hour of skiing on lift-served terrain?
- after just 2.5 hours of skiing/riding without taking in fluids, you will likely be irrecoverably dehydrated for the remainder of the day? No, not even with 32 ounces of fluids consumed at lunch.
- after 2 hours of not replenishing lost fluids while skiing, your energy output will begin to significantly decrease, even if you started your day adequately hydrated?
- beverages containing alcohol and caffeine actually rob the body of water?
- cold weather causes diuresis – increased need to urinate?
- sport drinks help you absorb and retain more water than drinking plain water alone ... and you will need to urinate less.
Don’t ski without a water bottle
Re-hydrate a few ounces during each lift ride
Intake 24 fl. ounces every 3 hours of skiing
Never wait until you feel thirsty
Know and avoid diuretics
If you’re dehydrated ...
- you can not drink a lot of water and become re-hydrated in a short amount of time!
- your metabolism will slow down up to 3%
- you will get colder easier and you’ll be more susceptible to frost bite
- water can act like a diuretic if you wait to re-hyrdrate during lunch on a ski day
- you will experience increased fatigue ... and you are more susceptible to injury
- you will have significantly more muscle stress compared to your skiing partner who has been hydrating with a sport drink
Recommendations for proper hydration:
- Avoid hydrating with just diuretics in the morning. Drink at least 20 oz. of fluids before coffee and limit your coffee or tea on ski day mornings.
- Sport drinks provide the best source of hydration while on the slopes. A sport drink will replace electrolytes, sodium (salt) and some have carbohydrates and proteins for more energy. Sport drinks help you absorb more water and you will need to urinate less than when drinking water.
- Try to consume at least 24 ounces of water or sport drink ( a few sips at a time) for every 3 hours of skiing/riding.
- Refrain from consuming caffeine and alcohol during your ski day ... wait for the end of the day and after you have properly hydrated with non-diuretics.
Results of Bridger Bowl's On-Mountain Testing
Our goal was to get a hydration status "snap shot" of what the average Bridger Skier/Rider was on any given day. Random testing of skiers/riders coming off the slopes was conducted between 11:30AM and 1:00PM on February 13th and March 1st. Volunteer participants ranged in ages between 18 and 80 years of age, both, male and female, all abilities.
The research team solicited 137 skiers/riders in front of Bridger Bowl’s mid-mountain chalet. Urine samples were collected and taken back to MSU labs for analysis. Specific gravity measurements were taken to assess the concentration of urine from each sample. Subjects were classified as dehydrated if their specific gravity was a value of 1.015 or greater. Dehydration levels relative to the amount of runs taken are shown in the above table and graph.
Results of Bridger Bowl's Hydration Survey