Do you know how the heat may influence our body while we play sports? I am pretty sure you have heard about it on many occasions. But, do you know what happens to your body when you practice sports in a cold environment? In this articles we will discuss the foods are we going to take when we play sports in cold season:
What is considered as a cold environment?
The cold condition is much better supportive for our body while we do sport. The muscle movement can create heat that keeps the body at the right temperature. However, sometimes exposure to the sun or wind speed is also influenced by the cold sensation.
Thus, at the same temperature of -10ºC, you can have a temperature sensation -12.5ºC if the wind has a speed of 8km / h or -30ºC if there is a strong wind of 40km / h. In each case, despite being at the same temperature the body will react in a different way and will have different needs.
The organism in a cold environment
The human body tries to maintain its central temperature (head, thorax, and abdomen) stable around 37ºC to function correctly.
You may also read: Best HGH Supplements Reviews
In that case of being a cold environment uses 2 methods: vasoconstriction and heat production by thermogenesis.
- Vasoconstriction: The skin is highly vascularized and has a blood flow that might vary depending on whether you want to carry more or less heat from inside the skin. In this case, the flow drops so that the temperature of the skin decreases and because there is less temperature difference with the environment, less heat is lost. In other words, the skin serves as an insulator. This vasoconstriction also causes less flow to the adipose tissue which results in less free fatty acids (FFAs) and the body may rely more on carbohydrates. Thermogenesis: The body, noticing a lower temperature in the room, try to create more heat.
- Thermogenesis hormonal: Hormonal mechanisms which are triggered generally increase our basal metabolism but this is not enough to keep us warm so we have to resort to muscular work.
- Contractile muscle thermogenesis: It is the involuntary muscle movements (tiro tona’s) or volunteers (jump, move or practice of sport) we generate to keep our body warm.
Feeding Considerations in Cold Environments
As we have seen, the body generates multiple reactions that it is important to understand in order to know how we should feed ourselves or supplement ourselves by exercising in a cold environment. Must take into account:
- Energy: Athletes who play sports in cold environment will have a higher caloric expenditure due to increased basal metabolism and because of the shivering. Although this is obviously mitigated by the effect of clothing that will cause us to lose less heat, it is important that when doing sports at these temperatures, keep the calorie intake.
- Carbohydrates: As mentioned above cold can cause tremors to increase thermogenesis so the utilization rate of our glycogen stores may increase. That is why it is advisable to take carbohydrates during sports, which will help maintain the blood glucose level, essential for the production of heat by shivering and to prevent fatigue.
- Hydration: This environment can not feel the need to drink but you have to think that the cold accompanied by the wind can promote dehydration so drink frequently during exercise, preferably sports drinks that provide carbohydrates and electrolytes. It is essential when practicing sport in cold environment.
- Vasodilators food: Vasoconstriction is one of the mechanisms that the body has to fend off the cold, therefore, despite what is popularly thought, you should avoid alcohol or spicy foods when faced with these temperatures because they produce vasodilation. This is exactly opposite effect to the desired, which produces a sensation of momentary heat by the increase of the sanguineous flow to the skin but, finally, will make us lose even more corporal heat.
In all cases, when doing sport you have to take into account the optimal diet and supplementation to perform to the maximum, but when the sport is performed in an extreme environment this becomes even more essential. For this, it is important to know what happens to your body and adapt your diet to this situation.