A look at the unique Nutritional Requirements for Cross-Country Skiers

Nov 29, 2022
Nutrition is important for Cross-Country Skiing

As a cross-country skier, you know the demands your sport places on your body. In order to perform at your best, it is important to pay attention to your nutrition and make sure that you are getting the right nutrients to fuel your body at the right time. What you eat and when you eat it can be a huge factor in your success and sustainability as a cross-country skier.

There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about nutrition for cross-country skiing. First, you need to make sure that you are eating enough calories. A sustained high-intensity activity like cross-country skiing burns a lot of calories, so it is important to make sure that you are replenishing those calories. 

Macronutrients for Cross-Country Skiers


Cross-country skiing is an endurance sport, which means that carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of fuel. In order to perform your best, it is important to consume enough carbohydrates to meet your energy needs. For athletes, recommendations depend on the amount of training they undertake per day. For moderate training of between 1-3 hours, it is recommended to consume 6-10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day. During training, cross-country skiers should aim to take on 30-90g of carbohydrates per hour. This can be in the form of real food or with energy gels and sports drinks.


In addition to carbohydrates, protein is an important macronutrient for cross-country skiers. Protein helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. The current recommendations for athletes are to consume 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes.  Protein is important for recovery after exercise, as it helps to repair and rebuild damaged muscles.


Finally, fat is an important macronutrient for energy production, cell function, vitamin absorption and hormone production. While athletes do not need as much fat as carbohydrates or protein, it is still an important part of the diet. 

Fat is a concentrated source of energy and can help to sustain endurance exercise. The recommended fat intake for athletes is 20-35% of total calories. For a 2000-calorie diet, that would be 44-77 grams of fat per day.

Micronutrients for Cross-Country Skiers

In addition to macronutrients, cross-country skiers need to be sure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) in their diet. Some vitamins and minerals that are particularly important for athletes include iron, calcium, and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for energy production, bone health, muscle recovery, and more. Be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy in your diet to ensure you are getting enough micronutrients.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to make sure that you are staying hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased performance, so it is important to make sure that you are drinking enough fluids, especially during long training sessions. A few finals thoughts on Nutrition for Cross Country Skiing

A few finals thoughts on nutrition for cross-country skiing

Nutrition is an important part of any athlete's training regimen, but it is especially important for cross-country skiers. If you are looking to improve your performance and sustain your energy levels, pay attention to what you eat and when you eat it. Make sure that you are getting enough calories, carbohydrates, fluid, and protein. By doing so, you will be giving yourself the best chance for success on the trails.