-> Did you know that just being at ALTITUDE causes you to lose far more fluids than at lower elevations (more than a quart a day) ?

-> Did you know that the simple act of BREATHING cold air dehydrates you ? Breathing cold dry air causes the body to lose significant amounts of fluids because moisture is plucked from your mouth, your throat, and your lungs with every breath you take, as the body humidifies and warms the air so the lungs can use it.

-> Do you realize that when you are skiing, you are EXERCISING ? Imagine doing the same activity in the midst of summer, there is a good chance that you would be sweating like a pig… well, maybe not that much, but you get the idea. Combine all three factors and you should be drinking three times as much when you are on the slopes…

-> Did you know that when you are dehydrated, your attention, your ability to focus, and your decision making suffer ? A *research conducted in 2010 amongst snowsports resort workers at Sunshine Village in Banff while I was teaching there, as well as several other Alberta and BC resorts showed that cognitive functions deteriorate when your body is dehydrated, and has an incidence on psychomotor vigilance, motor reaction time, and impairs proprioception.

Simply put: coordination and your ability to react quickly diminish significantly when dehydrated… Don’t forget you are constantly dealing with gravity while navigating through whatever the mountain puts in your way, regardless of what the weather throws at you, or the behavior of the skiers and snowboarders around you. In skiing, coordination and reaction time are key… How many injuries because of a bad (and/or delayed) decision made at high speed could we link to dehydration in the first place ? It sure doesn’t hurt to play it safe…

-> Also, losing only 2% of your body mass in water starts to affect your ability to regulate body temperature… getting cold anyone ? Check your fluids intake…

-> If you are already thirsty, it’s too late. Drink before you feel the thirst, and stay hydrated throughout the day to prevent injuries, and to help you recover. Your body, your mucles and your brain will thank you at the end of the day.

I like the collapsible HYDRAPAK SOFT FLASK: easy to carry in my ski jacket, if I ever fall, well it’s soft and won’t hurt as much as a plastic or metal bottle; it has a high-performance bite-valve with a twist locking mechanism that won’t leak; and there is a dust cover and a finger loop attachment.

I drink 500 ml during the morning, refill my bottle after lunch, and drink another 500 ml in the afternoon. ONE SIP AT A TIME, every time I get on the chairlift. Drinking a little bit at a time keeps my body constantly hydrated, you basically just drink what you have lost, and last but not least, you will not feel the urge to go to the loo (which is what happens if you drink a full glass all at once).

More info on dehydration:

Fluid and Electrolyte Balance during Winter Sports.