tired skierA note for you senior skiers (sorry, that means all of us 40+).  Exercise recovery time increases noticeably as we age.  The editorial staff here at DSJ has found that our own recovery time is now greater than 24 hours after a day of extreme exertion.  Where this really becomes a problem is when we’re faced with numerous days of straight skiing early in the season and not yet in mid-season condition.  Each day we lose a little more ground and tend to become increasingly sore, achy, and weak. 

You certainly can’t cheat Mother Nature, but you can be a little sneaky!  We’ve found two things help a lot.  A good protein shake with glutamine at the end of each ski day and, here’s the kicker, a creatine drink in the morning.  Yes, creatine has been around forever, and although known more as a strength and power increasing supplement (which can’t bad for your skiing BTW) it has also been proven to aid in muscle recovery.  So much so, that many pro athletes use it to promote faster healing after a muscle injury.  It is actually a concentrated form of what’s found in red meat protein. 

Creatine has been shown to be safe when used in moderation, but you do have to start using it a couple weeks in advance to reap the full benefits.  The latest conventional wisdom is that you shouldn’t bother with fancy mixes, but just straight creatine monohydrate powder which is tasteless and cheap.  No pre-loading required, just 5 grams per day, which is the tiny scoop that comes with it.  Mix it with anything, even just straight water since it’s tasteless.  I wouldn’t suggest using it continually, but it could make a very noticeable early season difference and help keep you at peak levels after that.