Vacationing at a high altitude destination? Whether you’re going to Santa Fe, New Mexico (altitude 7,000 feet) or hiking in Costa Rica (altitude variance from 3,000-9,000 feet) preparing your body for a thinner atmosphere than you may be used to is the key to a healthy and happy trip.
Prepare for High Altitude
Include the following into your diet at least 3-5 days prior to departure if your trip is a relaxing vacation, or 7-10 days if your trip will include strenuous activity such as mountain biking, hiking, or skiing. These tips will help you adjust with grace and ease when your body feels the reality high altitude.
- Hydrate: Drink more water than you normally would – about twice as much in fact, especially for drier climates. Water will help your body adjust faster.
- Potassium: Eat fruits and vegetables high in potassium such as bananas, broccoli, avocado, cantalope, celery, greens, dates, tomatoes, and almonds.
- Anti-oxidants: Eat fruits rich in anti-oxidant properties such as berries; blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries rank the highest. Don’t forget raspberries and strawberries, too.
- Chlor-Oxygen: Rich, bio-available chlorophyll to increase oxygenation, red blood cell production, and energy levels. Here is some more information on Chlor-Oxygen in case you’re not familiar.
In my trips to high altitude destinations (I now live in one), I embraced the shift by adding to my daily regime, the high altitude smoothie.
The High Altitude Smoothie
- 1 banana
- Handful of blueberries
- Handful of blackberries
- 3 Strawberries
- 21 drops of Chlor-Oxygen
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of Almond Butter
- Mix with pure ice and water
Throw everything in a blender and enjoy!
Notes on this recipe: The banana and almond butter is not only rich in potassium, but will help you maintain a stable blood sugar level too. The berries are an anti-oxidant dream, while the Chlor-Oxygen will oxygenate your blood and get you ready to life in the higher realms.
Once At High Altitude
Continue to drink extra water, consume the recommend high potassium and antioxidant foods, and drink the High Altitude Smoothie daily, all while incorporating the following:
- Relax: Upon arrival, sit back and enjoy your arrival and give your body time to adjust. Exercise is more intense at higher altitudes. Even if you’re an experienced athlete, take it easy on the first day.
- Alcohol: Limit your “I’m on vacation!” celebratory intake. First, alcohol binds oxygen and water which removes them from being effectively used by your body. Second, alcohol is absorbed much quicker into the blood stream at high altitudes. In fact, alcohol will pack 10% more of a wallop at high altitudes than at sea-level.
Vacationing in the mountains is an adventure in beauty and for many, a dream come true. Avoid the nightmare of altitude sickness by giving the gift of preparation to yourself before playing at the top of the world. And have fun!