Have you experienced Altitude Sickness? If you answered yes, my sympathy is with you – I have too! As a child, I loved skiing in the mountains except for the fact that I got sick going to a higher altitude. However, I remember my parents telling me what foods and beverages to consume and not to consume to help me adjust. Therefore, What to Eat for Altitude Sickness is a guide with food and beverage suggestions to help you better acclimate to a higher altitude.
Tip #1 – Maintain Hydration and Electrolytes
Staying hydrated on an everyday basis is something most people strive for, but in the altitude, it is ESSENTIAL! Staying hydrated at a higher altitude may look like drinking close to 4 liters or 1 gallon of water per day.
In addition to drinking water in the mountains, it is recommended that you drink sports drinks, like Gatorade Zero or Pedialyte Sport, that contain sodium in them. In addition, according to The Best Diet For High Altitude, you can add sodium to your water by “adding 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 3 tablespoons of honey or sugar, and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon or orange juice to one quart of water” to act as a hydrating sports drink.
Finally, along with drinking natural Spring water, tap water, or store-bought sports drinks, you can also make your own hydrating beverages to help prevent or lessen altitude sickness while in the mountains. Check out some of the recommendations below!
Hydrating Beverages Recipes
Watermelon Agua Fresca is a naturally hydrating drink, as watermelon is made up of 92% water. Pair this with a pinch of sea salt and fresh lime (or lemon) juice for your own, hydrating sports drink!
Coconut Water with Lime and Mint is an excellent way to stay hydrated in the mountains and prevent or reduce the risk of Altitude Sickness.
Looking for an electrolyte drink to help you stay hydrated and feel well? Look no further than these Homemade Electrolyte Drinks! These beverage recipes are easy to make and contain a few ingredients to help you and/or your loved ones feel ready to tackle a fun day in the mountains.
Think Gatorade without all the extra dyes and sugars…then you’ve thought of this drink! This recipe includes simple ingredients such as ginger, citrus, maple syrup, water, and baking soda that will keep you at your best.
Lemon Ginger Tea is a drink that will help settle your stomach if you experience altitude sickness. Slowly sip this tea while pairing it with a hydrating drink to help you feel back to normal, sooner rather than later.
Tip #2 – Eat Carbohydrates
Yep, you read that right, eat CARBS! Against all of the “anti-carb” lovers, carbs ARE your friend when you’re at a higher altitude. This is because carbohydrates fuel your energy when you’re at a higher altitude. Due to less oxygen in the air, your body is working harder and needs to “refuel.” Thus, the refueling comes from our friend, carbohydrates.
So, what are some of the carbohydrates that are recommended when you’re living, working, and/or playing at a higher altitude?
Here are some of our favorite carbohydrate-rich recipes that are sure to help you feel full, fuel your body, and help you feel great at a high altitude!
Sourdough Rye Sandwich Bread
Sourdough Crescent Rolls
Chicken Pesto Pizza
Tip #3 – Consume Enough
Higher altitudes lead to less oxygen in our lungs which means our bodies work harder to produce energy. Because of this, many times we do not consume enough calories at higher altitudes.
Therefore, it is important to consume enough (calorie-wise) in order for our bodies to continue feeling their best. Finally, balancing your meals with carbs, protein, fruits, vegetables, and a hydrating beverage will fuel your body and keep it performing at its best. It will also help to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Looking for well-rounded meals to help fuel your body at higher altitudes? Check out the recipes below!
Tip #4 – Load Up On Iron and Protein
Finally, tip number 4 for reducing the risk of altitude sickness and/or feeling better is to load up on protein and iron. Low iron and protein will leave you feeling fatigued. Therefore, you want to eat iron-rich foods and keep those in your diet as you travel to and from a higher altitude.
Some foods that are iron-rich include –
Steamed Mussels is a recipe I remember eating as a kid when I tried to feel better after the altitude sickness struck. One of the reasons Mussels are great to eat in the mountains is because they are an iron-rich protein!