Travelling to mountains? Here are some tips to cope with altitude sickness

When you are exposed to a higher elevation for a short period of time, your body experiences many kinds of symptoms that are often referred to as altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness is common when individuals travel and climb or are quickly transported to a higher level. As you move higher, the air pressure and oxygen levels decrease. Our bodies are capable of handling this change, but they require time to adjust.

Advertisement

Here are some tips to cope with altitude sickness

1. Stay hydrated

Altitude sickness causes shortness of breath, which can make your breathing heavy and fast. This causes you to dehydrate and become weaker. Make sure you consume three to four litres of water every day to avoid this

2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

You may already be dehydrated as a result of the fast, deep breathing needed at higher altitudes, which can be worsened by alcohol and caffeine consumption, both of which may cause severe dehydration.

3. Climb slowly

It takes your body two to three days to slowly go higher to allow it to adapt to the new condition. Avoid driving or flying straight up to very high altitudes. Rather, aim higher every day, take a break to relax, and carry on the next day. If you must drive or fly, choose a lower altitude and stay there for a whole day before going all the way up.

4. Eat carbs

We don’t regularly hear advice to consume more carbs. However, you need more calories at higher altitudes. Thus, be sure to have a variety of nutritious snacks, such as whole grains.