Tips to Avoiding Altitude Sickness

While we are still enjoying all the pleasures that come with winter, minus the shoveling, we can’t help but daydream about the upcoming summer months. Great winters bring amazing summers here in the Sierra’s. But, before we dust off those kayaks and tune our bikes, we wanted to share some tips in prepping for your high-altitude summer vacation.

Studies have shown that twenty-percent of visitors visiting altitude above 5,500 ft. will experience some form of altitude sickness. Although mostly mild symptoms, nobody wants to miss out on the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.

Give Yourself Time to Acclimate
Although some are able to hit the trails upon arrival, we recommend visitors to allow their bodies to acclimate to the high altitude before activities. If you’re not used to the altitude, take your time, enjoy some of our local restaurants and shops before joining us out on the late or on the trail.

Stay Hydrated
This is one of our top priorities when taking guests out on tours. This tip should be applied for your entire vacation and especially before, during, and after any physical activity. Also remember that coffee and alcoholic drinks can affect people differently at higher altitudes. So when enjoying a cold one with dinner, remember to follow up with plenty of water before heading off to bed.

Indulge Yourself
Next to staying hydrated, eating right is always important. As much as some try to ignore it, complex carbohydrates are exactly what your body needs. Apologies to Dr. Atkins, but when taking up high altitude activities, your body is begging for some complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and veggies. These types of foods help your body to use oxygen more efficiently and maintain energy levels, both important for preventing altitude sickness.

Knowing your body, allowing yourself to rest, and consuming the right foods and drinks are great suggestions to preventing altitude sickness. Headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, fatigue or loss of energy are all symptoms.

With this said, it’s important to know that altitude sickness can strike even the healthiest of athletes. Although often very mild, don’t ignore the symptoms and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.