Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tips to Travel By: Combating Altitude Sickness

Imagine being hungover for four days. That's how I felt when we went to Denver in March. I didn't realize at the time how much my body was affected by altitude sickness. Headaches, fatigue, slight nausea, bloating, pretty much all the usual symptoms snuck up on me and encroached on my ability to enjoy my time with my family in the scenic mountain resort. I got some great tips from locals though, including my fabulous sister. So if you are whisked away for a weekend of romping in the mountains, here are some tips for keeping altitude sickness at bay:

- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink lots of water before your trip and once you are there drink lots more. Drink more thank you think you want to.

- Consume extra potassium. My sister finds coconut water to be exceptionally helpful. My dad recommended adding a touch of lemon juice to cut the taste if you aren't a huge fan of coconut taste, like me. Bananas work too.

- Limit alcohol intake. This one can be difficult for some, especially if you are on vacation and celebrating. I had a beer to calm my nerves before heading down the slopes and I noticed it affected me much more than it normally does (I wasn't drunk skiing! I waited a little bit before heading down.). I'm not saying to completely abstain from that famous local CO beer but do try to have less than normal.

- Rest. I experienced a terrible headache from my altitude sickness and full night's rest and little afternoon catnaps definitely helped take the edge off. I was probably jet lagged too!


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