Acclimating to Higher Altitude

How to Prepare Before and During Your Trip

It’s a different world up here, and you want to get all you can out of your stay. Preparing yourself to head to 8,000 vertical feet can make a world of difference and ensure top condition for your stay. Whether preparing before, adjusting during your trip, or planning a challenging hike up to a higher altitude while here – aside from increasing your carbohydrate intake, there are other helpful steps you can take to neutralize the effects altitude. Just by following a few simple steps, you can prepare yourself and your body to ease altitude acclimation. For more information or relief while here, the Valley has many health resources, one is The Aspen Clinic (TAC) with several experienced performance specialists to get the most out of your activities.

  1. Get plenty of sunshine leading up to and during your acclimation. Sunlight helps with carbohydrate utilization. Even visit a tanning booth for short lengths of time, but often, to increase Vitamin D.
  2. Practice good breathing to acclimate you to the sensation of air hunger you experience from the thin air higher up. Example: 3 second inhale, 3 second hold, 3 second exhale, 3 second hold, repeat.
  3. Eat more fruit prior to and during your trip to increase your carbohydrates, allowing for more CO2 production as they are broken down, and to increase healthy vitamin and mineral intake to improve carbohydrate utilization for energy.
  4. Stay hydrated. Compared to just water, fluids like coconut water and orange juice have great electrolytes and other micronutrients that give you fuel as well. Good carbohydrate metabolism aids breakdown in and of itself to also create more H2O.