If you often travel or climb a higher elevation quickly, the chances are that you’ll experience altitude sickness. When it happens, don’t fret. Your body is only reacting to the change in air pressure.

And as a result of the change in oxygen levels, you might feel a bit tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Often, when you return to lower elevations, those symptoms will stop.

But when you experience symptoms like feeling out of breath even while resting at a lower elevation, your altitude sickness is severe. So, does that mean you should stop climbing anything 2000-5000ft above ground? Should you let go of your favorite hobby?

No! You can overcome altitude sickness altogether and enjoy your mountain hiking like never before. The tips in this post can help you!

5 Ways To Overcome Altitude Sickness

Take Things Easy

We understand that a “little” competition amongst friends during hiking can be fun. Regardless, you should take things slow, given your situation with altitude sickness. In other words, climb at a comfortable pace.

And while you’re climbing, don’t engage in strenuous exercises that might cut you short of breath. Also, don’t fly or travel directly to high elevations. Instead, take the process one higher elevation per day.

Most importantly, plan your hikes. How?

  • Map out your daily routine.
  • Ensure that you have enough stopping points at lower elevations to rest.
  • Keep your daily travel limit to 1000ft.
  • For each 3000ft travel or climbing, rest for a full day.

Watch What You Eat

While traveling, the chances are that you’ll feel the urge to munch on something. And you should because climbing high altitudes burns calories.

Unfortunately, the foods that contain abundant calories to replace what’s lost to the altitude are often carbs. So, do you need extra carbohydrates?

If you don’t have any pending issues with weight management, by all means, pack plenty of carbs in your backpack. On the other hand, if you subscribed to a low-carb meal plan, we’ll advise you to find low-carbs such as nuts and fatty fish with high calories.

Low-carb meal plans or not, you can also add healthy snacks such as eggs and fruits. With those additions, you’ll have enough supply of calories without tanking your diet goals.

Further reading: Lose Weight Without Dieting

In addition to high-calorie foods, ensure you pack enough water for your travel. Staying hydrated is crucial to limiting your altitude sickness episodes.

Pro tip: drink water regularly during your travels or climbing; don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

Stay Away From Alcohol

Alcohol generally depresses the coordination system. Hence the reason you often feel dizzy and drowsy when you take it. Now, imagine combining that with altitude sickness. That will be “doubled dizziness.”

In essence, your altitude sickness episodes will worsen and lead to injuries. So, it’s better to steer clear of alcohol when traveling to a high altitude.

Mind you, alcohol is not the only thing you stay away from but also other substances that have similar depressing effects on the brain.

But what if you can’t stop yourself from taking alcohol?

In that case, leave a window of 2days before or after your trip. Or, you can find a healthy alternative to alcohol like Myer’s cocktail.

Watch How You Sleep

When traveling to a high altitude, don’t limit your consciousness to food and drink – monitor how you sleep.

Earlier, we advised you to map out your routine while on your hiking trip. Well, include your sleeping plans there. And while you’re at it, ensure you always have a lower elevation area to rest after all the day’s work.

That way, you’ll hasten your natural recovery process and have the vigor to climb to a higher elevation the next day. But remember to keep the limit to 1000ft per day.

Use Medication

If you tested the four methods listed and still experience severe symptoms of altitude sickness, seek medication. Unfortunately, there are several out there.

Out of the lot, we’ll recommend the Summit IV drip. Unlike other altitude sickness medications, it goes directly to your bloodstream. For that reason, its results are fast and effective.

Overall, everyone won’t react to altitude sickness the same way. Even at that, the tips here can help you recover and avoid complications. But if you already have underlying issues like heart conditions, consult your doctor.