Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
What is best diet at high altitude–fish, carbohydrate etc?
Submitted by – Shahid, Burewala, Pakistan
The role of diet in acclimatization and the prevention of high-altitude illnesses remain controversial. Of primary importance in nutrition at altitude is eating enough—a problem because many people struggle with appetite loss and perceived tastelessness of food when up high. A
ll climbers all well advised to carry plenty of food they enjoy eating. Above 16,000 feet, the absorption of fats and proteins drops substantially. Carbohydrates, therefore, should make up the largest percentage of food. Simple carbs are often the main source of energy at altitude: A high-carb diet may increase oxygen uptake a bit at higher elevations.
Climbers also tend to do better with several small meals instead of a couple of large ones. Vitamin C deficiency has been noted on extended expeditions, and a supplement is probably a good idea. Adequate hydration, of course, is of paramount importance.