Mountaineering and trekking are the extreme altitude sports that have gained more exposure and acceptance with an increasing number of people choosing it as a passion or hobby. Fuelling for the climb must begin long before the actual day you start climbing, to guarantee the highest chance of a successful climb without any injuries and loss of toes, fingers or extremities.
A few key areas to focus on are:
A balanced diet: Carbohydrates are essential for their protein-sparing action and easy conversion to glucose. Choose a combination of complex and simple carbohydrates at regular intervals throughout the day. Proteins are key for growth and repair of tissues. Eat a variety of protein sources such as egg, chicken, fish, beans, tofu, milk products, etc.
Hydration: According to UIAA, dehydration can be caused due to insufficient water intake, sweat or diarrhoea. At sea level, a 2-5% loss in body weight due to water / fluid loss will lead to symptoms such as headache, fatigue, excessive sweating, dry mouth, chills, etc., whereas an 8% loss in body weight will lead to death.
Training: Train with an experienced coach who understands your physiologic condition and the impact of high altitude on your vital signs such as blood sugar and blood pressure. Plan your training schedule keeping the above in mind along with strategies to prevent complications such as hypoxia or dehydration.
Discuss in detail your training schedule, the journey to the base of the mountain, climbing the mountain and most importantly the descent. During the climb, be alert of your surroundings, inform your sherpa and other climbers if you have diabetes or high blood pressure and let them know how they can help you when you may not be able to help yourself. Always carry more than enough medical supplies (medicines, insulin, syringes, etc.) and store them in different places.
Through meticulous planning with a certified trainer, sports nutritionist and your doctor, you can successfully climb any mountain you set your eyes on. Reach out to our team of doctors and health coaches at MyDoc to help you manage your diabetes or blood pressure and enjoy your trip.
Always care for you,