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BWM-mountaineering-nutrition

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					Getting Proper Nutrition While In the Mountains

Mountaineering is a strenuous activity;   and the last thing you want to
happen to you while in the mountains is   to faint due to malnutrition.
Thus, it is important to take the kinds   of food that would help you
survive in the mountains. Nutritionists   say that mountaineers should take
in as much carbohydrates as possible to   quickly replenish the energy lost
in hiking or climbing.

Carbohydrates provide one’s body with glucose which functions as your
body’s fuel. Glucose can be extracted once carbohydrates have been broken
down. Glucose joins the bloodstream and provides your body with energy it
needs. Glucose can also be stored in your muscle tissues and in your
liver.

Glucose maintains the body’s endurance. If the body runs out of glucose
in the bloodstream or in the muscle tissues, you will start feeling
fatigue. Your muscles could not continue to perform at its optimal level.
Since mountaineering consumes a lot of energy, it is advised to load your
body with more carbohydrates.

It is highly recommended to start preparing your body’s nutrition for
your mountaineering expedition at least three days prior to the event.
Your diet should compose of at least 70 percent carbohydrates. It doesn’t
necessarily mean you also have to increase your calorie content. Doing so
would just make you gain weight.

The best thing to do is to reduce your protein and fat intake, instead.
However, higher carbohydrate content in your diet runs you the risk of a
decrease intake in other essential nutrients in the long run. That’s why,
carb loading would only do you good in the first few days. After which,
you should get back to your regular diet.

Since mountaineering involves traveling at higher elevations, your food
intake may change at higher altitudes. In fact, studies have shown that
mountaineers tend to be more finicky when above 10 000 feet. In your
choice of food to carry on your mountaineering trip, don’t just consider
the nutritional values. What good would nutritious food do if you don’t
feel like eating it?

Higher altitudes actually trigger anorexia and loss of appetite. Not only
that, the body will go through an overall change in metabolism. Your body
may not be able to digest some of the food you eat when you’re at home.
These are the reasons why mountaineering contributes to weight loss, on
top of the fact that a climber should expect to burn more calories at
elevated locations.

Because of this, you tend to consumer more food so pack more food than
what you normally eat at home. Still, you will have to consider your
nutrition intake. The recommended ratio is about 70% carbohydrate, and
the rest for fat and protein. Fatty foods require much more oxygen to
digest, thus, if you packed high-fat foods, it could slow down your
acclimatization.
There are actually a lot of power bars which are specifically formulated
for mountaineers available in the supermarkets. You could also check out
their dehydrated foods and other packaged camping foods which are usually
freeze dried. They won’t weigh that much but they’re packed with the
nutrients you’ll need to last for your trip.

However, as mentioned earlier, since you tend to become picky when it
comes to food, plan your menu wisely. Pack foods that aren't only
nutritious, but also palatable. Don't compromise your trip by packing
food you’re not willing to eat. You won’t be able to enjoy the scenery
when you’re energy level’s down.

Different people also have different dietary needs. Not all healthy
camping foods work well with everyone. So that means you may have to
experiment on what food works best for you. When you don’t find a food
appealing at a certain height, most likely, it won't taste any better
higher up. Try to take with you the tastiest and healthiest foods you can
find.

Mountaineering is one of the sports that you really need to prepare for.
Aside from the physical training that you should get, you should always
check that you’re also getting enough nutrients to get through the
activity. Even if you have the leanest body and the strongest lungs, but
you weren't able to get proper nutrition, you may not thoroughly enjoy
the trip as you’ll probably get tired easily.

				
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posted:7/7/2011
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