There’s a magic number you may hear when referencing Denver; 5280. The city of Denver sits at 5,280 feet above sea level, literally a mile high. For many of Denver’s residence, being a mile high pales in comparison when your neighboring giant is the towering Rocky Mountains. Being a mile high, however, can take the body some time to adjust to the thin air and shorter oxygen supply. These are some tips to help you out, should you begin to feel a little off-balance.
Stay properly hydrated. No doubt, everyone walks around Denver carrying a container with clean, refreshing, rehydrating H2O. When you pay a visit to Denver, intentionally drink more water than you’re used to drinking (four to six liters per day). This can ensure your body is staying hydrated and you’re getting extra oxygen to circulate through your system. Pick up a water bottle as soon as you get to Denver, and stay extra hydrated from the very beginning.
Don’t overexert yourself. Sure, you’re visiting “The Mile High” city, and there’s so much to do, but doing too much before you’ve adjusted to the altitude can wear you down quick! On your first day in Denver, the best thing you can do is keep the activities light. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, and that can exacerbate the symptoms. Enjoy your stay in Denver, but listen to what your body needs as you adjust to the higher elevation.
Eat a high-calorie diet at higher altitudes. It’s widely known by health professionals and athletes alike, that living and exercising at higher altitudes can lead to loss of body weight and muscle. The effect is greater the higher in elevation you go, and the longer you spend in the reduced-oxygen environment. By adjusting your diet when you’re visiting Denver’s altitude, you can prevent headaches and the occasional lightheadedness that may go hand-in-hand with altitude adjusting. It is recommended that you increase your calories, fluids, and eat foods with higher carbohydrate content while your body adapts to its new environment. Eat smaller, but more frequent meals.
Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and sleeping pills. These further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep, resulting in a worsening of symptoms. Alcohol dehydrates and doesn’t allow the body the proper amount of rest. It is also recommended that the amount of caffeine is cut back as well, as this too dehydrates and encourages loss of fluid.
Vitamin E and amino acid supplements may be beneficial while you visit higher elevations, such as Denver.
There’s a lot to see and do here at 5280ft above sea level, and by following some of these tips we’ve shared with you above, you should have no problems adjusting to the altitude of The Mile High City.