0

votes

Is a higher carb intake optimal at high elevation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 18, 2013 at 3:23 AM

I live at around 9,000ft so I've been curious about this. Numerous sources suggest that loading up on carbs eases the transition into high elevation and prevents or minimizes altitude sickness. One good article on the subject:

https://wms.org/news/altitude.asp

Studies have also been done showing that mice in high elevation environments prefer carbohydrates as their primary energy source:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206121942.htm

I can't however find any information addressing the potential for different optimal diets for people who live at high and low elevations. I've noted in myself that while I once maintained a fairly low-carb diet with relative ease when living at low elevation, I find it almost impossible here.

I think it's an interesting thing to consider because high elevation locations often invite very athletically inclined people who would be particularly concerned about an optimum diet.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences about this?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2013
at 06:38 PM

I don't know what I meant. Deleting.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 18, 2013
at 06:13 PM

Produce oxygen? Do do you mean use oxygen? Unless you're a tree I don't think you can produce much oxygen.

  • E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

    asked by

    (613)
  • Views
    1.2K
  • Last Activity
    1431D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

3 Answers

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on February 18, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Yes, you do want to be a bit higher carb at high altitude. The reason is that the higher you go, the less efficient beta oxidation of fat is. So for the same power output you'll need more carbs at altitude than you'd have at sea level.

How much you need depends on your biochemistry and your activity level. When I'm snowboarding all day, I go high fat so I don't have to stop for lunch. For me snowboarding is a relaxing activity and I do well on fat metabolism. But my diet for a day in the mountains mountain biking looks totally different since that relies on lots of glycolysis.

There is no such thing as an optimal diet, you just need to play around and see what supports your goals. At 9,000 feet that may be more carby than you expect.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2013
at 04:22 AM

Here's what I think: It makes sense. Carbohydrates help to produce oxygen rather quickly. Necessary? No. Optimal? Maybe. Do what feels natural.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 18, 2013
at 06:13 PM

Produce oxygen? Do do you mean use oxygen? Unless you're a tree I don't think you can produce much oxygen.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2013
at 06:38 PM

I don't know what I meant. Deleting.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 18, 2013
at 03:30 AM

Funny, I read that high protein was better. Do a search of the site and you will find an earlier thread or two on this topic.

I lived at 7,000 feet for 18 months recently and had no trouble staying low carb, mainly due to my lower than usual activity level. If I had been hiking daily like my husband, I would definitely have upped my carbs.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!