In order to adapt to height, it is necessary to consume a large amount of water and carry out proper nutrition in the mountains. The human body needs calories that give it energy. Calories and nutrients enter the body through food, where they are absorbed by cells to generate and store energy, maintain vital functions, and also ensure growth processes in the human body..
Nutrition in the mountains, the main components of food that are absorbed by the body, an example of a menu and frequently consumed products in the mountains.
When talking about nutrition, energy is usually estimated in kilocalories (kcal is a unit of measure of heat). In complete rest, a person spends about 1 kcal per hour for every kilogram of body weight. The average adult spends about 2,200 calories daily. In the mountains, this amount can be doubled (up to 4400 calories) or even tripled depending on the conditions (weather, altitude) and the intensity of the loads.
Nutrient Food Ingredients.
In the body, food undergoes complex biochemical metabolic processes. Under the influence of gastric juice, it decomposes into components. Some of them are absorbed into the blood through the walls of the stomach. The other part is digested after processing. The third is not absorbed and excreted from the body. Food components, getting into the blood and cells, are partially oxidized and release energy. Partially go to the formation of cellular structures or are processed into fat and reserved.
The main components of food that are absorbed by the body.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy from the oxidation process. Therefore, carbohydrates prevail in the daily human diet. For the climber, the main sources of carbohydrates from food are: bread, pasta, cereals, potatoes. Pure carbohydrate is sugar. Carbohydrates can also be found in fruits, honey and sweets..
This food is the best “fuel” for climbers in the mountains and is used to generate energy during constant activity. Carbohydrates are divided into fast and slow. Depending on the rate of assimilation.
Products from premium flour (roll, pizza).
Some fruits (bananas, grapes).
Whole grain cereals (buckwheat, rice, hercules).
Moderately sweet fruits (cherry, kiwi, grapefruit, orange, apricots, apples, peaches).
Vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.).
Conditional separation of products into slow and fast carbohydrates occurs on the basis of the glycemic index. This is an indicator that determines how fast sugar is absorbed from a product and how quickly blood sugar levels rise. The muscles of the body during intensive work receive energy precisely due to the oxidation of sugar contained in the blood.
Therefore, with active mountaineering in the mountains, you need to replenish the body’s reserves to a greater extent with slow carbohydrates. To prevent hypoglycemia (lowering blood sugar), to maintain the strength of the body.
Fats are the most powerful source of energy. A large amount of fat is found in cheese, nuts, chocolate and dried meat. They are superior to carbohydrates as an energy source, but are not absorbed as quickly and are more suitable for long-term loads..
According to a Swiss study, the human body in the mountains at altitudes of more than 4,000 meters mainly spends its fat reserves. Therefore, food in the mountains should include a significant portion of fat in the evening on the eve of the ascent. High-fat meals are also recommended for long mountain climbs..
Proteins (proteins) are necessary for the construction, preservation and restoration of the human body and are an important part of human nutrition. Bleach synthesized structural elements of cells and tissues. Hormones, enzymes and other metabolic regulators are produced. Since the body cannot synthesize all the necessary amino acids, some of the acids must come from protein foods..
Proteins can be found in foods of animal origin (including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products). Legumes (lentils, peas) also contain large amounts of protein.
In addition, protein nutrients are used to reproduce body cells, mainly muscle cells. With serious physical exertion, food in the mountains should include a large amount of protein to restore the body.
Recommended Mountain Diet and Nutrition.
Commonly Used Mountain Foods.
Meals in the mountains on the example of a menu for heights of 2000-5000 meters.
250 grams of porridge (hercules / rice / buckwheat) + sugar + milk (including condensed milk).
Three pancakes with butter or ghee.
Sausage / Bacon.
Two cups of tea / coffee / cocoa + sugar + lemon. 500 ml.
3-4 cookies / waffles / gingerbread cookies.
Lunch / snack while climbing in the mountains.
125 grams (1/2 cup): dried fruits (raisins, dried apricots, figs, dates) + nuts (forest / walnuts, almonds, peanuts). Remember, nuts can be an allergen..
Bread / biscuits + sausage + cheese (1 sandwich).
2 chocolate / fruit bars.
Fruits (1-2 pieces of bananas / apples).
Water / tea / isotonic. 500-1000 ml.
250 ml: vegetable soup or salad (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, herbs, garlic, etc.).
250 ml: rice / pasta + meat + cheese.
Bread / Biscuits.
Two teaspoons of tea + sugar + lemon. 500 ml.
3-4 cookies / waffles / gingerbread cookies.
Total: 4400 kcal (2500 carbohydrates, 1340 fats, 560 proteins).
Dehydration in the mountains.
Even slight dehydration in the mountains reduces your strength. A slight thirst is a sign that your body is already to some extent dehydrated. Therefore, it is important to drink a little, but quite often, to fill the body with water before you even feel thirsty..
Due to perspiration and dry mountain air, you need to drink from 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. As a rule, at heights of up to 5000 meters. At high altitudes in the mountains, you lose about 0.3 liters of water on average only through breathing.
Preferred drinks in the mountains.
Isotonics containing vitamins and minerals: magnesium, calcium and potassium.
While in the mountains, try to drink boiled water and not eat snow, as water from streams and mountain rivers can be infected by animals, and snow does not quench your thirst and can cause a cold.
Based on the book School of mountaineering, a training manual.