You’ve booked your bicycle vacation, you’re on your way to the high country and you’re super excited! Then, BABAM! You hear about the effects of high altitude. Altitude sickness typically occurs around 8000′ (2438 m) and happens because the air pressure is lower at higher altitudes, meaning you may have difficulty absorbing oxygen. This can cause headaches, upset stomach, loss of appetite, nose bleeds (YUCK!) or trouble sleeping. Hey, we’re just being honest here! And, because ultraviolet rays are more intense at altitude, the sun can pack a wallop!
Here’s some hard and fast rules on how to adjust to the altitude when exploring the Rockies on your Colorado adventure tour!
Take some time when you arrive in Denver to acclimate to the altitude. Let us book some pre nights for you in the Mile High City!
Drinking water, both before and during your Colorado bicycle vacation, is the primary way to help your body adjust to altitude. Due to the dry air and low humidity, you’ll need to drink at least twice as much water as you would at home, even if you do not feel thirsty! We cannot say this enough, so we’ll say it again. Even. If. You. Do. Not. Feel. Thirsty. During your bike ride, continue to drink water and fuel your body by eating high carb, low-fat foods that you can easily carry, such as nuts, dried fruit and energy bars.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it increases your risk of dehydration . . . which is a problem at altitude. At altitude, alcoholic drinks pack more of a punch than they do at sea level, so take it easy, tiger.
“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me…” sunburned! At altitude, there’s 25% less protection from the sun, so bring sunscreen (and wear it!). Also, bring lip balm and sunglasses. We want you to relish some of those 300+ days of sunshine we have in Colorado while you’re enjoying your bicycle vacation! Plus, peeling skin is not attractive.
No, we’re not your mom. But we are experts on Colorado! Broccoli, celery and greens are high in potassium and can replenish electrolytes. While you’re at it, throw in some cantaloupe, peaches, chocolate (who doesn’t like that?!), granola (hey, we are in Colorado) and potatoes.
Follow these simple rules and enjoy your Colorado Rocky Mountain vacation to the fullest!