Eating and altitude
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ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 03:16:58 MDT Print View

I did the JMT a couple of years ago and found it difficult to eat much - perhaps a Clif bar for breakfast, some pine nuts and dried fruit in the day, and a portion of MH Beef Stroganoff (of which I never tire) a day - hardly a calorie-fest.

I am just wondering if anyone else has this sort of experience?

I assume it is the effect of altitude (took me a few days to get used to it) - as in the UK, 1300m is it really.

Strangely I did not feel weak or less able because of it.

And I'm asking as I am considering the Sierra High Route this summer and would welcome any ideas on how I could eat more....as it looks tad tougher than the JMT?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 08:36:45 MDT Print View

It isn't that abnormal to not have any appetite at altitude - but one thing to watch is that you don't get dehydrated, this can really affect your appetite.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 09:56:39 MDT Print View

Thanks Sarah - good news to hear it is not uncommon; it has only been an issue on the JMT however, in the European Alps I don't spend much time above 2500m and have never noticed it.

I stayed well-hydrated on the JMT - so perhaps one solution (sic) will be using some sort of carb powder (like Palatinose) in the water I drink.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 11:12:10 MDT Print View

I find savory foods help me to eat more - also as close to things that you would eat at home. I can handle about 1 energy bar, and that is it. Soy is not the best for digestion and would be best avoided at altitude. Noodles and extra oil and cheese can be good strategies. /a

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 12:51:13 MDT Print View

I have found that eating over the day small bites really helps - no big meals. A small cup of brothy soup before dinner, etc. I don't eat a ton of protein or anything hard to digest in one sitting either - carbs and fruit are my friends :-)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 16:03:42 MDT Print View

Eating is good, and so is drinking.
Try switching to very soupy meals. They may be easier to eat.

Cheers

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 16:59:44 MDT Print View

I just returned from Bolivia and had very little appetite for the first 2 days. I forced myself to eat a Balance Bar the first 2 mornings, then mostly water and a little PowerAid just to keep even a few calories going in. Finally, on a long car ride to La Paz, I bought a can of Pringles at a random roadside stand. That was the real turning point, although it really wasn't until the next (3rd day) that my appetite returned.

I think altitude affects different people differently, but appetite decrease is certainly common enough.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 17:14:06 MDT Print View

Lots of people are bothered by a temporary loss of appetite at altitude. One way to work around that is to get some calories in your liquids. I use Gatorade powder, but there are many choices for a hiker.

--B.G.--

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 17:43:44 MDT Print View

If you've recently traveled across several time zones to reach the starting point of your journey, the time difference may well play into a loss of appetite as well...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 17:51:06 MDT Print View

"Strangely I did not feel weak or less able because of it."

You were probably getting a substantial amount of energy from metabolizing body fat.

As suggested by other posters, energy drinks are a good source of carbs in the absence of appetitite. There are many to choose from. Also soupy meals, as per Roger Caffin, e.g. potato soup, pea soup, thinned out refried bens, corn chowder.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 18:13:42 MDT Print View

"corn chowder"

I can go a very long way on corn chowder and Gatorade.

--B.G.---

Randall Spratt
(genreviam)

Locale: Minnesota
Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 20:50:31 MDT Print View

Ed, I did the first 90 miles of the JMT last year and experienced the same thing. I could not believe how little I was able to eat. I did find that I at like a horse at both Reds and VVR. Lower altitude?? I lost 10 pounds in 10 days... I am doing the full JMT this year and am worried about going 20 days with so little to eat. Did you ever get your appetite back towards the middle/end of the trail?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Eating and altitude on 05/23/2011 20:50:40 MDT Print View

"I can go a very long way on corn chowder and Gatorade."

I'll have to admit that's a combination I've never tried.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
Eating and altitude on 05/24/2011 00:13:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies - it looks like carb powders may be the way to go. That and Corn Chowder - which I have never heard of...what is it?

Randall - towards the end I was picking up...but just a little, like you though I ate pretty well in towns/resupply places.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Eating and altitude on 05/24/2011 00:48:42 MDT Print View

"Corn Chowder"

Just as you might imagine, it is a very thick soup based on corn plus a few other vegetable flavorings (packaged dry, of course). If I want to go wild, I add some chopped turkey sausage to it.

It's one of those quaint delicacies that we colonists developed on this side of the pond.

--B.G.--

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Eating and altitude on 05/24/2011 09:10:48 MDT Print View

Mmm...chowder. You can make almost anything into chowder! Thick and creamy, hearty and full of stuff - be it veggies, meat, etc!
Get some freeze-dried corn and add to any recipe :-)

http://www.trailcooking.com/recipes/potato-cheese-chowder

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
Corn Chowder on 05/24/2011 10:36:40 MDT Print View

I think I'll try and make some of this colonial gruel over the next couple of days ;-)

Thanks for the recipe - a good basis.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Corn Chowder on 05/24/2011 15:17:18 MDT Print View

Sarah's point is important. Adding a few nuggets of freeze dried corn to the basic chowder adds an air of authenticity to it. Also add a few dry flakes of green and red bell pepper.

Here in the colonies, we gained our culinary independence a long time ago.

--B.G.--

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Corn Chowder on 05/24/2011 19:06:00 MDT Print View

no class, no class at all.............

Edited by obxcola on 05/24/2011 20:05:16 MDT.