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Thread: Drink Problem

  1. #1

    Default Drink Problem

    Drinking a lot of fluids (what else?) seems to be recommended to facilitate acclimatisation. How much are we actually talking about here, 4, 5, 6 litres or more? If so, arenít you always having to stop for a pee?

    I donít drink caffeine, so tea and coke are out. Jamie McGuinness in the Trailblazer guide says you will be a social pariah if you drink bottled water owing to empty bottle disposal problems. He mentions the joys of drinking boiled water in tea houses or a mysterious hot lemon drink. I am heading to EBC on my first trip to Nepal in early November, and I wonder if I am really going to be able to drink enough, if I donít drink tea.

    As a general question, do most seasoned trekkers get all their fluid intake at tea houses, or is there a lot of embarrassing fumbling with iodine tablets going on along the trail?

    Any pointers would be most helpful.

    Dave

    PS And what's this about beer not tasting good at altitude!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Nepal
    Drinking a lot of fluids (what else?) seems to be recommended to facilitate acclimatisation. How much are we actually talking about here, 4, 5, 6 litres or more? If so, arenít you always having to stop for a pee?

    I donít drink caffeine, so tea and coke are out. Jamie McGuinness in the Trailblazer guide says you will be a social pariah if you drink bottled water owing to empty bottle disposal problems. He mentions the joys of drinking boiled water in tea houses or a mysterious hot lemon drink. I am heading to EBC on my first trip to Nepal in early November, and I wonder if I am really going to be able to drink enough, if I donít drink tea.

    As a general question, do most seasoned trekkers get all their fluid intake at tea houses, or is there a lot of embarrassing fumbling with iodine tablets going on along the trail?

    Any pointers would be most helpful.

    Dave

    PS And what's this about beer not tasting good at altitude!
    Drinking lots of fluids indeed helps acclimatization. The pulmonar alveolae open up better if they are well fulidized, and this helps the intake of more oxigen molecules from the rarefied air. Or this is what they tell you. It may well be an urban legend, but I don't have the currage to test it's validity. Not when I am over 4000m altitude anyway.

    But to drink 5-6 litres of water may be a bit silly.

    3-4 litres is more likely. And this is the sum-total per day of any fluid that comes your way (well not just any, I would avoit yak-urine for example): water of course, hot drinks from lodges, like tea or hot lemonade etc, soft drinks.

    You go to the loo more, that is true, especially if you drink after 5 or 6 pm. I remember going to wee about 6 times during the night at High Camp before Thorung La, last time. All because I had a relatively late dinner with a couple of bottles something or other. The postive side was that there was an amazing sky to admire while peeing in the midle of the yard, somewhere in the genral direction of the loo-house.

    Regarding the taste of beer at altitude, well, I believe all beer tastes bad, even at sea level. Why would it taste better at altitude? A bit like yak urine, actually. Appart from Hoegarden, or some other Belgian idiosyncratic stuff, which is ok. Entirely unlike yak urine, which cannot be said for other beers. Guinness for example tastes like badly dehidrated yak urine.

    Nepali tea served at lodges is usually very good, a week concotion which is quite aromatic. And the soft drinks, which I positively hate and never touch with a barge pole under normal circumstaces, I find quite satifying while trekking. I love the suggar fix they give me, especially after a hard climb. Plus they are great if you've got diahhorea. The poison in the soft drinks seems to kill the tummy bugs quite effectively.

    You can buy boiled water, or use idodine tablets. I used them until a few years ago, until I decided I am sick of the taste. Almost as bad as yak-u. You won't look weird if you do mix your pills. But it all depends what kind of pills you mix in your drink, if you know what I mean.
    yakshaver

  3. #3

    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Nepal
    He mentions the joys of drinking boiled water in tea houses or a mysterious hot lemon drink.
    Hot lemon, I guess. It is lemon squash with hot water. If you chose not to drink tea or coffee or sodas, you can manage with iodine, up to Namche. In Namche excellent spring water is available. From Namche up to base camp we simply drank the water from the brooks and the water that was served in the lodges. Did not get sick.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    3-4 litres a day is about right. I take a litre to bed with me and then drink it first thing in the morning as it is common to be dehydrated first thing, then drink steadily through the morning and mid afternoon to avoid having to get up during the night. But if my body needs it I will continue drinking and get up if I have to as hydration is extremely important for acclimatisation. I have only ever had headaches or problems acclimatisation when dehydrated.

    I am not a caffeine drinker either so I get by on water and hot lemon and sometimes hot chocolate. I treat water with Aqua Mira/Prisitine and would thoroughly recommend it. It kills all nasties including cryptospiridium and doesn't taste nasty like iodine. There are standpipes in all the villages on the main trails in the Annapurna/Everest regions at lower altitudes and higher up you can ask at any lodge and they will fill your bottle for you. Drinking and treated water is the most eco-friendly solution.

    I can't vouch for Guinness tasting anything like dehydrated yak's piss as I have never tasted the latter but I do love the former. I might need something a little stronger this coming Saturday evening though.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    You can do a rough check on your hydration level by checking the colour and frequency of your pee. If you are peeing relatively frequently and your pee is clear or faintly yellow then your hydration level is about right. If you are peeing very infrequently, your pee is dark brown and a smaller quantity than usual then you are probably dehydrated and need to drink more. "Clear and copious" is the way to pee.

    At altitude, you lose more water through breathing and you will find you get a dry mouth and throat. Hence the need to drink more. However, that means water or drinks that are mostly water like hot lemon, tea, etc. It does not mean alcohol and I believe there are recommendations not to drink alcohol at altitude.
    **************
    * thesilvertops *
    **************

  6. #6

    beer Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Escher
    I can't vouch for Guinness tasting anything like dehydrated yak's piss as I have never tasted the latter but I do love the former.
    Then, you will certainly love the latter too

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Per
    Then, you will certainly love the latter too
    So if I fancy a Guinness in Nepal then all I will have to do is persuade a thirsty Yak! Perphaps Yakshaving has a totally different meaning!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Just make a conscious effort to drink more than you think you need. And if you start to get a headache then drink some more, a liter or two of water is the best remedy. Don't worry too much about getting up at night to pee - you are likely to have interrupted sleep anyway*, and your body will want to pee to expel salts and electrolytes due to the blood chemical changes. Ideally your pee should be more clear than cloudy, if you are looking for visual confirmation.

    I love the Nepali tea - I think it is seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom and masala, they make it milky. You could take you own teabags if you have a preferred blend, maybe decaf. Actually tea is a bit of a diuretic which will impede your hydration, but the net gain is bound to be positive. When up high I usually have a taste for lemon tea, and I suspect that may be related to the change in body acidity from acclimatisation.

    I use a water filter pump rather than chemicals. I carry a few iodine tabs for emergencies but have never had to use them yet. Escher's Aqua Mira/Prisitine stuff seems rather good, IIRC you have to mix two components but its ready in minutes with no nasty taste and less effort than pumping. I shall be trying that next time I'm trekking.

    The main point it just drink plenty of fluids. I firmly believe this is every bit as important as sensible ascent rates.

    *I dream more often & vividly when sleeping high, probably due to light and interrupted sleeping. Has anyone else noticed this?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Escher
    So if I fancy a Guinness in Nepal then all I will have to do is persuade a thirsty Yak! Perphaps Yakshaving has a totally different meaning!
    No, yakshaving is yakshaving, no trick to it. But drinking Guinness is an aquired taste, and so is drinking yak water. I could get used to neither, tough I tried.
    yakshaver

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Drink Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Oli
    *I dream more often & vividly when sleeping high, probably due to light and interrupted sleeping. Has anyone else noticed this?
    I do dream more vividly at altitude but I am not sure whether I dream more when high, I guess it depends on what I have been smoking.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

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