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Top 3 remedies to beat altitude sickness





It’s a fact of living in the mountains: every once in a while, especially for visitors and newcomers, the high altitude may creep up on you, leading to altitude sickness.

Thankfully, we’re not talking Himalaya levels of altitude in Big Sky, so most people that experience altitude sickness there will face what’s known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), the mildest and most common version of the affliction.

Altitude sickness, in a nutshell, is your body’s reaction to receiving less oxygen from the thinner air that exists at higher altitudes, a reality that most can easily adapt to with time but can spell the most trouble for people accustomed to a lower elevation. For example, someone from Miami will struggle more than someone from, say, a Denver or a Boise.

Most cite 8,000 feet as a common threshold for symptoms, meaning anyone hiking, skiing or mountain biking in mountains of the Big Sky area can be impacted. 

AMS symptoms include a throbbing headache, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, lethargy, a loss of appetite and a difficulty sleeping. In most instances, time will help people adapt and overcome the conditions, but a few key remedies may make all the difference for short-term visitors.

Here are our top three:


LMNT RECHARGE is like powdered Gatorade, but on steroids. A tasty electrolyte drink mix that is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and is perfectly suited to folks following keto, low-carb, or paleo diets (like many athletes in the area), this product is the perfect hydrating mix to keep that head from pounding as you hit the slopes and peaks. Hydration is a huge part of beating AMS, so why not enhance that process and be proactive?

2. Oxygen Plus (O+)

One of the reasons people become so impacted by altitude is that aforementioned low levels of oxygen compared to lower evelations. Voila: portable, canned oxygen, like that made possible by Oxygen Plus (O+). Each canister contains pure recreational oxygen for natural energy and recovery, aiding everything from high altitude ventures, to hangovers, to workouts and afternoon workday slumps. The versatility of the product and the ease at which one can pack several canisters of Oxygen Plus (O+) easily puts this product on our shortlist for any venture around Big Sky.

3. Rest and abstaining from alcohol

A body well-maintained is ultimately the best therapy in beating altitude sickness, meaning you should get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and refrain from drinking alcohol on your trip to Big Sky. Of course, this is easier said than done on a vacation to our mountain town, known for good times any time of day and in any setting. Don’t let a fear of altitude sickness curb the fun, sidelining you to the bedroom while the rest of the gang skies all day and parties all night. Reference the above products, and similar items, to cheat the system.

Joseph T. O'Connor is the Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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