Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!

“Beet juice is handy to know about if you live in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or even higher than 5000 or 7200 feet.  Help protect your low attitude guests so they enjoy their visit.” Bill Chesnut, MD
January 12, 2016
Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!
Hitting the ski slopes or another high-altitude terrain this winter? Channel your inner mountain goat all you like, but you may want to pack some beet juice for good measure. Altitude sickness — which affects about half of all travelers to elevations above 8,000 feet, regardless of fitness level — can seriously cramp your vacation style with several days of light-headedness, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Your blood vessels, which deliver oxygen throughout your body, depend on the oxygen in the air to do their job. It normally takes several days for your blood vessels to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels — a process called acclimatization — but researchers have found that drinking beet juice can speed up the process. The magic ingredient in this jewel-colored root vegetable? Nitrate. Your body converts this compound to nitric oxide, which helps to normalize blood vessel function. (That same mechanism may explain why beet juice has been shown to benefit athletes and people with heart failure.) More time enjoying the mountains? This idea just can’t be “beet”!