Eating and combating nausea on the trails

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Mel McKinney
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Postby Mel McKinney » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:35 am

del_sur wrote:Tums have no significant effect on Aspirin, other than to minimize any stomach irritation if you take a non-enteric coated aspirin tab.
Q. Who should NOT take aspirin?

A. Generally, people who have:
allergy to aspirin or other salicylates
uncontrolled high blood pressure
severe liver or kidney disease
bleeding disorders

Would drinking a lot of beer equate to a liver disorder? :wink:
I actually have stopped carrying straight water on a trip but now mix in Gatorade or Hammer Gel in the water. I find if I remember to keep drinking I have a better chance of not getting nauseous. You just have to clean out your Camelback right away to keep it from getting gunky inside.
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Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:41 am

ccunnin wrote:Water, water, and water the night before a climb.

Excuse me, I need to pee.
AC 0000000
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Postby Presto » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:29 am

I agree with some of what bcitsthere has to say. Pre-hydrate and eat carbs the day before the climb (pasta, etc.). I usually bring four types of food with me: sweet, salty, bland, spicy. Depending upon the day, I might choose cashews (salty), dark chocolate (sweet), cajun trail mix (spicy) or a red apple (bland). Often times, I've consumed enough food the day before that minor snacking will suffice the day of the climb. One more thing, be sure to eat and drink something on the summit. It will help to curb nausea on the way down. Just imagine how a bag of potato chips looks in your car on the way to the trailhead. It expands and wants out of the bag. In retrospect, the same occurs (usually with an empty lightweight plastic water bottle) when it caves in after driving back to town. The same thing happens with your body (thus, the swelling affect some people have with their hands and maybe burping more on the trail) ... be sure to fill that "cavity" even if its just with a little food and water before descending.
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Postby conradical » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:32 pm

MythBusters did confirm ginger for seasickness:

Couldn't get the link to post right because of syntax, have to copy/paste.

I don't have much problem with my stomach, but find that I naturally follow quite a few of the suggestions posted.

A breakfast of bananas and instant oatmeal, avoid fruit juices because of the acid burps. Snacks often, including PB&J and bananas. Lots of water. I find that energy gels cause me more problem than they're worth, including stomach problems while hiking and other side-effects after the fact :oops:
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Postby beaulanier » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:36 pm

I apply what I've learned/read from cycling/mtbing. Ive turned several of my friends onto this of varying ability levels/body types, and they all do better.

Via road biking university studies: 1-2g of carb/kg lean body mass/hr of hard exertion.....during the effort. I find 1g carb per kg per hr is good, with a 3 hr max.

So, if I'm hiking a 14er for several hours, I bring 3hrs worth of energy drink/sugar mixed in a gallon of water in a Camelbak rez. I weigh 68kg, so I bring @200g of powder (powder is prettymuch pure carbs) mixed in the water.

I use Cytomax, you can pick it up at Performance bike. Works like a charm. You'll have lactic acid buffers, hydration, and energy.

For breakfast I eat a bowl of brown rice and four eggs. Easy to digest, and all your macronutrients.

On the trail I bring baggies of rice with raisins mixed in. Ratio is about 1/2 cup dry rice (cooked of course) with 60g raisins. If you use brown rice, this gives you a few grams of fat, and 2/3 of your carbs from starch, 1/3 from sugar, much of it in the useable form of glucose (raisins are half glucose). This is the basic ratio of most good performance bars.

Fat generally will slow down your system while under exertion. That means nuts. On 14er hikes, you are generally moving hard enough to get your heart rate above 150-160 beats per min, at which point fat is not the best fuel.

On the top, I eat some baked chicken thighs and more rice. Fat, protein, and carbs, simple, easy to digest. Then chill with the views for a while.

Drink the Cytomax all the way up and down, and use the rice/raisin mix. Eat and drink BEFORE you are thirsty/hungry.....if you feel hungry its too late. Altitude complicates this by supressing hunger/thirst.

When you are finished, if you have worked hard enough to earn it, your muscles will be extremely glycogen receptive. There is a proven window 1hr after exertion. So carb load then, you'll recover faster and be less sore. The ratio then is 1g carb/kg lean body mass/hr, 2 hrs worth works best. Mix your favorite protein powder in this after-cocktail at the ratio of 4g carbs to 1g protein. Drink RIGHT after you get finished, over one hour.

You'll be a machine.
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Postby lodidodi » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:49 pm

I just bring things I know I'll eat, snickers and starbursts!
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Postby Presto » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:25 pm

I just bring things I know I'll eat, snickers and starbursts!

That's the wisest thing I've read so far! :D
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Postby Bill Morrison » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:14 pm

My one constant has been to drink a sufficient amount of water. Nothing in particular has ever made me nauseous while hiking. I would say, eat a good breakfast except, to my wife's consternation, I have climbed 14ers after consuming several donuts and a Coke on the way to the trailhead (not a regular nor a recommended practice).
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Postby MountainHiker » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:09 pm

Here's another link with info on altitude and acclimatization.

I will also chime in about the water. I will typically drink 3+ liters from when I leave the city on Friday afternoon until I start hiking the next morning. I often drink some juice the night before and maybe chocolate milk. As for food the night before maybe a bagel with meat and cheese, or we might stop for fast food. I then pack 3 liters for the hike and make sure there's plenty of water (and a couple cold pop) waiting for me when I return.

I also found that spending the night at the trailhead instead of driving up that morning is huge for letting my body get some adapting out of the way before the hike. When I first started climbing fourteeners it was common for me to get a headache or feel nausea. That became far less common after about 20 fourteeners. I think it was a combination of my body getting better at acclimating and me learning how to help it acclimate.

As for food my tastes have changed over the years. These days I start the day with a bagel and chocolate milk. I then eat carrots early in the hike. I also pack a cut-up apple and orange. For the summit a bagel with meat and cheese. I also have at least a couple power bars, goos and trail mix which I may or may not eat. When I get back to the vehicle I look forward to potato chips. Obviously nausea is not an issue for me, but it still matters what and how much I eat and drink and when.

I think what is huge is having your body in as good a place as possible starting the hike. Then working to maintain that. The drive can be the downfall. Allow time to stop or have food and drink that is convenient to consume on the way. Have a water bottle next to you when you sleep. If you're not getting up to pee a couple times during the night you're probably not drinking enough. Your body will experience a diuresis while acclimating. Don't resist this just because getting up is a pain.

Not everybody acclimates the same way but if you can get into a routine that works for you things should get better.
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Postby RD-Biker » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:44 pm

I've been a road cyclist for more years than I care to count. Back when I first started riding, I used bananas, fig bar, granola bars, and watered down Gaterade. Over the years I switch to the powdered drinks, energy bars and now gels.

So, I applied the knowledge of what worked for me to the Mtns. I use the same stuff and increase the amounts based on how long I'm going to be out, and throw in double, just in-case. So I'd suggest you go buy several different kinds of energy bars, gels, and drinks. Use them locally when you exercise, and find what works for you

I also agree that a pain reliever of some kind, is good to take with some food before you start. I've never tried an anti-acid, but I've not had stomach issues either.

Good luck with it
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Postby Gossnath » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:13 pm

I'm right there with lodidodi, I can't force myself to eat Clif Bars or a whole lot of other stuff that is supposedly great for you, but snickers is always good and pretty good for you.
My new thing is to alyways chug a liter of water just before getting on the trail cause you can lose a lot of water overnight just breathing, and wake up pretty dehydrated even though you don't feel it.
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Postby ketel1 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:42 am

I have not gotten nausea on a hike before but I do get motion sickness when flying and boating. I buy ginger in capsule form for when I fly. I take them with water before boarding the plane. I have just discovered them, so cannot tell if they will work for me on a boat -Boats can make me very sick. I do have experience eating ginger snap cookies while on a boat, and being 'revived' by a home-made ginger ale, using 7-up and fresh ginger. That one saved me once on a ferry from LA to Catalina. It REALLY worked wonders.

I agree with the hydration suggestions, too, and the PBJs. You can never be too hydrated and the fats, sugars and salts in PBJs are excellent for providing energy and electrolytes. So-get some ginger snaps, and drink your water, and eat a PBJ for lunch.
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." ~Christopher Reeve

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