ReFuel Summer 2019:20 - Page 14

TOP TIPS FOR SUMMER ALTITUDE TRAINING Energy, iron and hydration.. UNDERSTANDING THE DEMANDS Training at altitude can enhance athletic training adaptations and performance. The effects of combining altitude and heat are also thought to provide further benefits to the athlete. Understandably, this imposes some tough physiological stress on the body. The known benefit altitude training provides includes increased haemoglobin mass, increased blood volume and improved capacity of oxygen delivery to the muscles (i.e. V02Max). Whereas adaptions from heat acclimatisation are increased blood plasma volume and reduced thermal and cardiovascular stress on the body. blood cell adaptations. ¾ ¾ Energy availability: requirements at altitude likely increase due to a raised resting metabolic rate. Maintaining energy balance is critical, otherwise training performance is dampened, and increases in haemoglobin mass may be compromised as well as muscle recovery. Important factors to consider are meal temperature, osmolality and exercise intensity. High GI carbohydrates during and immediately after exercise are preferred, and main meals favour complex CONSIDERATIONS ¾ ¾ Iron levels: Iron is an essential component of red blood cells and requirements at altitude increase to upwards of 50–100 mg of elemental iron/day to support red 14 ReFuel Magazine Summer 2019-20 SUBSCRIBE HERE carbohydrates (low GI) such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. ¾ ¾ Fluid: hydration is very important in hot and hypoxic environments. Increased risk of dehydration due to increased respiratory water loss (enhanced ventilation) is possible. Fluid intake of water, salt, carb-electrolyte drinks and juices should be used to aid hydration. Liquid carbohydrate beverages can also optimise energy availability when appetite may be suppressed in these environments or due to gastrointestinal issues. ZARA NANCE A Sports Dietitian with a keen interest in the everyday athlete and weekend warrior, currently working in weight-loss and as a clinical educator for University of QLD.