Do you ever wonder what can possibly go wrong when you consume alcohol at high altitude?
I bet you don’t. So read this article to find out and stay safe!
Consuming alcohol is more of a vice than virtue when it comes to mountains and especially at high altitudes.
Getting high by such resorts might seem to be a good way to bury your worries and enjoy your life. But believe me, you would be making it even worse. Instead let the mountains do their charm and help you escape into the heavenly abode. Trust me, it’s even better than getting drunk.
Now that I have given my verdict that you shouldn’t consume alcohol while on the trek.
Let’s understand why there is a big NO to drinking.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DRINK ALCOHOL?
You lose your body heat
When the alcohol hits your system, no matter how little, it increases the rate of Adrenalin, which causes blood vessel to dilate, and this dilation makes the blood flow easily from the core of your body towards the superficial areas like the skin. As the blood moves to the surface, a very high amount of your body heat is lost, leaving your core cold from within.
You lose water from the body
Along with the body heat, a plentiful amount of water is lost in form of vapor. Also, alcohol is a strong diuretic. Which means it causes increased passing of urine. Since you are in a cold climate and you are, it is not favorable to lose body fluids.
Your metabolism gets affects
Our body can metabolize only small amounts of alcohol at a time, the remaining alcohol is left coursing through your body. With excessive alcohol consumption, the alcohol that stays in your bloodstream can lead to organ damage and other medical conditions.Your liver, which is responsible for the metabolism of alcohol, also is responsible for the filtration and subsequent storage of certain nutrients, including iron. Which implies the change in metabolism will subsequently interfere with haemoglobin’s capacity to absorb oxygen.
Your sanity and judgement gets affected
Well there is nothing much here to say because I’m pretty sure you know what I mean!
WHAT CAN THESE ABOVE CONDITIONS LEAD TO?
When you lose body heat, it might seem fine for you, but is not at all fine for your normal body functions and metabolism to work sufficiently.
Vital organs especially the heart and the brain, definitely can’t function normally with even slightly low body temperature. Eventually leading to hypothermia, which can be potentially dangerous and sometimes even fatal.
Whenever you are on a trek, the most fundamental rule is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Would you consider it to be good if you end up losing more water in just few hours then you actually drank through the day? Obviously NOT!
Dehydration is indeed a crucial medical condition. But what’s more important is that dehydration can make you more susceptible to a critical ailment like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
AMS (Acute Mountains Sickness)
AMS is a medical condition which simply means that your body is not adapting to the altitude because it is not getting the oxygen it needs to function. It might kick in as a mild condition, but it may end up causing High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and/or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).
(From what might you have heard)
“One of the best things to keep your body warm while trekking is rum or brandy!”
The above phrase might look apt but the real fact is that it’s a myth.
Many people have misconception about alcohol that it is the easiest and an economical way to warm up a body. But like we discussed, alcohol dilates the blood vessels, giving a false sense of warmth and affecting your thermal regulation and sweat control.
MY TAKE ON THIS SUBJECT
You have the whole of your life to enjoy the alcohol. So why not just enjoy the serenity and the beauty of the trek?
So avoid drinking alcohol, and instead start drinking plenty of water.
The information provided in this blog has been compiled from various sources and some personal experiences. So there is a possibility that the information contained on this page may not be accurate to the fullest. But I hope, it is pretty much sufficient to encourage you not to engage in consuming alcohol while on the treks.0