Is it bad to drink coffee when climbing Kilimanjaro?
Is it bad to drink coffee when climbing Kilimanjaro? Some people have discussed how it is not good to consume coffee while climbing or hiking the Kilimanjaro mountain; you should not take any drink that has a lot of caffeine, especially when you are going at a high altitude; and today we explain why one should not take coffee or any drink that has caffeine when climbing Kilimanjaro mountain.
We are aware that the best method to prevent altitude sickness is to stay hydrated by consuming 4-5 liters of water daily. On the other hand, caffeine is a diuretic. There is a widespread misconception that caffeine hinders acclimation because it increases urination and water loss. It follows that consuming caffeine can cause dehydration and raise the risk of developing acute mountain sickness (AMS). We also need to understand if caffeine or drinking coffee while climbing or hiking the Kilimanjaro Mountain leads to dehydration.
Those who don’t regularly use the natural stimulant will experience caffeine’s diuretic effects. Regular coffee drinkers have a high tolerance for caffeine and don’t experience its diuretic effects. According to a study conducted at Everest base camp (17,536 ft/5,345m), the amount of urine passed by caffeine- and caffeine-free participants was the same. The level of hydration was the same in both groups. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like caffeine causes more dehydration.
There are also reports that caffeine increases ventilation. The amount of air that enters the lungs during inspiration (inhalation) and exits the lungs during expiration (pulmonary ventilation) is increased (exhalation). It causes you to breathe more quickly, in other words.
The FDA-approved medication for altitude sickness, Diamox, operates similarly. There is research that suggests coffee may help people adjust to high altitudes, even though no studies specifically address this. Researchers discovered that a high caffeine intake (approximately six and a half cups of coffee) boosted resting ventilation and the hypoxic ventilator response. This does seem to imply that coffee might facilitate acclimation by increasing oxygen consumption. However, it hasn’t been established whether caffeine might boost ventilation enough to quicken acclimation and avoid AMS.
Caffeine and Insomnia
Sleep issues are one of the negative effects of staying at a high altitude. This is a result of general respiratory issues that cause interrupted sleep, difficulty falling asleep, and frequent morning awakenings. Caffeine helps people stay awake and gives them energy. Numerous studies have found that caffeine, at least at low altitudes, can enhance athletic performance. Caffeine probably has the same effects at high altitudes. Consequently, coffee and other caffeinated drinks can be utilized as a technique to aid in reducing weariness during the daily walks on Kilimanjaro.
However, if you don’t consume coffee often, we advise avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon or evening. A climber must be able to relax and recover each night to be prepared for the activities of the following day. Sleep deprivation prevents acclimatization. Reduce your coffee intake if you have difficulties falling asleep.
Therefore, if you regularly consume coffee, by all means, keep doing so while ascending Kilimanjaro. It doesn’t seem to hinder acclimatization and might even be helpful. However, giving up coffee completely could be detrimental because it could lead to withdrawal from the stimulant caffeine. Those who don’t typically drink coffee ought to use it on the mountain with a bit more caution.
The performance-enhancing properties of caffeine may be advantageous at altitude, but its disruption of sleep may be detrimental. As a result, we advise taking caffeine in smaller, less frequent dosages and ceasing, preferably by early afternoon. This holds true for both coffee and supplements containing caffeine, such as energy tablets, beverages, and gels. We will make certain that you have the best beverages so that you can have the best time climbing Kilimanjaro without difficulty.