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MAKING MOLEHILLS OUT OF MOUNTAINS: Maintaining High Performance at Altitude

Friedlander, Anne L. Ph.D.; Braun, Barry Ph.D., FACSM; Marquez, Juan B.A.

doi: 10.1249/01.FIT.0000312429.67946.07

LEARNING OBJECTIVE • To understand the challenges associated with altitude exposure and learn simple measures that can be used to mitigate those challenges.

Altitude can be a harsh environment that presents several physiological stresses such as reduced oxygen delivery, potential dehydration, energy defi cit, and acute mountain sickness (AMS). This article provides practical recommendations that can be used to minimize symptoms of AMS and optimize the preservation of performance.

Anne L. Friedlander, Ph.D., is the director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Clinical Studies Unit at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She also is the director of the Mobility Project for the Stanford Center on Longevity and serves as a consulting professor within the Program of Human Biology at Stanford University. Her current research focuses on the interaction between environment (altitude and heat) and physical function and on developing new methods to improve mobility throughout the life span.

Barry Braun, Ph.D., FACSM, is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory. His current research is centered on the interactions between exercise and diet and/or pharmacological agents in opposing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Juan Marquez has a B.A. from Stanford University where he studied Human Biology with an emphasis on exercise physiology. His research interests include performance at altitude and sports nutrition.

© 2008 American College of Sports Medicine