Dehydration in Tahoe

Hydration at elevation

Lake Tahoe has plenty to do for everyone, all year round. But spending time in the high-mountains can also dehydrate you faster than you may think. Here are a few of the most common causes for dehydration in Tahoe:

1. Altitude

The altitude causes the kidneys to diurese – meaning excrete more fluid.

2. Dry climate

The low humidity causes insensible water loss, which means losing water through evaporation off your skin and in the air you breathe.

3. Increased cardiac output

Your heart has to work harder to compensate for the decreased oxygen.

4. Acute Mountain Sickness

AMS causes symptoms of anorexia and nausea, which means you don’t feel like hydrating yourself.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol is also a diuretic, and people tend to consume it when they are on vacation.

6. The Hypoxic Ventilatory Response

You breathe faster due to the lower oxygen – which increases your insensible losses.

Staying hydrated in Lake Tahoe takes constant effort. You need to drink an extra 1.5L of water at Tahoe elevation compared to sea level, and that is just at rest. Now increase that if you are going boating, skiing, mountain biking, hiking or doing any of the other activities there are to enjoy in Tahoe.

If you are going to drink alcohol, you need to increase your water intake even more.

Stay on top of your hydration and you will stay out of trouble. However, if some of those factors catch up with you and you have headache, nausea, weakness, and fatigue as a result of dehydration, then just give us a call. You don’t want to miss out on your precious time in Tahoe!

Sources

  1. Short-term responses of the kidney to high altitude in mountain climbers
  2. High-altitude medicine
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