When it comes to venturing into high-altitude destinations, the process of acclimation becomes vital to your experience. In this guide, we'll cover how long does it take to acclimate to elevation, with our top seven tips on how you can acclimate quicker.
Acclimating to elevation is a gradual and complex process that varies from person to person and depends on several factors. Being based out of Colorado, we see it vary how long does it take to adjust to altitude in Denver, from a day or two to sometimes up to a week.
Whether you're planning a high-altitude trek or simply visiting a mountainous destination, understanding the dynamics of acclimation to elevation can significantly enhance your experience. In this case, we'll provide you the average time it takes for someone to acclimate.
You'll find a variation of times based on who you listen to, so to help we compiled many sources to give you the most accurate answer. Here's on average how long it takes to acclimate to elevation:
How long does it take to acclimate to elevation, cited by multiple credible sources:
To summarize, it takes on average 1-5 days to acclimate to elevation based on a variety of notable sources.
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a physiological reaction that occurs at high elevation mainly due to lower oxygen levels.
Hypoxia is the result of the body's struggle to adapt to the decreased oxygen levels. As a response to the reduced oxygen, your body goes through various adjustments to cope, known as acclimatization.
Altitude sickness can manifest in a range of symptoms, which may include:
With this range of symptoms, altitude sickness can usually develop within 6-24 hours. To ensure a better high elevation experience, keep reading to learn how you can acclimate quicker.
While sources says it takes on average 1-5 days to acclimate, science shows it take longer to fully adjust to high altitude.
According to the science noted by iRunFar, to fully adapt to high altitude can take a minimum of 2 weeks, but preferred 4 weeks as there are substantially more benefits over that time period.⁵
Here's how long until your body fully adjusts to altitude:
This does not mean you'll experience altitude sickness weeks after arriving to a high elevation destination. Instead, this points to the body's ability to fully adjust and adapt.
This science comes in handy for professional athletes and serious trekkers, or simply someone wondering how long it takes to fully acclimate when moving to a high altitude location.
To maximize your experience, for your mountain adventure we lay out the best tips on how you can acclimate quicker.
As a company based in the high elevations of Colorado, we have over ten years of experience and research on acclimating.
Here's 7 Tips On How You Can Acclimate Quicker:
By incorporating these seven tips into your high-altitude journey, you can help your body's ability to adapt quicker. These steps to take include ascending slowly, maximizing hydration, taking breaks often, limiting strenuous activity, sleeping well, avoiding alcohol, and taking antioxidants.
Now that you know how long does it take to acclimate to elevation and how to acclimate faster, you can enjoy a smoother and more comfortable trip!
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1. FitForTravel - Altitude and Travel
2. Outdoor Action Guide to High Altitude: Acclimatization and Illnesses
3. How Much Do You Know About Altitude Acclimatization?
4. How To Acclimatize To High Altitude
5. Into Thin Air: The Science of Altitude Acclimation
6. What To Expect When Moving To A Higher Elevation
7. Why Do You Need to Drink a Lot of Water at a High Altitude?
8. Sleep: The Secret Ingredient of Injury Recovery
9. Effects of Alcohol
10. High altitude and oxidative stress
11. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
12. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure