Supplements For High Altitude Training: Comprehensive Nutrient Guide

Supplements For High Altitude Training

Proper nutrition is the key to success in any athletic endeavor. With the help of this comprehensive nutrient guide on supplements for high altitude training, you will learn how to fuel your body with the best nutrients for supplementation.

Supplements For High Altitude Training

High altitude training is a great way to boost your VO2 max and improve your athletic performance. However, the air is thinner at high altitude. For this reason, your body needs more oxygen to function properly, and you'll quickly get out of breath and be at high risk of altitude sickness or lessened performance

Adjusting to high altitude running or training is very difficult. Keep reading below, we'll talk about supplements for high altitude training and some of the top different nutrients that could improve your high altitude training efforts.

What Is High Altitude Training?

Athletes and coaches have been using high altitude training for decades to improve their athletic performance. 

At higher altitudes there's less oxygen available than at sea level. This means that there are fewer molecules of oxygen per breath available for your body to use during exercise — which means that you have to work harder just to perform at the same intensity as you would at sea level.

As a result of this increased workload during exercise, your body adapts by increasing its ability to deliver oxygen more efficiently throughout the body — hence why many people refer to high altitude training for high altitude running or biking (also see hydration chews for running), high altitude marathons, or even sea level athletic competitions. 

High altitude training refers to any location above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet). This includes mountains such as Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet) or Mount Everest (29,029 feet), but also extends to locations like Denver (5,280 feet), Flagstaff (6,909 feet), and Mexico City (7,350 feet).

High Altitude Training Benefits

When you go to high elevation, your body needs to adapt. That's why people who live in the mountains or at higher altitudes have more red blood cells than sea level dwellers, which allows them to absorb oxygen more efficiently and deliver it to working muscles more quickly.

The benefits of high altitude training include:

  • Increased red blood cell counts.¹ This can increase the delivery of oxygen throughout your body, which results in increased endurance and improved performance.
  • Increased aerobic capacity.¹ This can help increase your oxygen intake, also referred to as your VO2 max. 
  • Improved recovery after exercise.¹ This can result in fewer muscle cramps and decreased lactic acid production during competition as well as faster recovery between hard efforts during competition or practice sessions.

3 Nutrients To Supplement For High Altitude Training 

Altitude training is a tried and true way to get an edge over the competition. But there's one big catch: If you train at high altitude without taking supplements, you're potentially in for a world of hurt and could set your body back.

This means you need to take the right nutrition to stay on top of your game. Taking supplements for high altitude training will help keep your body healthy, avoid altitude sickness, while also improving your performance.

Fortunately, we've done years of research on the best nutrients for high altitudes. Here are the top three nutrients that can help you perform at high altitude and avoid altitude sickness:

1. Glutathione

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in the body’s natural defense against oxidative stress. This is particularly important during high-altitude training and competition because of the increased exposure to oxidative stress caused by hypoxia, or lack of oxygen.

  • One study out of India showed high altitude to decrease Glutathione levels by up to 45%! 
Glutathione supplementation has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress caused by exercise, which can help improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue. This combination of benefits is a game-changer to supplement for high altitude training. Try Zaca's altitude adjustment packets that are loaded with Glutathione.

2. DHM (or Hovenia Dulcis)

DHM along with the plant it's extracted from, Hovenia Dulcis, is a herb that has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been recently shown improve athletic performance at high altitudes and lower fatigue.

  • One study from 2013 proves this herb to improve high altitude physical performance.³

  • Another study out of South Korea showed a significant anti-fatigue effect from this herbs which enhanced physical activity.⁴ 
DHM and Hovenia Dulcis have such strong anti-stress and antioxidant properties for high altitude performance, making it a key supplement for high altitude training.

3. Glutamine 

Glutamine is a popular supplement for high altitude training because of its role in fluid and electrolyte absorption, and is also essential for recovery and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Glutamine supplementation has been shown to improve exercise performance in endurance athletes due to its wide range of benefits. It also plays a role in reducing fatigue, muscle soreness, and muscle repair — especially after exercise and sometimes referred as a muscle hydration supplement.

  • Glutamine was shown in a study in Brazil to decrease high altitude negative effects on mood and cognition.⁵
If you are training at high altitude or planning a trip to high altitude, it's important to consider supplementing with glutamine before your trip so that you have enough in your system during exercise and travel. 

Top-Rated Supplement For High Altitude Training

Altitude Training Supplement
At Zaca, we formulated a chewable with all three of the top high altitude nutrients, including Glutathione, Hovenia Dulcis, and Glutamine. It was developed by Colorado mountain-goers and tested by customers at highest peaks throughout the Rocky Mountains. Our chewable is easy to take on-the-go and designed to boost high altitude performance and enhance training. Simply take a packet of chewables to rehydrate, replenish, and recover fast. Try Zaca chewable tablets today and optimize your performance in the mountains.



1. All About High Altitude Fitness Training
2. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
3. Dihydromyricetin Improves Physical Performance under Simulated High Altitude
4. Anti-fatigue activity of Hovenia dulcis on a swimming mouse model through the inhibition of stress hormone expression and antioxidation
5. The Possible Importance of Glutamine Supplementation to Mood and Cognition in Hypoxia from High Altitude