I do not do well at high altitude. This is an unfortunate fact, given part of my job is to trek to mountain towns and then proceed to do active things during the day and drown myself in booze at night. I’ve basically accepted that I will have a throbbing headache and little to no appetite anytime I go over 7,000 feet (this is part of the reason I stay away from Colorado.)
But it’s 2016, and since it seems like they’ve figured out solutions for just about everything these days, I thought maybe it would make sense to test out some products that claim to help with this affliction. And wouldn’t you know a couple of very nice PR people sent me some products they claimed might help.
The first one I tried out was Beet Performer Beet juice. Since beets grow underground, they probably negate the altitude thing, right? Who knows, but Beet Performer makes all sorts of claims unsubstantiated by the FDA on the can, such as it can aid in your cardiovascular health. With a pounding headache at around 8,500 feet, I decided to give it a shot.
My first impressions, it’s thick and would likely make a really good hair or clothing die. It smells like dirt, which is basically because that’s what beets smell like. While perhaps more appropriate for a vampire-themed party, I bravely took a sip. The verdict, it tastes like beets. Now with each sip I took and each bold claim I read on the label, I will say I did feel a bit better. And when I was finished, I really didn’t have a headache anymore. Was it the juice? The passage of time? Placebo effect? The world may never know, but I didn’t regret drinking it, so that’s something!
Another product on the market I tested, one which seems a bit more logical, is Oxygen Plus – mini canisters of grapefruit-flavored, oxygen-infused air. Although I was feeling pretty good after my beet juice regimen, I decided to take a few breaths of these as well to see if I would feel super human, or at least, motivated to leave the hotel room. In a process which somewhat reminded me of doing whip-its in high school, you take the little canister and spray air into your mouth and inhale deeply. I wouldn’t say it tasted like grapefruit, or anything really, and it didn’t have the fun giggle-effects of nitrous. No, it pretty much did nothing apparent. That said, I kept taking hits and I did make it out of the hotel room that night.
After my extensive testing, I have decided that the best treatment for altitude sickness is still a shit ton of water and a couple Advil. But if you’re like me, these products may be worth a shot for improving your high-altitude experience.