It is well known that many athletes travel to the mountains for training camps over a number of weeks per year. The purpose of this is to increase the production and amount of red blood cells (i.e., erythropoietin) they have so that they are then able to improve the amount of oxygen they can transport to muscles during training and competition. The ability to transport more oxygen then leads to quicker, stronger and better performance than their opponents. However, this type of training and experience isn’t available for all. If only there was a way that we could spend time at altitude without the need to go anywhere…
At The Altitude Centre, we supply sleep systems for those who are wanting to spend a longer period of time than a training session at altitude. How does it work? All you need is a tent and generator, along with some minor equipment, all of which we can provide. Through sleeping at altitude, you will be able to get on average 8 hours (depending on how long you sleep!) per day spent in this environment. But how do we know this will actually lead to improved red blood count and subsequent performance?
A group of researchers in Australia recently published a study that analysed haemoglobin content, the part which carries oxygen in the blood to muscles and waste product away from the muscles, in athletes before and after a training camp at altitude. The main findings were that within the first 2 days, haemoglobin levels rapidly increased following ascent to altitude. When returning back to sea level, the elevated haemoglobin levels were maintained for a further 2 weeks.
Therefore, if you have a major event coming up this year and are looking to perform at your absolute best, it is worth investing in an altitude sleep system. The benefits of this will include an increase in the amount of red blood cells you have, the amount of oxygen your blood cells can carry, and the amount of waste product you can remove. All in all, you’ll be able to perform better!
We usually recommend a 4-6 week period of sleeping at altitude, but get in touch with us for more information at 0207 193 1626 or [email protected].
Lobigs, L. M. et al. (2018). American Journal of Hematology, 93(1), 74-83.