Product Review: Altitude Adapt
now also know as Neo40 by NeoGenis
(a.k.a. my new go-to supplement for conquering Acute Mountain Sickness!)
by Michelle M Pearson
We had already planned to return to Pikes Peak and needed to schedule that before the window of good weather closed and heavy snows set in, especially because I would be climbing alone this time. Don’t get me wrong, as shown in the picture, there is already plenty of snow on the trail, just not several feet of it yet! We spotted a week of great weather forecasts for Pikes Peak early in the week of Thanksgiving. On short notice, Altitude Adapt sent my samples by express shipping and enabled us to time our ascent for one of the most gorgeous weather days expected this winter.
The day we arrived in Colorado Springs, I took two Altitude Adapt lozenges about 6 hours apart and hydrated well. I ate a vegan dinner, no caffeine for two days prior, and no alcohol (which is my custom, but worth mentioning for those taking notes.) I do not exclusively eat vegan, although about 80% of my meals are veggies. This meal was a strategic part of my plan to increase the nitric oxide in my blood and to be sure I digested that meal well, all in preparation for the next day. We got to bed early (with gear already packed) and enjoyed a full 9 hours of sleep!
We woke before dawn and I took my first Altitude Adapt lozenge of the day about 5:30am. We drove out to Divide, CO and the Crags trailhead. I started up the mountain at dawn, temperature was about 29 degrees, and the altitude was 9,165′. I had 100 ounces of water in my hydration pack.
Thirty minutes into the hike, I was stripping away layers of down and thermals, stuffing all the excess into my pack. But, I observed that except for overdressing and a heavy pack, as the trail started to steepen, I felt great, was pacing well, with NO AMS symptoms!
About half way up the mountain, two local mountain guides, who I affectionately named Barbie and Skipper, passed me in shorts at a near run. OK, so that was lousy. I am out there, after all, in the freezing temps, in the snow, by myself, dressed for an arctic ice storm, conquering my mountain, uh, mountain sickness, and they just whiz by in shorts. But… I still have no symptoms! So, undeterred, I smile and wave… smile and wave…
After a bit, another local hiker passed by me and then proceeded to get off the trail down below me. She hollered for some help and not thinking for a minute that she is the local and I am not, I went to help find her trail, got myself way off course and hiked a considerable way down the mountain with no sign of the trail. Then, thinking up is the way we should go, I found my way back up the incline, back to the trail, realizing I was on the trail to begin with and should never have left it! That was a DUH! moment.
Interestingly, even after all that extra exertion of the descent and the climb back up, I still had no signs of AMS at all! However, it had been several hours since my first lozenge, so I did decide at that time to use my second lozenge of the day. The Altitude Adapt was working so well for me that I certainly wanted it continue for the rest of my climb!
Just after taking my second lozenge, the unexpected happened.
Somehow in the scrambling around, I had pulled my right groin muscle. As I endeavored to hike on, every step increased in pain and it became apparent that I was injured worse than I first thought and was heading for trouble.
I had left instructions with my husband to expect me by 2:00pm. If I hadn’t arrived by then, he was to call the Rangers. That would have been 3+ hours past my expected arrival. I could see the top; I was above the trees; but I could no longer lift my right leg and pain was about 11 on a scale of 1-10.
Decision time. Quit, sit, and wait for the $500 Ranger rescue team to arrive OR dig in to inner strength, motivated by the reason I am out here in the first place, and start walking. Poles in hand, leading with the left, dragging the right, over the rocks, tears freezing on my cheeks, I started walking forward.
Three hours later than anticipated, but one hour earlier than my cutoff time, I popped up over the ridge line and finished! Cheering and hollering, I headed over to the warm, waiting van and the care of my husband, both my physician and my trainer, I fell across the seat crying… this time, not from the pain, but in the joy of the personal victory!
Here’s the deal on my product review: Through it all, through the snow, the 7 degree temperatures in the wind chill the last two hours, in the reduced oxygen of 13,080′ altitude, with the injury and excruciating extra exertion of the final two hours, I had NO altitude sickness, NO AMS at all. No headache, no nausea, no dizziness, no GI distress, none.
As I savored the moment, a cup of hot cocoa and some dark chocolate (also great for increasing nitric oxide), and one of those famous (but not-so-great) Pikes Peak summit donuts, I added Altitude Adapt to my “always carry” list.
Update 02/29/2016 I have since completed Kilimanjaro to beyond high camp, and hiked Pikes Peak multiple times since, every time with Altitude Adapt, now also know as Neo40 by NeoGenis
See you on the mountain tops! (Or from them if you snooze.)
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