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The Effect of Altitude Sickness, Dehydration and Failing to Eat on Tournament Performance
 
by
Grace Castleman
 
     Altitude sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen when traveling to higher altitudes.  At 7000 feet, if your body has not had proper time to acclimate, serious problems may occur.  Some of the symptoms are headache, nausea, and lack of appetite.  Dehydration and overexertion can also be contributing factors of altitude sickness.  When doing any form of exercise at high altitudes, you must make sure that you eat plenty of carbohydrates and drink lots of fluids to prevent yourself from getting sick.  Carbs include pastas, breads, and other grains along with meats.  Foods like this will give you energy and endurance whle exercising.  In other words:  carbs = energy = good performance as an athlete.  Especially when you go to all-day tournaments you must take care to drink plenty of fluids and eat carbs.  Carbohydrates (in your body) are turned into glucose.  Glucose is carried through your body and turned into energy.  Everything you do requires energy, even the little things, like brushing your teeth or writing a letter.  When competing you must eat, even if you're not hungry.  If you don't you will run out of energy, resulting in the day being a failure.
 
     (Note:  Grace Castleman is an AC Fencer.  She is a Junior Teaching Assistant (green shirt).  Her primary weapon is epee.  She wrote this article after suffering the effects of altitude sickness, dehydration and lack of food at a tournament in Santa Fe.  She speaks from experience.)

     This page is here as a place for AC Fencers to write about their fencing experiences or to share fencing related information with others.  If you have something you would like to submit for this page, please email it to Coach Slaughter at coach@acfencers.com.
     Articles may be edited to correct grammatical mistakes at the whim of Coach Slaughter.  He may also choose to print it exactly as submitted so authors should proofread for grammar and spelling mistakes before submission.  If you fail to title the article, Coach Slaughter will do that for you.