Food and drinks
On your journey to Tajikistan, you should drink only bottled table water or mineral water. In many countries it is not recommended to drink the water from water taps as there is a risk of gastrointestinal infections,. Often intestines discomfort, sometimes followed by diarrhea is connected with change of climate or new and/or fatty foods which you are not accustomed to. But sometimes indisposition can be caused by bacterial, virus or parasitic diseases. Most infections get into your body through the consumption of water or food. If you want to minimize the chances of diarrhea on your trip it is recommended to consider the following simple rules:
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, especially if you intend to eat them uncooked and raw. After washing rinse them off not with running water but with bottled water.
- Do not buy already prepared salads (often called Korean salads in Tajikistan) at markets and bazaars. No matter how good they look, especially at high temperature during summer or early autumn, the prepared salads go off very quickly within one and a half hours.
- Do not eat spicy food on an empty stomach.
- Do not drink water from a tap. Local drinking water of good quality is cheap and is sold everywhere.
- In the case of diarrhea, drink more water than usual since dehydration is usually results from diarrhea (normal consumption of water in Tajik climate is from 1,5 – 2 liters per day)., If possible eat food you are accustomed to and especially soups. To treat diarrhea you are recommended to take medicines that you usually take. If you have diarrhea and vomiting for two days (in children one day) then you should see doctor.
Tajik food is usually unaccustomed for Europeans and Russians. Tajiks love rich shurpo (soup), pilau, lagman, shashlik, puff sambusa, pies with mint and greenery, stewed mutton, mantu from pumpkin and meet with onion, kurutov and other high-calorie dishes. People of the Pamirs drink shirchoi (specially boiled tea with milk, butter and wall nuts), which they drink at mornings for breakfast with flat bread.
If you are planning to climb mountains then take sun lotion or face cream with SPF 30-40, which can help prevent sunburn if you are exposed to the sun for long periods of the day. Do not forget to apply protective cream before swimming. Try to bathe in the sun in the mornings (until 11 am) or in the evenings (after 3- 4 pm). If you do get sunburned then wear light clothes with long sleeves. It is also important to remember to wear hats and sun glasses. Particulalry in hot climates our bodies require increased amounts of fluids, therefore drink as much bottled water as you can (avoid alcohol, as it dehydrates your body very quickly).
If symptoms of altitude sickness do appear, you should inform your group leader or fellow travellers. The effected person should lie down and rest and then have tea with sugar. In case the person’s state is worsening it is important to immediately descent to a lower altitude in order to avoid edema of the lungs and brain. At weak signs of altitude sickness it is usually enough to decrease the amount of altitude gain per day. Take products that provoke resistance to hypoxia and help to generation of serotonin: chocolate, muesli, nuts. If you have ever experienced altitude sickness then do not rely on meat as animal proteins take too long to digest and are heavy in these conditions. It is important not to overuse strong black tea and coffee, which condense blood. Alcohol intensifies hypoxia and it is therefore essential not to consume any alcohol in a high altitude areas.