Hydration Tips for Air Travel

airplane flying during twilight with hydration during travel text

While traveling, drinking water is not only important for hydration but also for staying resistant to germs. Flying on an airplane, to your warm beach destination, leads to dehydration. High altitudes and low cabin humidity can lower your resistance to cold and flu germs. Humidity aids in keeping you airways moist so the linings can catch germs before entering your body. The humidity level in an airplane is between 10-20%, significantly lower than a comfortable indoor humidity level of 30-65%.

These pre-boarding secrets will help you stay hydrated before, during and after your flight.

Carry an empty water bottle or purchase bottled water
Although you are unable to carry liquids through airport security, you are allowed to carry an empty water bottle. On the way to your gate, be sure to stop by a water fountain and fill up your bottle. Or purchase a bottle of water once you are through security. Once you are on the plane don’t be afraid to ask the attendant to fill your bottle. This will ensure you stay hydrated before and during your flight.

Beware of the bar
Alcohol can be extremely dehydrating. If you want to hang out at the airport lounge and watch TV, try ordering seltzer water. Spruce up your seltzer water by asking for it with a lime or a lemon. Bubbly or not water seltzer water is still water and provides all the same hydrating qualities.

Eat the right foods

  • Chia seeds – Chia seeds have hydrophilic properties, meaning they are attracted to water. They absorb 9 to 12 times their size in water, keeping you hydrated for longer. Try adding chia seeds to your water or food before your flight.
  • Yogurt – Yogurt contains beneficial probiotic bacteria that strengthen your digestive system and entire immune system. Eating yogurt before a flight helps to build your immunity to the germs your body becomes susceptible to during dehydration.
  • Fruits with high water content – Water does not have to be digested in the form of a drink; it can be digested in the form of foods. Fruits like berries, pineapple, cantaloupe, cucumbers and watermelon contain a high percentage of water. Eating a water rich breakfast of oatmeal and fruit will help you hydrate before takeoff.

Don’t be tempted by caffeinated or sugary drinks
Caffeine is a natural diuretic that causes your body to excrete fluids through urination. Sugary drinks increase your energy levels; however once they fall they leave you feeling worse than when you started drinking. Carbonated beverages lead to bloating and cramping, which are two enemies of a long flight.

Fill your ice bucket before bed
If you are staying overnight in a hotel and planning on flying the next morning, think ahead and fill your ice bucket before turning in for the night. Overnight the ice will melt leaving you with refreshing ice cold, usually filtered, water when you wake up.

Drinking water may seem boring, especially when you are on vacation, however drinking plenty of water during transit is extremely important. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and you certainly don’t want to be tired while on vacation.