Keep yourself hydrated during a long flight.

Have you experienced fatigue, body aches after flying? You just don’t feel good when you get to your destination even though you’re well rested and prepared for that trip you’re waiting for. Perhaps your body did not get enough water while you’re flying especially if you had a long flight. Unless you’re flying only for few hours or you have a certain condition that limit your fluid intake there’s no need to drink fluids more than usual.  However, since caffeine and alcohol have a diuretic effect (causing more urine to be produced), it is wise to limit consumption of such beverages during long flights.

Hydration and the Body

The human body contains a lot of water. A 170-pound individual, for example, has over 10 gallons of water in his or her body. Almost everything you do uses the water in your body, as even the simple acts of breathing or blinking cause you to lose water. When relative humidity levels in cabins drop, your body uses more water to carry out essential functions.

Dehydration is a serious condition. When your body is dehydrated, you become thirsty. Your skin and eyes may feel dry, itchy or irritated. A lack of water also leads to:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased sodium levels in the blood
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased urine output
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion (When you’re on a private flight for business, the last thing you need is to feel fatigued or confused, especially if you have an important decision to make or have business partners flying with you. )

When you feel thirsty, your body is out of balance. It begins borrowing water from cells to replace the water your bloodstream needs. Eventually, the cells dry out and stop functioning properly.

According to a May 2008 article in Aviation International News, dehydration leads to pilot fatigue. To prepare for long flights, pilots often bring gallon-sized jugs of water with them on planes. Taking a cue from them will help you arrive at your destination feeling more like yourself and less achy and tired.

  • In general, it’s a good idea to consume 1 cup of water each hour during a flight. Keep in mind that some of the foods that you enjoy are great hydrators, such as:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Soup
    • Prepared oatmeal
  • Avoid sugary drinks. While sweet drinks are hydrating, they may energize you, causing you to need more fluids because your activity level increases.
  • Consider sports drinks. If you feel well, water may be all you need to stay adequately hydrated during a private flight. If you’re getting over an illness or recently experienced stomach problems, consume sports drinks that will replenish your electrolyte levels and hydrate you.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These substances dehydrate the body. If you enjoy a drink with an in-flight meal or a cup of coffee afterward, you may need to increase your water intake.

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