airplane

Prevent dehydration when travelling by air

The demand for long-haul flights is strong – nearly half of those surveyed would give up some comfort for more long-haul flights from budget airline carriers. After all, it’s the only way most travellers will get to see some of those bucket-list destinations. But no one wants to arrive in paradise not feeling their best. Staying hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water will help keep you feeling good as you breeze through your next long-haul flight so that by the time you arrive at your hotel, you’re ready to drop your luggage and set off for a new adventure. But half of the respondents to a recent survey didn’t know how much water to drink every day to stay healthy. Read on to learn why water is so essential to staying healthy while flying and how much water you should be drinking to make it so.

Proper Hydration Helps You Look Your Best

Aeroplanes are infamous for circulating the driest air this side of the Sahara; no joke – the humidity of an airplane cabin barely cracks 10%. It’s awful on your skin, especially if you have dry skin, to begin with. You’ll quickly realize if your face starts to feel too dry. Skin feels tight and may appear flaky, and that’s not a good look for holiday snaps. Arm yourself in advance with a good regular skin care routine, that starts with drinking plenty of water each day. Water supports cellular health and that improves the look and texture of skin. Other good sources of water through diet include high-water content vegetables and fruits like melon, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruit, and bell peppers. And drinking enough water isn’t limited to consuming only plain water – tea, soups, stews, and similar drinks and dishes count, too.

How Much Water Do You Need?

Continuing to drink water during your long-haul flight has several benefits, too. First, it keeps your body hydrated; your body will require more water than usual because you’re in a dryer than the usual environment. A well-hydrated body is 60% water and works efficiently, moving nutrients and wastes as needed. Typically, men and women are advised to drink 2-1.6 litres of water daily, respectively, although individual needs and diets may cause that number to be a little higher or lower. Just one long-haul flight could cause a traveller to lose that much water between take-off and landing!

Avoiding DVT

Drinking enough water also helps with circulation. A strong circulatory system may help keep blood clots from forming; deep vein thrombosis is serious although the rare risk of long-haul flights. While not usually fatal, if a blood clot in the leg should break away and travel to the lungs, you may end up spending your holiday laying on a hospital bed instead of a beach towel. Many physicians recommend drinking water as a self-care measure to reduce the chances of it occurring.

Water Helps Keep You Moving

An added benefit of consuming water regularly while flying is how frequently you’ll need to use the bathroom. It forces you to get up and move about the cabin, which can help minimize sore muscles and stiffness, and aid in maintaining good circulation. And no one is suggesting travellers should avoid alcoholic beverages while flying; however, balancing water with alcoholic drinks also serves to mitigate the effects of alcohol, which may already feel stronger thousands of feet in the air.

Keep Up the Good Work

Drinking enough water can make a big difference in how you feel after your flight, too. After all, many British citizens already don’t drink enough water, and that can compound the dehydrating effects of flying long distances. Don’t make your body start from behind the eight-ball though! Make sure you’re drinking enough water in the days before you travel. Stay away from things like coffee with its diuretic effect and alcohol with its dehydrating effect. This will help you start off your trip sufficiently hydrated. And good hydration after the flight is just as important. Be mindful of how much coffee and alcohol is consumed after the flight, both of which may keep you feeling dehydrated longer. Signs of dehydration include a headache, feeling tired and sleepy, confusion, thirst, dry mouth, irritability and a low volume and dark colour of urine. Left untreated, dehydration can be life-threatening.

With a simple self-care measure like drinking enough water, travellers can ensure that they’re not only ready for a long-haul flight but feel good during and after that flight, too. Staying hydrated supports overall health as well as key challenges specific to long-haul travel. While everyone’s water needs may be different, awareness of the positive effects of proper hydration allows travellers to start their holidays with energy and excitement instead of exhaustion, and be the envy of their travelling companions.

Lucy W

Lucy Wyndham is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her.

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