Do you have any vacations or trips planned? Flights, especially long-haul ones, can be hard on the human body. It’s no wonder that after landing at your destination, you can feel pretty crummy. Ever wondered why or if there’s anything you can do to reduce these effects? Let’s find out!
Firstly, dehydration. It can be easy to become dehydrated when travelling for an extended period of time. Between flying at a high altitude in an airplane with very low moisture content, as well as rushing around busy airports or trying to catch some shut-eye - it can be easy to forget to drink fluids and become dehydrated.
To prevent dehydration, always make sure to have a water bottle with you in the airport and on the plane (you can buy water at the airport or bring an empty reusable bottle with you to refill once past security). Aim to drink mostly plain water, other healthy choices would be milk and milk alternatives, smoothies, soups, and decaffeinated coffee or tea (without sugar). You can learn more about staying hydrated by clicking here to read our blog post covering the topic.
It may help to be mindful of your caffeine intake, as caffeine can be a nervous system stimulant which can hinder your body’s circadian rhythm (your natural sleep and wake cycles) from adjusting to different time zones! To learn more about the effects of caffeine, you can click here to read our recent blog post! It may also help to be mindful of your alcohol intake, as alcohol can have an affect on how you’re feeling (especially if you drink enough to have a hangover) and excessive intake may lead to behavioural issues.
Secondly, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. With the change in altitude and pressure during flight, it is not uncommon for people to experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping or pain.
If you experience these uncomfortable GI symptoms, try to avoid gas-producing foods such as:
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils
Any other foods your body may find hard to digest
Greasy, deep-fried, high sugar, and/or creamy foods can exacerbate digestive problems
Peppermint has been found to have a relaxing effect on the bowel and can help relieve abdominal pain, so pack some peppermint tea bags and then just ask for hot water in-flight to help calm your irritated gut!