The Key To Better Flying
Preparing for a flight entails much more than packing a suitcase and hoping it's under 50 pounds. Staying hydrated—and hydrating before and after your roughly 30,000-foot ascent—is an essential part of travel preparation.
For me, lack of hydration before, during and after take-off often amounts to dry skin, headaches and soreness once I touch-down at my destination, which isn't all too surprising considering the no-liquids TSA rule and airplane cabin air cycles. So, before my recent trip to Los Angeles, I made a conscious effort to hydrate. While drinking my one-liter Mountain Valley Spring Water literally straight from the green glass bottle, I did some reading... I learned that not only is it important to drink plenty of fluids before a flight, the Aerospace Medical Association also suggests drinking about eight ounces of water every hour while in flight.
I also happened to have some Liquid I.V. packets that I received in an event goodie-bag. I decided to get them a swig. Liquid I.V. is a hydration powder that uses Cellular Transport Technology (CTT) to aid in optimal hydration. The lemon lime powder, which tastes like a slightly saltier version of yellow Gatorade, helps deliver water and other nutrients to the bloodstream. In fact, one packet mixed in a glass of water is said to provide the same hydration as drinking three glasses of water.
The 24-hours leading up to take-off, I carried the one-liter bottle with me everywhere, making sure I was constantly drinking and filling up when empty. I also drank two packets of Liquid I.V. before my arrival at the airport. I drank one in the morning when I woke up, and another roughly five hours before my 10:55 p.m. flight from JFK to LAX.
Once I got through airport security, I promptly bought another large bottle of water and started sipping again. I also poured a Liquid I.V. packet into that bottle, which I continued to drink throughout the flight in addition to all water cups and bottles that the flight attendants handed out.
While I was lucky to have an aisle seat because I frequently got up to use the lavatory, I realized that getting up every few hours also forced me to stretch my legs and get blood flowing, helping reduce muscle soreness once I arrived. When I finally touched down in Los Angeles, for the first time in my travel history I didn't feel sore or even that tired. There were no signs of an ensuing headache and the next day my skin wasn't dry. My body actually felt pretty good despite my six-hour flight.
With the holiday season now in full swing, traveling is undeniable but feeling mediocre isn't. Try making a better effort to drink extra water before and during your next flight, and if you can get your hands on some Liquid I.V., try it. While what feels like non-stop bathroom runs may be annoying, drinking plenty of water reduces many post-travel symptoms like headaches, soreness, dry skin and bloating... I think it's worth it.
- 24 hours before take-off: aim for 8-oz glass of water every hour
- Morning of take off: 8-oz glass of water X one Liquid I.V. packet
- Before leaving for airport: 8-oz glass of water X one Liquid I.V. packet
- During flight: 8-oz glass of water every hour + one 8-oz glass of water with a Liquid I.V. packet
- Upon arrival: 8-oz glass of water + one 8-oz glass of water with a Liquid I.V. packet