The Traveler’s Tool Kit: Just Add Water

Were you feeling lethargic during your last flight? Don’t be too quick to blame it on standing for long stretches or walking too much. Dehydration may be partially to blame.

Dehydration occurs when our bodies lose water more quickly than we take it in. In the mildest cases, symptoms like headache, fatigue, and severe thirst occur. The most extreme cases involve fainting and heart palpitations.

In the air, the humidity level in most aircraft cabins hovers only around 10 to 20 percent. Under such dry conditions, it doesn’t take long for dehydration symptoms to appear.

Even more risky is blood clots that can form in the leg from lack of circulation, a condition that occurs more frequently in dehydrated travelers. In addition to moving your limbs and standing or walking around, experts recommend drinking two glasses of water during a flight to ward off dehydration.

Here are a few tips to help you stay hydrated in the air:

  • Sip water before, during, and after your flight.
  • Avoid or eliminate alcohol and caffeine, which exacerbate dehydration.
  • To manage dry skin and lips, carry lip balm and moisturizer.

Remembering to drink water will help you stay healthy and more energetic on your next trip. So next time you get ready to hit the skies, throw in a few extra bottles of water. You’ll be glad you did.

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