Did you know your body loses up to 8% water on a flight?

Did you know your body loses up to 8% water on a flight?

Travelling comes with a bagful of pros and cons, more so when it entails an airplane ride. Other than the hassles of airport check-in, seat allotment and enough space to relax our muscles, there is one thing that drastically changes when we board that flight.

Yes, it is our water level.

Spending a lot of time confined in a surrounding with diminished oxygen and low humidity can dry you out immensely.

“Dehydration is a major issue when travelling by aeroplane,” Phizz’s Physiotherapist and Head of Phizz Sport, Yasmin Badiani, informs the Marie Claire magazine, UK. “The problem arises due to spending long periods of time in a climate-controlled environment where the relative humidity can be as low as 10-15%, which is three times drier than the Sahara desert! In an average 10 hour flight, men can lose approximately two litres of water and women around 1.6 litres. This means that on a London to Sydney flight a passenger could lose up to 4 litres and 8% of their bodily water.”

Furthermore, research shows that going through six hours in an environment stimulator, that impersonates conditions on a plane, prompts a critical decline in hydration status, with around 2% loss in absolute body water content throughout this time, regardless of them drinking 400ml of water. Making it safe to say, flying is awful for hydration levels.

A 1-2% abatement in hydration essentially affects the wellbeing and temperament of travellers and can influence cognition, attention, memory and critical thinking, just as prompting sensations of tiredness, weariness and crabbiness.

And if that is not enough, on the grounds that your mucosal layers get dried out while flying, their capacity to trap microorganisms or infections turns out to be less proficient and viable so you’re bound to get an illness.

Flying in a plane can zap your energy, dry your skin and cause different body parts to feel odd. Do you know why?  “The pressure, temperature and oxygen levels in the cabin fluctuate, and the humidity level is lower than it is at sea level,” says Matthew Goldman, MD in an interview with Cleaveland Clinic. These things can mess with your normal body function and lead to you feeling nauseous and tired.

“About 50 percent of the air circulating in the cabin is pulled from the outside, and at high altitudes the air is almost completely devoid of moisture” as explained by Dr. Goldman.

Despite knowing this, sometimes it’s necessary for some people to travel often and that too for long hours.

Here is something to help y’all in those times:

  • To remain hydrated, pack a vacant water bottle in your portable handbags that you can refill after going through security and take with you on the plane. That way you don’t need to depend on that minuscule beverage cart to get you through a several hours flight.
  • Wear glasses rather than contacts to help forestall inconvenience to the eyes.
  • Pack little bottles of moisturizer, eye drop or nasal spray in case you’re stressed over drying out of eyes, nose or skin.

If you are a frequent flyer and have faced dehydration let us know in comments your go-to tips for keeping those water levels high.


Priyanka Sharma
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