Why You Should Make Sure To Drink Lots Of Water While Flying

You know how after a super-long flight you feel straight awesome? Like, just really rejuvenated and refreshed? Yeah, we don't, either. Flying takes a toll, no matter how excited you are to start your vacation. You may think post-flight crummies are due to a lack of sleep, skipping over timezones, and shoulder-sleeping strangers. And you're probably right, but simple dehydration is often the primary culprit.

Your body is not designed to fly at near-supersonic speeds through the stratosphere. And there's a reason you fly in the stratosphere. This desert in the sky contains very little water vapor and humidity, which is great for smoother, less turbulent flights. However, this air is circulated through the cabin, causing your body to lose a lot of fluids. When you're dehydrated, you often feel dizzy and tired with an uncompromisingly bad headache. Not the best feeling when starting a dream vacation or trying to make that connection that's wheels up in 45 minutes.

How much water should you drink when flying

In a recent interview with CNN, Bob Bacheler, the managing director and in-flight nurse with Flying Angels, an organization that offers medical air transport, says that human bodies lose around 8 ounces of water per hour when at cruising altitude. That's losing approximately a half-gallon of water during an eight-hour flight. So, naturally, the Aerospace Medical Association suggests that flyers drink about eight ounces of water per hour in the sky.

You may be tempted to simply guzzle a bunch of water before takeoff. After that, complimentary red wine, coffee, and ginger ales for the next eight hours, right? While drinking water before flying is definitely a good idea, tempering that pre-flight chug may be wise. If your plane is taxiing for an hour or two before takeoff, you're probably strapped with no bathroom access. Per Business Insider, the pilot cannot legally take off while people are moving around. So, even if an empathetic flight attendant allows you a quick trip, you're now the person who's delaying the flight further. Better safe than sorry. Drink your water responsibly.

You should probably take the advice of flight attendants

While drinking water may not be the most exciting tip for feeling good after a flight, it's the most effective. However, if you want to shake up your fluid intake, Well + Good interviewed three flight attendants to learn some creative ways to stay hydrated. With years spent in the air, the flight attendants recommend mixing water with herbs or fruit to add a bit of flavor, as well as trace minerals or marshmallow root to maximize your body's ability to absorb water.

Finally, yes, it's also wise to avoid both coffee and alcohol during a flight, no matter how complimentary and tempting. Both coffee and alcohol are diuretics. Diuretics cause your kidneys to both create more urine and pull extra salt and water into that urine (per Cleveland Clinic), supercharging a fight's ability to dehydrate you. So, maybe save the celebrating until after you land. It's a small price to pay. Once you finally arrive, you'll actually still feel like celebrating.