It’s the time of year when many of us will be jetting off somewhere hot and sunny for a week or two. When we are caught up in the excitement of travelling somewhere new and the sudden disruption of our usual routine, it can be easy to become dehydrated. This can lead to tiredness, dizzy spells, and headaches that will spoil the enjoyment of your holiday.
It is easy to underestimate the amount of fluid we need to take in, especially when we travel to a hotter climate and sweat more than usual. In addition, we may be drinking more alcohol or cups of coffee, which have a dehydrating effect on the body.
Aeroplane cabins have to maintain very low levels of humidity, at around 15% to 20%, in order to make it possible to breathe at high altitudes. This means that we lose more water than we normally would through the simple act of breathing. Here are some essential tips to make sure you stay hydrated on a flight.
Take a refillable water bottle
This is an obvious point but essential so it’s worth mentioning! It means that you will always have a drink to hand and you will save money by avoiding having to buy bottled water or other drinks.
Use rehydration tablets
Hydration tablets can be added to water up to eight hours in advance, so it’s easy to pop one in your water bottle before the flight. They contain electrolytes, which provide essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. We lose these minerals when we sweat, and this can cause a range of symptoms from dizziness to muscle cramps.
Use a water drinking app
If you are tech-minded, you may want a digital reminder to keep your water intake on schedule. There are apps that are free to download, and enable you to input your details to calculate how much water you need to drink and how often. You will then receive a prompt to help you manage your daily water requirements.
Switch to herbal teas
Caffeinated drinks such as regular tea and coffee do hydrate to some extent, but they are also diuretics, meaning that they cause more frequent trips to the loo and so a lot of the effect is lost. Switching to alternatives such as herbal teas or decaffeinated beverages will be more effective at keeping your hydration levels optimal.
Alcohol has an even stronger direct effect on the body. There is nothing wrong with relaxing with your favourite tipple during a flight, but make sure that you drink a glass of water or a soft drink in between every alcoholic drink.
Keep an eye on your pee
If you are not keen on the prospect of having to make extra trips to the loo, bear in mind that getting up and walking around at regular intervals is good for your circulation and can guard against the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When you do go to the toilet, check the colour of your urine. If it is darker than a pale gold colour, it is a sign of dehydration.