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Why you should stock up on water (and ditch caffeine and alcohol) while flying

Low humidity affects hydration level on flights Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Marko Milavanoic

A necessary evil of your chic French-girl escape to Paris is dealing with the (IMHO) physically exhausting flight to get there. Your skin feels dry, your legs get cramped, and your body generally doesn’t function well in that flying tin-can setting. There are tennis balls, custom pillowcases, and a million other hacks to help you leave the plane looking and feeling refreshed, but a slew of travel and wellness experts continually tout a biological necessity—water—as the answer to your most-pressing jet-setting problems.

Functional medicine specialist Robin Berzin, MD, says you should drink five times more water than you think while flying. And according to the Aerospace Medical Association, you should consume eight ounces an hour while flying.

So, how much water should you drink during your flight? Well, health experts recommend consuming half of your body weight in ounces every day, but functional medicine specialist Robin Berzin, MD, says you should drink five times more water than you think while flying. And the Aerospace Medical Association claims eight ounces an hour while flying is the magic number. But why?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), humidity levels on flights are astoundingly low—20 percent, whereas most homes have at least 30 percent. So, in addition to wearing a moisturizing face mask to hydrate your skin, drinking enough liquids is crucial for keeping your body healthy and comfortable during your time in the sky. And although water is the obvious first choice for staying hydrated, your attempts to beat jet lag might have you considering a (health-improving!) glass of wine or a cup of coffee. But beware: Besides the fact that coffee is one of the ickiest things you can drink on the plane, the WHO notes caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics—AKA liquids that make you need to pee more, but without replenishing your hydration needs.

But, as long as you check-in and board using a mobile app so you can avoid touchy those germ-infested kiosks, you’re ahead of the healthy travel game.

Have you heard that we’re leading our first Well+Good Retreat in Palm Springs this March? Email [email protected] to book your spot, ASAP.