How Much Water Should you be Drinking While Flying?

How Much Water Should you be Drinking While Flying main

How Much Water Should you be Drinking
While Flying?

We all know flying isn’t the comfiest of journey types, and most people accept that they will be leaving the plane feeling a little worse for wear. However, one of the main reasons people feel groggy after a flight can easily be avoided, if a recent study is anything to go by.

It turns out many of us are unknowingly dehydrating ourselves when we fly, which can have a pretty severe impact on your health, both in the short and long-term.

How much water should I drink during my flight?

You should be consuming 250ml – around one cup – of water every hour while flying, according to the Aerospace Medical Association. However, research carried out by YouGov and commissioned by, found that more than three-quarters (76%) of people are failing to drink the recommended amount of water during long-haul flights (defined in the study as a flight lasting six hours or more).

Shockingly the research also found that almost one-in-ten people (9%) don’t drink any water at all while travelling on a long-haul flight.

Why do I feel so dehydrated while flying?

Commercial plan cabins are usually kept at a humidity level of around 20%. To put this in context, the relative humidity of the Sahara desert is around 25%, so plane cabins are incredibly dry places to sit in for hours on end.

This dry environment can bring immediate discomfort to many flyers, occasionally causing them to experience dry skin. However it can also lead to more irritating ailments such as sore throats and itchy eyes.

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How can I avoid dehydrating myself while flying?

Along with drinking the recommended amount of water, as mentioned above, you should also try to avoid any alcoholic beverages while flying. We know, everyone enjoys a little tipple while in the air, but when your blood alcohol levels rises your body will stop releasing something called the anti-diuretic hormone.

This hormone regulates how much urine you produce, so when its levels decrease, you need to use the toilet more regularly. Therefore, despite the fact that you are taking in liquid, drinking that glass of wine from the comfort of your plane seat is actually dehydrating you further.

Other than this, you should hydrate yourself properly before flying, and if you are one of those people who get bored of the taste of water, try bringing a healthy alternative along like natural fruit juice.

General tips on staying healthy while flying

Along with drinking a healthy amount of water, there are a few simple tips you can follow to ensure you remain healthy and comfortable during long haul flights.

Start thinking about your travel comfort before you even leave your home. Make sure you eat a good, healthy meal before setting off, being sure to avoid foods that put strain on your digestive system such as red meat. Also make sure that you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes for your journey.

When you’re relaxing in your seat at 35,000 feet, exercise might be the furthest thing from your mind. However, there are ways to remain mobile without leaving your seat.

Try doing simple exercises such as small neck rolls, leg raises and shoulder stretches (just be careful of nudging your neighbour while you do them). Gentle stretches like these will help keep your blood flowing and reduce stiffness when you land.

Finally, you can continue your healthy flying routine even after you land. Be sure to head out for a short walk to get some fresh air and natural sunlight after arriving at your destination. If you’re suffering from jet lag this will help your body re-calibrate to your new time zone, and re-energise you after hours of breathing recycled air.


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