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Does Air Travel Increase the Risk for Dehydration?

More vacationers are heading to the airport, as we near peak travel season in the U.S. During the summer vacation season, it’s important that travelers fend off one of the most common conditions they face – dehydration.

Recently, we wrote about the dehydrating effects of traveler’s diarrhea – which affects between 20 and 50 percent of travelers in high-risk locations -- but what about air travel? Does flying cause dehydration?

The jury is still out. But there are several reasons that flying can lead to or exacerbate dehydration. Additionally, dehydration can worsen jet lag, and therefore, to enjoy your vacation to the fullest extent, it’s best to stay properly hydrated.

Dehydration and Air Travel – Causes and Risk Factors

When you fly, the air inside the cabin is a lower humidity than normal. Your home is likely between 30- and 60-percent humidity, while inside an airplane, it can drop to less than 20 percent. During longer flights, cabin humidity dips even lower.

The most common side effect of low cabin humidity is dry skin, eyes, throat and nose. This drop in humidity doesn't often require you to drink more fluids. Instead, hydration during air travel is important for a few different reasons.

  • Travelers Tend to Drink Less Water: One survey of more than 200 travelers on long-distance flights found that the majority drank 2 cups of water or less when flying. Not drinking enough water lead to dehydration, especially on flights lasting more than four hours. Thus, travelers should hydrate before, during, and after a flight to maintain hydration.
  • Drinking Alcohol and Caffeine In-Flight: The same survey found that roughly 60 percent of passengers preferred to drink caffeine during their flight, and 30 percent drank alcohol. Both caffeine and alcohol have a diuretic effect that can hasten the on-set of dehydration. It’s best to use both in moderation or to avoid them completely.
  • Dehydration Worsens Jet Lag: Jet lag is often unavoidable for travelers, especially during long-distance travel. And although there isn't a “cure,” per se, staying properly hydrated is commonly cited as a course of treatment to help avoid the nausea, lethargy, sluggishness, headache and fogginess associated with jet lag.

DripDrop Is a Carry-On Bag Essential

DripDrop is an oral rehydration solution, a mix of electrolytes that is mixed with water to create a great-tasting hydration drink. Drip Drop’s formula is designed to reverse the electrolyte loss associated with dehydration and speed up the absorption of water in the body.

Other reasons Drip Drop is great for air travel:

  • DripDrop is extremely portable – it won’t take up valuable carry-on space.
  • It’s easy-to-use – just add it to a bottle of water.
  • DripDrop helps the body retain fluids – less trips to the restroom.
  • And DripDrop maximizes hydrating power – water fortified with DripDrop is more effective than plain water.

Whatever your travel plans this summer, pack some Drip Drop. It will help you skip dehydration and enjoy every minute of your vacation.

Image via Flickr.

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