Flying is like sitting in a desert with the cabin's lack of humidity and oxygen-thin air. If you are a nervous flyer or stressed out about anything from a business meeting to whether your partner at home has fed the kids properly, then add in some extra sweating to your fluid loss. It is said that men can lose around 2 liters of water and women about 1.6 liters during a 10-hour flight. Apparently you should drink about 240ml of water for every hour you are in the air, but not in one glugging session - slowly, so that your body has time to absorb it, rather than it just going in your mouth and out the other end.
To avoid that ghastly feeling of fatigue, nausea and headaches - in general feeling like crap and looking like a prune because you are dehydrated as you step off a long haul flight, consider the remedies below:
In Flight Hydration Do's
Drink coconut water - containing natural electrolytes and potassium - coconut water brands such as ZICO can be found in most airport terminals.
Munch on a banana - again it is potassium rich which will help sustain your fluid level.
Pack some chia seeds in your hand luggage - they actually absorb 9 to 12 times their weight in water hence they will keep you hydrated longer - just add them to your drinking water.
Eat that little pack of fruit salad handed to you and ask for seconds, or thirds if possible. Water rich fruit such as pineapple and watermelon are an easy source of hydration.
Eat rice - when you have the option of a meal with rice or without, go for the rice dish, as rice will help replenish fluids and the carbs enable your body to mop them up.
Booze - if you can't let the drink trolley dance past you, make sure you ask for a bottle of water as well - you should try having 240ml of water for every alcoholic beverage - alcohol will dry you out.
Green tea - ditch the coffee as it is too dehydrating. Green tea will give you the caffeine hit without the dehydrating effects.
Snacks - if you are really good, you will have sliced carrot or celery sticks in your handbag, so that you can forego the salty nuts and pretzels.
Ask for a slice of cucumber, lemon or lime to go with that bottle of water off the drink trolley, as it is great for making detox-infused water and may just give your skin a bit of a glow.
Spritz yourself with rose water - this will keep your skin hydrated and if you can't find a travel size bottle, make your own and put it in your hand luggage.
Plaster Lucas pawpaw gel or ointment on your lips and your hands to keep your skin moist - pure coconut oil or aloe vera are alternatives.
Females should avoid packing on the make-up and instead pack on the moisturiser - you need to let your skin breathe.
In Flight Hydration Don'ts
Don't drink sugary drinks - the caffeine and sugar will actually make you lose more water that what you gain by drinking them, as your organs have to work harder to process them.
Don't go on an alcohol bender the night before your flight.
Don't gorge yourself on chocolate - its best to avoid the caffeine.
Hydration Extra Notes
Airplane water isn't the cleanest due to the lack of cleaning of the water tanks - go for the bottled variety or BYO.
Dehydration increases the risk of developing blood clots - so drink up that H2O.