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How to Avoid Dehydration When Flying

How to Avoid Dehydration While Flying

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Long haul flights can be like a drain, sucking all the moisture out of your skin and leaving you feeling tired and dry. This leads to you not being at your best when you arrive at your destination. You might not be fully aware and can have trouble dealing with ground transportation and directions.

It’s important to stay hydrated, so bring with you a bottle of water. Here are a few more ways to avoid dehydration when flying!

How to Avoid Dehydration When Flying

BYO Water Bottle

Treat your long haul flight like a race you’re training for. Drink as much water in the days leading up to it as possible. While it can be annoying to have to toss your water bottle through security, it’s easier to bring a refillable one and fill it once you get to your gate. Many gates are now equipped with stations to fill your own bottle in order to save the plastic from going to landfills. Others, however, haven’t caught on to this trend so you may have to buy a bottle or fill in the bathroom sink. My personal favorite water bottle is my Vapur, as it folds up very small.

stay hydrated while flying
A Vapur water bottle is collapsible and can be refilled once through security.

Don’t forget that not all destinations have clean drinking water from the taps and you might need some sort of filtration system, or to just invest in bottled water when at the airport.

Hydrating Drinks and Mixes

Before you leave home, drink beverages that are high in electrolytes, typically those used by athletes. These include Gatorade, Powerade and Lucozade. Resource Water is another good example as it has water and electrolytes. 100 Plus is a popular hydrating option in Malaysia. You can also drink these once you land to re-hydrate.

stay hydrated while flying
100 Plus is a great rehydration drink available in Malaysia. If all else fails, drink a fresh coconut!

When you’re in flight, try products like 1Above*, a beverage created just for staying hydrated while flying. You can also bring mixes to add to your water for added benefits. Pedialyte is made for children, but is great for its re-hydrating quality. There’s also products by Nuun and Clif that add both flavor and electrolytes into your water.

When it comes to drinking beverages in flight, remember that your senses are deadened while flying. You might want something with extra flavor like tomato juice or club soda. Coconut water is another good choice to bring on board or purchase as it can be almost as good for you as water. Fruits and smoothies are another great option as you can almost always find a Jamba Juice or something similar at major airports.

stay hydrated while flying
Juice shot.

Moisturising Lotion

Be sure to make room in your TSA friendly toiletry bag for some lotion. You’ll want to replenish your hands and even your face a few times during your flight. Nivea Creme* is a must-have for long flights. Use it to keep your hands soft, put some on your lips when they’re feeling chapped and even on your eyelids to soothe them. Other brands I recommend are Aveeno Skin Relief moisturising lotion, which can last all day.

stay hydrated while flying
Various lotions and creams are a must while flying.

Other In Flight Essentials

Other items you might want to have on your flight are moisturising spray from Evian* or The Body Shop, lip balm and an overnight face mask. You may even bring cucumber eye pads to put underneath your eye mask to keep your eyes feeling fresh even when you’re sleeping.

More recommendations from FB page: saline nose sprays (Fess), hydralite, eye mist or eye drops.

>>For more comfort on your flight, see how to put together the perfect airplane outfit.

What to Avoid

It’s a no brainer that alcohol and salty snacks have dehydrating effects. Caffeine can also make you lose moisture. So unless you’re a nervous flier who is looking to calm down before takeoff, limit your alcohol intake if you can.

Do you have any other tips for staying hydrated while flying?

How to Avoid Dehydration When Flying

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lacey says

    Many women travel for athletic events, like races. If you are running a marathon, half marathon or completing a triathalon, etc., make sure to weigh yourself before and after the race (without clothes) if possible. If you have lost any weight, you are not adequately hydrated (this is most people!). Make up for 125% of that weight loss within an hour or two after your event. So, if you lost 2 pounds (32 ounces), you should be drinking an additional 40 ounces of fluids to play catch-up. To make sure it sticks with you better (actually gets into your cells and not just your bladder), try a diluted electrolyte/carb drink. I usually do a split of 50% water, 50% gatorade for recovery. Keep drinking water and a water/gatorade combination until your urine runs clear. At that point, it is ok to have a beer, but try to keep it under 4% alcohol if possible to prevent further dehydration.

    Having salty snacks, like pretzels, actually helps to drive most people to consume more fluids (that’s why they are popular bar foods). There is not much of a dehydration effect in reasonable portions (single serving bags), so it is ok to have some during or before your flight! Caffeine, in moderation (like 1-2 cups of coffee) also does not affect hydration for most healthy adults. Just follow the “every other” rule — every other drink should be a nice, big glass of water when you are drinking alcohol or caffeine.

    Much love,
    Your Friendly Neighborhood Dietitian

  2. Megan E. says

    If you are on a long flight, get up and splash a bit of water on your wrists mid-way through. Also, face wipes are useful for rehydrating, following that with a creme (thicker then lotion, I like cetaphil).

    For drinking alcohol, also ask for a cup of water and do a 1:1 (ie, 1 glass wine, 1 glass water).

    Eat foods high in liquid, watermelon for example can be carried through security (just finish in air if international flight).

      • Megan E says

        We will remember to hydrate our mouths first, but our skin also loses water, so hydrating it will help keep the body in balance (and wrists are easier then other body parts). Same reason to spray your face!

        • Brooke says

          Yeah cool, was wondering if there was some scientific reasoning for the wrists specifically. Definitely easier than splashing the face, etc. on the plane!

          • Natalie L says

            We feel more hydrated by splashing our wrists with water because our wrists have many vanes passing through them, so cooling wrists is more effective to cool down more of us.

  3. Jennie says

    I’m always nervous of those sports drinks as I don’t know what the fluo colours will do to my insides!! I did try 1Above on the last couple of long hauls Sydney – London and did feel better than usual (could well be the placebo effect but I’ll take it!!) The ingredients list is pretty un-scary, sweetened with Stevia rather than sugar I think.

    I also love love LOVE Aesop’s Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol – I spritz mine and my partners faces each time I get up to take a leg stretch wander (whether or not he is sleeping… Girls got to entertain herself somehow over the 30 hours!)

  4. Alana says

    I had the unfortunate event when arriving into New Zealand and nearly ending up in hospital 3 days after landing. Doctors told me I was severely dehydrated! They gave me some electrolytes and told me to drink as much Powerade as I wanted to. A great post needless to say 🙂

  5. Kathryn says

    I use the Asian sheet masks for my face when flying. They are made out of the same stuff as hand wipes but are soaking in moisturising stuff. You leave them on for 10-15 mins and your skin feels fantastic when you land. Sure, you might get some funny looks from fellow passengers but who cares?

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