You know the importance of hydration in your daily lives, but during the holidays, the chaos of travel can disrupt the hydration routine. Air travel is especially dehydrating because airplane cabins have extremely low humidity levels, making the air drier. In addition, there are lower levels of oxygen in the plane’s cabin than on the ground. With less available oxygen, you will breathe faster, contributing to more water loss.
Some of the early signs of dehydration often associated with travel are:
- Poor sleep
- Feeling tired or sluggish
- Dark-colored urine
- No or little urine output
- Chapped lips
- Muscle cramping
The good news is that you can stave off these unwanted effects by staying on top of your hydration game while traveling. Be mindful of what your body needs and check out our travel hydration tips before you go on that trip!
“Front-load” your hydration
SaltStick pro tennis athlete Danielle Lao treats air travel the same way she treats a match – by “front-loading.” She hydrates before she gets to the airplane with an electrolyte drink, such as SaltStick DrinkMix dissolved in water. If you show up already dehydrated, it can be difficult to catch up.
Take a look at Danielle's recent interview with the Tennis Warehouse podcast, where she shares her top travel tips:
Bring an empty, reusable water bottle
This seems obvious, but many people forget this. Yes, you can buy a bottle of water once you get through security, but it’s expensive, not to mention wasteful, when instead you can just bring your own. Many airports have water bottle filling stations near the gates. Drink while you wait to board and then refill before you get on the flight. Danielle attempts to drink 32 oz of water if she is on a long trip from the United States to Europe or Japan.
Up your electrolyte intake
Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium — all essential in the regulation of many of the body’s organs. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to muscle cramping, headaches, and sleep issues, making jet lag symptoms worse. Taking an electrolyte supplement such as SaltStick Caps or FastChews before, during, and after a flight, along with drinking water, can be very helpful in maintaining the balance.
Eat fruits and vegetables
Did you know that the foods you consume affect your hydration? Jess Cerra, professional cyclist and founder of JoJé Bar (SaltStick’s sister brand) recommends packing your own fruits and vegetables to munch on during your travel. These hydrating foods are often hard to find in airports, on airplanes, or on the road.
Avoid or limit coffee and alcohol consumption
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, meaning that they cause you to urinate more frequently. This results in water loss, just the opposite of what you need to stay hydrated! If you do partake in a caffeinated or alcoholic beverage, be sure to compensate with water and electrolytes.
Whether you are an athlete traveling to a competition or a tourist exploring new destinations, make sure to always carry SaltStick products with you — they could mean the difference between an enjoyable trip or a headache!