If you’re a regular traveller, you’re no stranger to the inevitable cycle of flying and unhealthy eating. Between average cafes and rubbish vending machines there’s no way to avoid messing up a healthy diet! Thankfully, there are a few great ways to compensate for the lack of choice.
What’s the point of getting to your destination feeling worse for wear? Whether flying for business or pleasure, you don’t have to feel groggy and uncomfortable at the start of your holiday if you follow these simple tips. All it takes is a bit of planning and strategy, and you should be raring to go when you land.
Whiskey or water?
Let’s start with the most important issue: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The benefits of remembering to stay hydrated cannot be stressed enough. Drinking enough water will not only keep you from boredom snacking while you wait for your flight, it will keep you from retaining water when you’re in the air – preventing puffy eyes and swollen ankles when you land – and keep away in-flight headaches. Herbal teas are another way to get maximum fluids in. If you’re prone to upset stomachs or indigestion while flying, ginger or chamomile are great solutions. Drinking plenty of water sounds really obvious, but one or two small bottles just aren’t going to cut it. Have a look at what CNN’s Condé Nast Traveler had to say about it.
Now as much as you might want to knock one back on the flight, drinking alcohol while traveling isn’t a good idea. Alcohol is an antidiuretic, so it dehydrates you, which, if it’s not already clear, is the worst thing you can do if you’re hoping to start your trip feeling great. Drinking makes you hungry, disrupts your sleep cycle, and messes with your blood sugar levels and your mood. You’ll most likely spend your first day on land feeling haggard, red eyed, dried-out and irritable. If you have to drink, try to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink if you have. Starting to get the point?
Life’s a journey, so don’t forget the the snacks
In terms of nutrition, it’s almost impossible to be your normal health conscious self when you’re in the air. Thankfully, there are a few ways to maximise healthy options on the way to your destination.
Seeds and raw nuts are a really good snack if you are feeling peckish. They are high in melatonin – the sleep hormone – that can help your body regulate your internal clock to an unfamiliar time zone. Walnuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that keep your stress hormones and adrenaline in check during those high-stress, high blood pressure, high turbulence moments. A handful in the departure lounge should keep you off the sweets and muffins while you wait for take-off.
On a similar note, make sure you have enough protein. A recent study has shown that liquid protein was more effective than carbs or fat in suppressing nausea and symptoms of motion sickness. Consider packing a sachet of protein powder that you can mix into water or juice during the flight. Opting for meals with more protein and less carbs will keep your energy levels stable, and you probably won’t feel bloated and uncomfortable on landing.
Travelling, whether for business or pleasure, can often put a spanner in the health works. With a little discipline and conscious healthy choices, you can walk straight into your meeting or embrace your first day of holiday feeling great.