Fourth of July weekend in front of us means it’s officially high summer and most people are gearing up for their vacations. For many, that will include air travel, and possibly a long haul flight. You know the drill: they give you some peanuts, the drink cart makes a couple of rounds, they bring you your sad little tray of airplane food and then before you know it, it’s wheels down. Your flight attendant hands you a moist towelette and you hope it’ll revive your dried skin and make you look a little less haggard but it does neither, and you chastise yourself for not downing more little cups of water. But drinking water on a plane is a double-edged sword; if you don’t your entire epidermis dries up; if you do, your lower body retains the liquid. So what’s a non-ankle-swell-enthusiast to do? What can you do to prevent post flight dehydration?
Dr. Christopher Calapai DO, an anti-aging and stem cell expert and long time health advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team, tells us how to fight post-flight dehydration with foods!
“Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods there are,” says Dr. Calapai “It’s a great alternative to plane snacks which have large amounts of sodium, which in turn make you more dehydrated.” Pack big thick slices in a large plastic baggie and take them in your handbag, they won’t be taken away at TSA and will help you avoid the salty peanuts.
“Cucumbers are about 96 percent water,” says Calapai. “They also contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are high in Vitamin B6 which helps in the production of serotonin which is the brain chemical that controls mood.” You can slice them or cube them and also bring them along in a baggie or small container. Try making small cucumber-watermelon bites, they are pretty delicious!
When the airplane cookies come around say ‘no thanks’ and reach for some strawberries instead! “Strawberries have the highest water content of any berry, 92 percent to be exact,” shares Calapai “You can enjoy the tart-sweet flavor without consuming too much sugar.”
If you’re the type of person that needs an actual meal to feel satisfied bring along a Ramen Cup of Noodles in your favorite flavor, it’s not TSA restricted. When you’re over the snacks and are ready to have lunch/dinner ask the flight attendant for hot water and voila! Soup!
Ok, so you can’t totally avoid drinking liquids! “Coconut water is low in calories and high in naturally occurring hydration replenishing electrolytes, which regular water does not contain. It’s a better option than sports drinks which have artificial flavors and more calories,” advises Dr. Calapai. After you’re past security grab a bottle of coconut water from any of the airport mini-marts.