The holiday season is almost here, which brings me to the question, are we ever really ready for it? Probably not. Each year I think I might be a little bit more prepared than the year before. But also, probably not. However, with so many of us having our loved ones spread near and far across the country and across the globe, the holidays also often mean a time of hectic traveling. So, a little preparation can go a long way. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, it’s important to stay healthy during your travels. Not feeling your best can, unfortunately, really detract from a family get-together. One of the most important (and probably one of the easiest!) ways to focus on your well-being this holiday season (and every day) is to stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink water when it’s cold outside or when you’re on the road, but it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to feel your best when you’re not properly hydrated.
Did you know, there’s actually a very good reason to feel dried out and dehydrated after a long flight? Once the aircraft reaches altitude, they’ll begin to bring outside air in as part of an air circulation process. This is beneficial from a viral transmission standpoint, as it makes the air safer to breathe. However, because this fresh air comes from a higher altitude, it has a somewhat dramatically lower humidification level, usually closer to 15% compared to the average 30-50% in a home in Virginia. In fact, the human body loses roughly 8 ounces of water per hour on a plane. This is why long flights can very commonly leave you dry and scratchy and feeling dehydrated. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to stay hydrated while traveling without having to stop at every rest stop or run to the airplane bathroom every hour or so.
Chia seeds can actually hold 30 times their weight in water. This helps regulate body fluid. It’s recommended to load up on about 1 tablespoon of chia seeds before take-off. They can be added to a muffin and brought through security or snacked on pre-flight in a smoothie. If you’re driving or riding a train, you can absolutely bring them with you and simply add them to your water to stay hydrated!
Bring your own water bottle:
As long as it’s empty, you can bring a water bottle through airport security. Once it’s through, most airports have filtered water filling stations or you could fill it up at any soda fountain. It’s also just as beneficial to bring your own water bottle with you on the road. It’s more cost-efficient, it means less trash in your car or in a landfill, and it also tends to inspire you to drink water more frequently.
Water tracking apps:
Sometimes it can be tricky to remember to drink water, especially if you’re not in the habit or if you’re not moving around as much. This is where water tracking apps can help remind you to hydrate your body and feel your best.
Many people find it hard to drink just water and often reach for something a bit more novel. This is where herbal teas could really help you stay properly hydrated. If flying, bring your own herbal tea bags on the flight and ask for a cup of hot water. If driving or taking a train, remember to fill your thermos up before you leave home and sip on your favorite tea throughout your trip.
These tend to have fewer grams of sugar than Gatorade, but still help you maintain proper fluid and mineral levels. They also are easy to pack and travel with and help flavor your water if plain water is something you struggle with.
Staying properly hydrated will help keep you healthy and feeling your best. Without proper hydration, we tend to feel slow, sluggish, foggy, and even experience nausea and headaches. However, please note proper hydration won’t be able to do anything about the headache that long travel delays bring. I can’t help you with that one.
Now, you can jumpstart your hydration this holiday season with a Woodside Farms Water bottle! I may be biased but it’s my favorite one. Sturdy, Insulated Stainless Steel, AND a cute bamboo wood cap. Swing by Woodside Farms and pick one up for yourself or your friends (or order online here!)