We are all aware of the fact that hot climate or intense exercising can cause dehydration, i.e. excessive loss of water by your body. But what many people miss out is the fact that a threat of dehydration appears while traveling by air. Dry skin and mucous membranes, headache, weakness - these are initial symptoms of dehydration caused by air flight. If appropriate measures are not taken these symptoms may develop into more serious consequences and ruin your trip at the very beginning.
The average moisture level in aircraft is 15% - that is at least 3-4 times less than a normal level on land. Extremely dry air makes your body lose more moist than usual. You may not always recognize the first symptoms of dehydration as some people are not used to drink plenty of liquid and may not feel thirsty for a long time. Lack of water can lead to a headache. Dry mucous membranes of mouth and nose lose their protective ability and you become open to all kinds of infection.
Slaking your thirst by drinking alcohol and caffeine offered on board is not a good idea. That will only worsen the effects of dehydration. What you body really wants during the flight is plain water. No matter how you feel, drink at least one glass of water every hour (sparkling water or soda won't do). Some people are afraid to consume too many fluids. However, when it comes to drinking water there is no such thing as "too much" as your body will get rid of any unwanted amount of liquid in a natural way and it can never cause harm to your health.
Avoid eating salty snacks like airline peanuts - salt retains water and can upset the process of metabolism. Replace them by fruit.
In order to keep your skin well-moisturized apply lotion to your hands and face and lip balm to your lips. You can also use water-spray or wet napkins.
Keep in mind that dehydration may seriously complicate some of the diseases you suffer from such as hypertonia, migraine, thrombosis and jamming of vertebral discs.
Dehydration also leads to toxicosis as kidneys are unable to function properly in lack of water.
You might experience fatigue and weakness during a long air journey. Have a glass of plain water and you will be surprised by the effect. By the way, airsickness may also be reduced by slowly drinking cold water.
Carry a bottle of spring water with you wherever you go and don't let dehydration catch you unawares.