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Why Do We Get Dehydrated When Travelling?

Although air travel is considered to be a luxury, it is no doubt the fastest and convenient method to travel, but there are some drawbacks which cannot be neglected. The most common health problem faced by flight passengers is lack of humidity in the cabin air, which causes suffocation and in result dehydration occurs. The average humidity level inside the cabin, range from 10-20 percent, which is lower than the normal humidity level. These fluctuations in humidity level can have consequences on the human body’s hydration level, so while travelling on a plane keeping the track of fluid intake is necessary.


Low Humidity Level:

Dehydration can have fatal consequences. The side effects of can be a dry mouth, runny nose, decreased urine output, dizziness and dry skin etc. There is a vast difference between the humidity level inside the plane and outside the plane, and this fluctuation in the humidity level causes discomfort in passengers. Passengers with asthma may experience difficulty in breathing. In low humidity level, the flight passengers are at high risk of catching cold. As the air is dry in the cabin, so the humidity is always fewer than 10 percent.

Water loss due to Respiration:

According to recent studies, 50% decrease is due to water loss, followed by respiration. The environment in the plane is hypoxic, which causes heart rate to palpitate, and dry cabin air makes it more suffocating and this type of water loss is irrevocable.

Water loss faced by men and women during air flights:

According to the recent studies, men tend to lose two liters of water during a long-haul flight, whereas women tend to lose 1.6 liters of water on average.

Climate stimulators:

As the humidity level is relatively low in the plane, and according to a research it is approximately three times drier than the Sahara Desert. It is obvious that spending a long duration of time in a climate stimulated environment can have adverse consequences on the human body. Biological studies have revealed that the human body functions properly on a normal body temperature of 37 degrees, so any fluctuation in this temperature, will have consequences like dehydration. Climate controlled environment decreases the water held status of the human body. Around 2% of the total body water is lost during each plane flight. Even 2% decrease in level can cause health problems that can be mild or severe, for example, lethargy, dry mouth, runny nose, scratchy eyes, memory problems and cognitive abilities of an individual are highly affected.

Therefore, to be on the safe side, the passengers should always keep a water bottle with them to replenish water intake during flights, and the adverse consequences can be avoided. And some other useful life saving products during flights are eye drops, nasal sprays and moisturizers which will sort out the issues of dry skin, runny nose and scratchy eyes.

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