6 Ways Flying Messes With Your Body (And How to Combat Them)?
Whether you are heading for the exotic shores of the Caribbean, making treks on cobblestone streets in Europe or attending a work conference in China, either way you need to fly there. Frequent flyers know that pro-long exposure to low cabin pressure, dry air and sitting in one spot for an extended period of time, can do weird things to your body.
Learn how to combat the 6 (unpleasant) ways your body reacts to air travel so you can feel better prepared to tackle any mid-air surprises.
#1: It Gives You Bad Breath
Most passengers alter their diet when they travel because they cannot resist indulging in the complimentary service of soft drinks, alcohol, candy, salted nuts and chips. Or they skip meals. Problem is when you’re on a plane, your body’s system starts to slow down including saliva production. The combination of fast food, no food and lowered metabolism is the perfect playground for bacteria breeding, resulting in halitosis. To prevent stale and bad travel breath, drink lots of water and brush teeth immediately after meals.
#2: It Makes You Constipated
Traveling, as a whole, can be a high-stake hazard for one’s gut. Our bodies are biological systems conditioned by a certain rhythm of function. Any disruption of daily routine, sudden change in diet and unfamiliar environments can cause the body to plug up. Sitting for an extended period of time slows down the body’s digestive operations and puts stress on our bowels – leading to what some term as ‘traveler’s constipation’. To prevent this, try not to sit for long stretches. Get up, walk along the aisles, stretch your legs and drink some water. Take a mild natural laxative (like Shaklee Herb-Lax) a few days before travel and during to prevent traveler’s constipation.
#3: It Gives You Gas, And Lots of It
Ever tried to twist open a lotion bottle or pierce a juice box mid-flight only to experience a small explosion? As the plane takes off and cabin pressure drops, natural gas in our intestines expands. It is normal for your stomach to fill full, cramped or even slightly bloated. So, if you have to let out gas, just do. But quietly, please. Nobody wants to sit next to someone who passes gas and lets the world hear it. Alternatively, head for the toilet.
#4: It Causes Toothache and Aggravates Sinuses
Gas fluctuations can cause tooth and ear aches because air gets trapped in the cavities. It takes a while for our body to react which can cause temporary pressure pain to our air passageways like tooth and ears affecting our sinuses. Chewing gum, sucking on a candy, swallowing saliva, yawning and clicking jaws can open our air tubes to allow airflow and regulate pressure.
#5: It Leaves You Parched and Itchy
Recirculated air and low cabin pressure can really zap moisture from your skin. This causes skin to dry out and itch. Fortunately, it is easily remedied with hand lotions, creams, balms and drinking lots of water! If you are concern about the ill effects of airplane flying on your skin, read Airplane Must-Haves To Can Save Your Skin and 8 Secrets We Can Learn From Flight Attendants.
#6: It Numbs Your Taste Buds
Have you ever wondered why you have sudden cravings of coca cola or tomato juice when the drinks cart comes down your aisle? Dry air evaporates nasal mucus while cabin pressurization causes membranes to swell. This counter reaction in our body desensitizes our taste buds quite a bit, particularly our perception of sweet and salty. Studies have shown that our in-flight sweet and savory detectors can drop by as much as 30%. The only way to combat this is to be aware of it. You can always try to stick with sour, bitter and spicy food choices on-board.