Before you order any old beverage, it’s important to think twice about how to serve your body best at 30,000 feet.
“Our bodies can lose up to eight ounces of water per hour leading to dehydration if not hydrated properly — this is amplified for longer flights over six hours,” Cesar Sauza, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Health Canal, shared. “All drinks with sugar, caffeine, or alcohol should be avoided to limit dehydration, and water should be the only drink choice during flights.”
But if water doesn’t cut it, here’s what Sauza said you should drink on your next flight.
According to Sauza, if you’re really craving something bubbly, reach for a can of club soda over traditional sugary drinks. “Most sodas have over 30 grams of sugar per can, so drinking one or more sodas during your flight will contribute to jet lag and dehydration.”
This idea is also backed up by the University of Chicago Medicine, which further explained that club soda will indeed hydrate you better than soda. However, it added that if you can, skip any sparkling beverages that contain artificial sweeteners as well as those that contain added salt.
Skip the Mixer
Hopefully, you’re on a flight to somewhere special, which means a celebratory cocktail could be in order. If you do choose to imbibe, Sauza said it’s a good idea to skip the mixer. “Skipping the alcohol on a flight is the best approach to have you feeling at your best on your trip, but, if planning on drinking liquor, the best option is clear liquors on the rocks or with club soda.”
Additionally, those mixers can increase your blood alcohol level faster if they can contain artificial sweeteners. According to a 2006 study, subjects who drank a cocktail made with diet soda containing an artificial sweetener had a peak blood alcohol level of .05 percent compared to .03 percent in those who consumed the cocktail with a non-diet mixer.
Choose White Over Red
If a drink straight isn’t your thing you can choose wine — just make sure it’s a lighter grape. “Red wine usually has a higher ABV and has more byproducts, both contributing to dehydration that is already occurring when we fly. White wine is a lighter option if drinking alcohol while flying, regardless alcohol should be limited to one serving while flying.”
Skip the Beer, Too
“Beer is high in calories and high in carbohydrates in addition to providing alcohol, all contribute to increased jet lag and dehydration,” Sauza said. What can you have instead? Just like red wine, he says to place beer with white wine as well. “White wine is always a better option than beer, especially on flights.”
If you’ve ever wondered about the alcohol content in white and red wines, along with different beers and liquors just check out this guide, which could come in handy before your next flight.
Try to Skip the Caffeine
We know, coffee can be a hard thing to miss, but according to Sauza, caffeine should be avoided, especially on any flight changing time zones as it can affect your sleeping pattern and increase jet lag. If you want a hot beverage, Sauza suggested ordering a “caffeine-free tea that does not contain sugar is the perfect alternative to that sugar-filled coffee drink.” And just in case you want a few more tips for beating jet lag, check out these tips from a NASA astronaut.
Go for Whole Fruit
Juice might seem like a healthier option, however, as Sauza noted, most juices served on planes are highly concentrated.