Whether you choose plane, boat, car, or train, hydration is the key to healthy traveling!
Hydration is specifically important to travel for many reasons: digestion, immunity, recovery, and sleep.
First, we need to recognize how all types of travel dehydrate the body. This is caused by many factors from lack of bathroom availability on a road trip to air travel cabin pressures causing dehydration on a cellular level. Whatever the reason, we need to prepare to hydrate!
Preparation is key, so add a water bottle to your packing list. So often we hear, “I’m not spending $5 on a bottle of water…”. People always seem shocked at the price of bottled water. By carrying a water bottle with you, you can eliminate this excuse. Most places, including airports, have newer touchless water fountains designed to fill reusable water bottles. Although air travel is notorious for fluid restrictions, once you get that empty water bottle through TSA it’s hydration game on! Another option is to prepare for your road trip by packing a case of water bottles in the vehicle. This eliminates the need to buy an overpriced bottle at a gas station.
In addition to actively hydrating with water, we can hydrate with electrolytes as well to ensure we replenish our supply. Drinks that replace electrolytes, but are low in sugar are often labeled ‘zero’ and can be packed with you in powder form or found already mixed into water in many convenience stores. To ensure all of this is working for you and not against you, be sure to consume alcohol and caffeine sparingly as you travel since both of those dehydrate the body. Avoiding dehydrating beverages while traveling sets your trip up for health and therefore success!
Now that you have your water available to you, we need to respect all that it does for the body. Water is the most important catalyst indigestion. Without adequate supply, the intestines cannot function properly and can result in sometimes severe pain. Gas, bloating, and constipation are common complaints of travelers due to lack of proper hydration. Immunity is another system that heavily relies on water intake.
With all of today’s germs, viruses, and communicable diseases, hand washing and safe distances aren’t enough. We have to supply our immune system with hydration to perform. Avoid the travel germs by staying hydrated!
Lastly, consuming water will provide restful sleep and ample recovery throughout your travels. Rest is what we vacation for, but often we return home feeling more exhausted than when we left. Create a daily water consumption goal for your travel dates and assess your energy status when you return home. You’ll be surprised just how much water can do for you!