Photo credit" Constance Sturm (Creative Commons license)

Photo credit: Constance Sturm (Creative Commons license)

Long flight to India coming up?  There are many strategies for making your flight more comfortable (and I’ll summarize the others at the end of this post), but perhaps the one thing that makes the biggest difference is to stay hydrated with alkaline water. I’ve used it on trips as long as 30 hours where I was flying to or from India with a few hours between planes in Europe. Whenever I’ve done this, I found that I had plenty of energy at the end of the trip, and jet lag was less of a problem, too. When I haven’t done it, I experienced extreme fatigue as well as a lot more stiffness in my body from sitting so much—really a lot more. 

It’s ridiculously simple. Just stay super-hydrated by drinking a lot of alkalized water. When I say a lot, I mean up to a cup of water an hour. Don’t try to drink a huge amount all at once; your body needs time to absorb all that water. On the other hand, if you are planning to sleep, you might want to drink 2-3 cups before you do. (See the information at the end of this post about why you shouldn’t overdo it.)  Sure, you’ll make lots of trips to the toilet, but it’s worth it. Evidently, it’s not just the quantity of the water that helps;  the alkaline quality is also important. Alkaline water is said to be super-hydrating.

Flight attendants and pilots are aware that hydration is especially important on long-haul flights because the air on a plane really dries you out. Unfortunately, there are some people who really don’t like to drink water, but it’s water you need, not tea or coffee or or Gatorade or alcoholic beverages or cola or fruit juice. Even if you aren’t fond of drinking water, try to stick to water; you’ll feel better when you arrive. If they run out of mineral water, ask for hot water, as the cold water from the tanks may not be safe. 

There are many different ways to alkalize water. I use a mineral product called X2O, which I have had for a few years. It’s not something I use regularly, but I always take it when I’m on a long flight. I bring an empty stainless steel water bottle on the plane loaded with a couple of X2O packets; then I just keep getting it refilled. (Incidentally, you can keep using the same packet for many days without reducing its effectiveness.) This works for me, but there are many other options. One that looks good to me is NewCell Alkaline Water Ionizer Pocket. A web search that includes the words ‘hydration’ and ‘alkalization’ will bring up many different possibilities. Just be sure to look for something that’s easy.

Not incidentally, alkalization is important to the body for a lot of reasons. Otto Wartburg got a Nobel Prize in 1931 for his research showing how cancer cells can’t live in an alkaline environment because they need an acidic, anaerobic environment to thrive. Apparently, cancer cells will die if they can be pushed into an alkaline, oxygenated state. It seems that alkalinity is unfavorable for any disease.

Before I found out about super-hydration, I would always have problems with stiffness and numbness on those long flights. Now, it’s a completely different story.

Caution: Pay attention to how you feel. Don’t force yourself to drink way more than you are comfortable with. It’s actually possible to drink too much water and get water poisoning, which can even be fatal. That takes a huge amount of water, and you’d really have to force yourself to drink enough for that to happen. You want to be hydrated, not bloated. Also, this is NOT a recommendation for something to be done all the time. It’s certainly safe for a short period while you are in the plane, but drinking that much water every day would not be good. I am not a medical professional and this is should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your doctor if you have any doubts about how much water you can safely drink. This link gives more information.

Of course, there are other things that can make a big difference, as well:

• Reserve your seat well ahead, if possible. will help you choose the most comfortable seat available.

• Bring a few comfort items like a neck pillow, pashmina shawl, etc.

• Pack your own snacks or even a whole meal.

• Get up and exercise (or at least do a few discreet stretches) every few hours. Don’t worry about people thinking you look ridiculous. They are more likely to think how good it would feel and to envy you for not worrying about it.





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