Travelling can really take its toll on your body. Changes in climate and your diet, coupled with dehydration, a lack of sleep and the stress of flying, will leave anyone looking rather haggard.
If you're flying the key to looking better is be sure to hydrate. The humidity levels in most planes can dip as low as the Sahara Desert, and sap huge amounts of moisture from your skin. This dehydration amplifies the effects of jet lag and fatigue. I encourage clients to bring a large bottle of natural mineral water into your hand luggage, and drink at least 250 ml (1/4 litres of water) every hour. Start drinking tons of water the day before you fly (1 1/2 to 2 times your regular daily amount) and continue during the flight and the few days afterwards.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine during the flight, their diuretic effect can cause further dehydration. The cabin pressure has a nasty effect of doubling the effects of alcohol too; two drinks on the ground can equal one in the air. Avoid all carbonated and soft drinks too, as they can cause bloating through the expansion of stomach gases on descent. If you can, avoiding all airline food can really be the difference between arriving feeling fresh, or fatigued and foggy.
When the plane takes off, your whole body goes out of balance, including your digestive organs. Altitude and pressure changes at each landing and takeoff upset all body systems, and the low pressure on board can make your body swell up like the Michelin man, and expanded intestines it makes it incredibly difficult to digest! The dry, recirculated air in the cabin can also cause your body to lose the water necessary to move food along your digestive tract. Also, at high altitudes, the brain senses there's less oxygen, so it begins shunting oxygenated blood to crucial organs like the brain and heart, away from the digestive organs that are needed to digest.
Foods that are heavy in fat are something you particularly want to steer clear of when flying, as they take lots of energy to digest. Fats require more water, time and energy to be broken down than do carbs like veggies and whole grains. On top of all the added stress on your digestive system, most plane meals are basically just a cheap frozen meal,high in fat, salt, preservatives and other nasties, that will make you feel less than fabulous when you arrive.
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