Whether your flying for business or leaving for vacation, the flight there is more often than not the worst way to kick start your travel. The torture your body is put through during long flights in a pressurized cabin, with who knows how many other sick people around you, can be quite taxing and could even jeopardize your health for while your away. This can put a damper on your fun in the sun, affect your performance at the business meeting, or the worst of all could tank your performance at a race!!
The one thing you can control during these taxing flights is what you put into your body, before during and after. We’ll touch on a few nutrition tips to keep in mind that will help get you through.
Pre flight –
- The night before and morning of your flights, make sure to eat nutrient rich meals that are reasonable in size. A nutrient deficiency will only be amplified once submerged onto a plane (especially if its a red eye) and taking on a buffet will only lead to digestion problems once boarded.
Immune system boost –
- While I say this with caution, its very difficult to overdose on Vitamin C and D. I always boost my intake of these immune system enhancers leading up to travel, to get my body ready to fight off germs, bacteria and viruses that I will likely encounter.
- If you take one thing away from this write up, then make it this one!!! Bring a water container of some sort and STAY HYDRATED. I will usually bring either a, empty hydration bladder in my backpack or at least a water bottle with me to the airport, and fill it up as soon as I’m through security. Stay on top of your hydration throughout the whole day, and ramp it up once on the plane. A general rule which I have seen from multiple sources, and have found works for me, is to consume 12 oz of water for every hour of your flight. Do your best not to consume caffeine, alcohol or carbonated beverages while flying, all of which will dehydrate you.
Snacks and Meals –
- Aside from the obvious lack of nutrition that airline food comes with, I’ve never found anything offered on flights that appealed to my taste buds either. Your best bet to keep yourself fueled with high energy and nutrition packed foods are to bring them yourself. Take the time to research what is allowed through security where you are flying. For us here in Canada they will usually allow me away with most of my carry on food items, as long as they aren’t in liquid form (smoothies or soups) and any produce is from Canada or the US. Here are some idea’s that we commonly pack for our airline travels:
- Great source of healthy monounsaturated fats
Keep them under 200 cals each, your barely moving so theres no point in taking in too many calories at once
Nature has already packed these nutrition gems for a perfect grab and go snack.
Keep in mind they tend to suck once they’ve gotten too warm. We tend to share one ziplock bag full between two of us, any more we’ll end up tossing the rest
While they may need some extra packing protection, they provide a strong shot of iron and potassium
Sandwich or wrap
Keep it to easily digestible foods. We lean mostly on nut butter and jam (Both fired up in our Vitamix) or veganaise and avocado.
Food to Stay Away from
– From any water coming from the airplane taps, in this case no water is better than that water.
– From caving in and grabbing some fast airport food. If desperate, take the time to search our your very best healthy option. (And no…Tim Hortons doesn’t count as a healthy option I don’t care what you get!)
With these pointers in mind, do a little bit extra planning to make sure you make it through your flight, healthy and happy, and ready to relax on the beach, electrify your colleagues at your business meeting, or punish the competition at your race!!