Is It Better To Fly On An Empty Stomach

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Whether for business or pleasure, some people simply hate being on an airplane for several hours. This is especially true for those who often experience nausea and vomiting while thousands of feet in the air. If you are one of these people, keep on reading.

Below you will learn if you should eat before boarding a plane or not. Also, you will come across a few tips on how to make your flight from point A to point B a more pleasing one.

Generally, it is not a good idea for you to be inside the enclosed cabin of an airplane with empty stomach. Although it won’t keep nausea and vomiting at bay completely, it can help make throwing up less awful. Other than before boarding an airplane, eating during the flight is recommended, too.

However, it is important to know that just because it can be beneficial for you to eat before you fly does not mean that you can eat anything that you like. There are foods that you can eat, and there are foods that you should stay away from.

If your goal is to fend off nausea and vomiting or simply keep them to a minimum, it is a must for you to mind what you put in your mouth carefully. Knowing which foods to consume prior to take-off can make the flight more pleasant for you as well as the rest of the passengers.

Motion Sickness is the One to Blame for Your Plight During a Flight

Responsible for the crappy feeling you have when on a plane is known as motion sickness. Just like what the name says, it is a feeling of queasiness when you are in motion. It can bug you when traveling by car, bus, train, boat and of course, airplane. Motion sickness that is due to riding a plane is more aptly called airsickness.

So what causes motion sickness? Put simply, it’s the reaction of your brain to receiving conflicting signals. External stimuli that do not correspond to one another can cause nausea and vomiting.

For instance, on an airplane, your body is sensing a particular signal while your eyes are picking up a completely different signal. Your ears, which are actually major contributors to your sense of balance, are role players, too. The motion they are getting can cause additional woes to your brain.

Health experts say that an empty stomach can, in fact, worsen nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. It is because of this why eating something 1 to 2 hours before you fly is recommended.

But don’t eat just about any food — stick to something that is easy to digest. Otherwise, you may experience a stomach ache that can make things worse.

Are you planning on having a little alcohol before your flight to calm your nerves and thus make feeling sick so much easier to bear?

Don’t, say the experts! It is because of the fact that alcohol can do something to your body that can leave you feeling more terrible while on an airplane. Don’t stop reading now to learn what it is about alcohol intake that can worsen matters!

Dehydration and Too Much Gas are Culprits as Well

Everyone knows for a fact that alcohol can have a relaxing effect on the mind as well as the body. And this is why some people may have the urge to drink to help deal with their fear of flying or simply make the entire experience more bearable.

However, not everyone is aware that alcohol can cause dehydration, too. Alcohol has diuretic properties. So, in other words, it has the ability to cause the kidneys to work double-time and thus produce more urine. Needless to say, this can cause dehydration.

The problem with having a dehydrated body is that it can worsen nausea. This can increase the risk of a person to vomit. It goes without saying that being dehydrated and flying is not a good mix.

Especially if you are prone to having motion sickness or airsickness to be more specific, the entire flight can end up horrible. This is the reason why keeping the body properly hydrated while flying is a good idea.

Other than dehydration, there is something else that can make your flight a dreadful experience. It is none other than having excess gas in your stomach and the rest of your digestive system.

It’s no secret that some foods are notorious for causing gas. Some very common examples are cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Beans and peas are also considered as gas-forming foods. The same is true with dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream.

Being Several Feet in the Air Can Worsen Gas-Related Matters

Unfortunately, you cannot put all of the blame on gas-forming foods. Did you know that at high altitudes, gas naturally present in your digestive tract tends to expand? And if you ate foods that tend to produce lots of gas before you boarded an airplane, then there would be plenty of gas in your belly that could expand and wreak havoc on your flight!

The problem with having excessive amounts of gas in your abdominal area is that it can make you feel bloated. As a result of such, you will have a feeling of fullness in your stomach, making you want to throw up. So, in other words, being gassy can make you feel uncomfortable and more prone to having airsickness.

Worry not because it is possible to keep excess gas on a flight to a minimum. One of the things that you may do is stand up and stretch every now and then. Walking around is also highly recommended by experts.

Aside from excess gas, these suggestions also help to lower your risk of having deep vein thrombosis. DVT for short, this medical condition is a serious one. It is characterized by the formation of a blood clot in your lower leg, which can then travel to your lungs and cause a life-threatening issue referred to as “pulmonary embolism”.

Put simply, plane flights and foods that tend to produce gas should not be mixed. A few hours before you set foot inside an airplane, stay away from any food that can cause tons of gas to get trapped in your tummy.

It is Also a Good Idea to Follow These Really Simple Tips

There is an assortment of home remedies for motion sickness. One of the most effective of the bunch is drinking a cup of ginger tea. This is why you may consider having a cup of it just before you board the plane. A lot of people swear by sucking on a sliver of fresh ginger root or popping a piece of ginger chew in the mouth.

Other than eating a couple of hours before you fly, it is also recommended for you to snack on something every now and then while already flying. If you are prone to airsickness, consider choosing an airline that serves food and snacks that are perfect for someone like you who wish to avoid nausea and vomiting.

And by the way, refrain from consuming anything whose strong smell can trigger nausea.

Check that you stay away from carbonated drinks as they can make you gassy. Avoid drinking coffee because, just like alcohol, it can leave you dehydrated. Stick to water and take several sips of it throughout your flight.

Earlier, it was mentioned that motion sickness is due to conflicting signals being sent to the brain. That is why you should avoid watching movies, reading ebooks, or playing video games while on an airplane.

And did you know that it is possible to keep airsickness to a minimum by picking a seat in the middle of the plane?

Last but not least, make sure that you take your trusted OTC motion sickness medication to keep nausea and vomiting at bay. Have a safe and enjoyable flight!

Related Questions

Will sleeping help to reduce motion sickness?

Yes, sleeping can help to keep the problem at bay. That’s because it considerably reduces the input of conflicting signals to your brain. And by the way, sleep deprivation can, in fact, worsen motion sickness.

Can eating prevent vomiting?

Although having something before you fly is not a guarantee that vomiting will not happen, it can make throwing up less awful because vomiting with your stomach empty can be a very traumatic experience.

Image credit: Flickr

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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