Why You Should Think Twice Before Drinking Alcohol On An Airplane

As it turns out, drinking alcohol on an airplane may not be the best for your health. That's because both alcohol and flying on an airplane can cause and exacerbate dehydration (via Self). Since alcohol is a diuretic, it increases the excretion of water from your body. This can leave you feeling dry and fatigued and make you have to pee more frequently. Meanwhile, airplanes are notorious for their dry air and lower levels of humidity, which can dry out your skin and other parts of your body that require moisture, like your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Due to the relatively low air pressure in cabins on commercial flights, the air on a plane contains less oxygen than the air on the ground. This can lead to lower oxygen levels in the blood, which can cause lightheadedness, especially when combined with dehydration. In other words, the effects of drinking alcohol on an airplane are different and more pronounced than they are when you're drinking at a regular bar or restaurant. "One drink on a plane can equal more than one drink on the ground," Dr. Sanjay Kurani, medical director of inpatient medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University, told Self.

If you are going to drink, drink responsibly

However, this doesn't mean you have to completely avoid alcohol whenever you're on a plane. It just means that you need to exercise caution and drink responsibly (via Eater). If you're going to drink on an airplane, you should limit the amount of alcohol you consume. While the exact amount can vary depending on the person, you should pace yourself and eat whatever foods or snacks are available while you sip. This can help lower the rate at which alcohol is absorbed in your body. You should also drink plenty of water to help replenish and rehydrate your body. You can do this by drinking a cup of water for every alcoholic beverage that you order. This will help keep you hydrated and prevent you from feeling fatigued.

When it comes to what type of alcoholic drink you should order, however, you might want to steer clear of carbonated cocktails, and instead opt for a fruity wine or bloody mary. Carbonated drinks are more likely to cause gas and bloating at higher altitudes, and many find that some drinks don't taste the same in an environment with low air pressure, according to Eater. In fact, researchers have found that sweet and salty flavors are toned down and much less pungent when consumed on an airplane. Since tomatoes contain high levels of umami flavors, however, they taste exactly the same as they do on the ground, making tomato juice and bloody marys a safer and tastier bet.