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Hydration and Wellness: Tips for Staying Healthy on Long Flights

With flight attendant duties keeping individuals seated and often dehydrated for extended periods, it's crucial to take proactive steps towards wellness during long-haul flights. Making hydration a priority not only helps flight attendants feel their best, but also maintains performance serving passengers with high energy levels. Here are some tips for optimal hydration and healthy habits aloft.

Drink water consistently throughout flights. Even if not thirsty, sip water every 30-60 minutes to replace what's lost through normal bodily functions like sweating and breathing (Stookey et al., 2005). Carry a refillable bottle to stay on track. Dehydration degrades both mood and cognition over time.

Flavor water creatively. Adding slices of fruit like lemon, lime, oranges or berries adds natural taste without calories or sugar. Steeping herbal tea bags then removing also infuses interesting flavors while still hydrating. Experimenting prevents boredom and encourages drinking more (DellaValle et al., 2005).

Limit caffeinated beverages. While caffeine offers energy and alertness short-term, it acts as a diuretic pulling fluid from the body (Nawrot et al., 2003). Stick to one cup maximum per flight to avoid issues like headaches or irregular urination.

Snack smart. Choose filling, protein-rich snacks like nuts, cheese, yogurt or hardboiled eggs to sustain focus without extra fluid needs from sugar crashes. Preparation allows eating light, nutrient-dense snacks without spending money or time in-flight (Mozaffarian, 2016).

Move periodically. Stretching legs in aisles, calf raises at jumpseats or gently bouncing to music encourages better circulation to combat sitting effects. Even simple movements like neck rolls or shoulder shrugs help blood flow and ward off stiffness between duties (Graf et al., 2009).

Pack self-care items. Essentials like moisturizer, lip balm, eye drops and pain relievers uplift wellness. Carrying small towelettes, disposable masks and a travel size tissue pack protects health exposure to circulating viruses aboard (Poleszak & Poleszak, 2015).

Stay consistent with routines. Maintaining regular sleep, exercise schedules and relaxation practices like deep breathing, stretching or mindfulness supports whole-body balance even when circadian rhythms shift during layovers abroad. Commitment pays dividends for wellbeing (Gordon & Langmaid, 2019).

By thoughtfully incorporating these hydration strategies and healthy habits into long flight routines, flight attendants can maximize vitality and reduce fatigue risks inherent in multi-hour airborne environments. Proactivity strengthens ability to remain engaged, focused and thriving in this dynamic career.


DellaValle, D. M., Roe, L. S., & Rolls, B. J. (2005). Does the consumption of caloric and non-caloric beverages with a meal affect energy intake? Appetite, 44(2), 187–193.

Graf, C., Koch, B., Kretschmann-Kandel, E., Falkowski, G., Christ, H., Coburger, S., Lehmacher, W., Bjarnason-Wehrens, B., Platen, P., Tokarski, W., Predel, H. G., & Dordel, S. (2004). Correlation between BMI, leisure habits and motor abilities in child day-care centers in Germany. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 28(12), 22-26.

Gordon, J. S., & Langmaid, R. (2019). Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications.

Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity: A comprehensive review. Circulation, 133(2), 187–225.

Nawrot, P., Jordan, S., Eastwood, J., Rotstein, J., Hugenholtz, A., & Feeley, M. (2003). Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Additives and Contaminants, 20(1), 1-30.

Poleszak, E., & Poleszak, K. (2015). Travel medicine. Archives of Medical Science, 11(4), 835–850.

Stookey, J. D., Constant, F., Popkin, B. M., & Gardner, C. D. (2008). Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity, 16(11), 2481–2488.

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