How To Prevent Jet Bloat

By Subodh / April 1, 2015

Jet bloat is a common complaint while flying. Jet bloat is nothing else, but accumulation of gas in the stomach that makes flying uncomfortable. When the gases in our body expand, owing to the body being in higher altitude, it often gets difficult to keep sitting in a closed cabin.

You must have often heard people complaining of jet bloating. Actually, it is not flying that causes jet bloating. There are various factors that contribute to it, like what kind of food you eat during and prior to flying, how good you sleep, and even anxiety and stress. Here is what the experts say about jet bloating and ways to keep it at bay:

Jet Bloat

What do the doctors say?

Doctors advise taking frequent breaks whenever possible. They recommend avoiding alcohol, coffee and salt consumption during the flight, as it leads to water retention. Hot green tea and Vitamin B Complex always help, as they are natural diuretics. In addition, you should be looking to drink a lot of water while flying to stay hydrated.

What do the trainers say?

Try and keep moving. If not, keep shifting your positions as often as you can. After landing, walk at a comfortable pace for around fifteen minutes to let blood move down your limbs.

[ Read:  How To Relieve Gas With Yoga Poses ]

What do the scientists say?

Eat early and go off to sleep three hours before your normal sleeping time, if your flight has a difference of more than six hours. This will not only reduce jet lag but also reduce bloating.

Food to avoid

  1. One should not eat salty food during the flight as well as a little prior to boarding. Peanuts and pretzels should not be taken.
  2. Food rich in oil and fats makes our bellies full, but can lead to heartburn because of high content of trans fat. That is the reason they lead to retention of fluids in body and also lead to swelling of feet.
  3. Though garlic has medicinal properties, its intake should be avoided prior to boarding a flight. It can lead to halitosis and definitely causes body odor.
  4. Foods that produce gas should not be taken during or before flying. Vegetables such as radish, cauliflower, potato, cabbage and beans produce gas and can lead to excessive flatulence.
  5. Avoid eating gum or hard candies, which people have a habit of chewing always. These chewing gums lead you to swallow more air and consequently you end up feeling bloated.

Read: [ How To Avoid Food Poisoning While Traveling ]

Beverages to be avoided during flights

  1. Don’t take drinks rich in Vitamin C like orange juice and lemonade as they cause excessive urination. They also have acidic properties that can cause heartburn.
  2. Carbonated drinks are also harmful during flying. They make you burp and lead to frequent visits to the washroom.
  3. Avoid having alcoholic beverages, including wine, as they have the tendency to dehydrate your body.
  4. Don’t drink coffee while waiting for your flight. One should avoid consumption of caffeine while travelling, as it causes dehydration and irritation in the bladder.

[ Read: How To Avoid Constipation While Traveling ]

Treatment for Jet Bloat

If you have history of jet bloat, the best option is to go for over-the-counter treatment that would reduce bloating. Consume Gas-X or Maalox anti-gas treatments. They contain simethicone that ensures gas leaves your body quickly by breaking down the gas bubbles. This helps in reducing bloating.

Move around whenever you get an opportunity. Walk till the bathroom or move your position every hour. If nothing else, keep crossing your legs or flexing your feet. Every little exercise helps in preventing jet bloat, as it ensures proper blood circulation and also prevents swelling in feet and legs.

[ Read: How To Avoid Jet Lag While Travelling With Kids ]

Quick Tips

  • It is best to carry healthy home cooked snacks during flights.
  • Fruits and vegetables help in reducing fluid retention and hence the best option. Look to consume fruits like apples and grapes.
  • The aim is to reduce the amount of gas in your stomach to prevent bloating. Hence, say no to aerated drinks. Instead drink plenty of water. One should have as much as 8 ounces of water every hour while traveling by air.
  • Many people feel alcoholic drinks soothe nerves and hence consume them while flying. On the contrary, they should be avoided as they dehydrate you and can lead to jet bloating.
  • If you are taking medicinal treatment for gas, ensure you follow proper dosage as prescribed on the pack.

Do you have any remedy to prevent jet bloat? Share in the comments below….