What happens to your body in the air?

Have you ever stopped to think about what exactly happens to your body when you fly and considered that your body is under completely different conditions and needs different support at 30,000 ft in the air than on the ground?

The good news is that once you are aware of what happens to your body when you fly, you can take the proper measures to nourish and support yourself.

So what exactly happens to your body in the air?

The 6 health effects of flying

circulation while traveling

Your circulation is impaired

When you fly, your circulation becomes impaired for two reasons: 

1. You're sitting for prolonged periods of time in unnatural, cramped positions 
2. Your blood oxygen levels decrease because of the cabin pressure.

Reduced blood oxygen levels are also responsible for the fatigue you experience during your flight. 

These two factors cause blood to pool in your legs and circulation to slow.

If you're a flight crew member and think you're safe because you're standing rather than sitting, think again. The same thing can happen when you're standing on your feet for too long.

Blood circulation is essential for your overall health, as it's responsible for spreading oxygen and nutrients throughout your entire body.

When circulation is impaired, blood pools in your leg veins, contributing to foot swelling by forcing fluids out of the blood and into the surrounding tissue.

More serious problems like varicose veins or blood clots can also result.

Read more about it on our blog:
Swelling When Traveling? Here’s Why It Happens + What to Do

When you fly, your circulation becomes impaired for two reasons: 

1. You're sitting for prolonged periods of time in unnatural, cramped positions 
2. Your blood oxygen levels decrease because of the cabin pressure.

Reduced blood oxygen levels are also responsible for the fatigue you experience during your flight. 

These two factors cause blood to pool in your legs and circulation to slow.

If you're a flight crew member and think you're safe because you're standing rather than sitting, think again. The same thing can happen when you're standing on your feet for too long.

Blood circulation is essential for your overall health, as it's responsible for spreading oxygen and nutrients throughout your entire body.

When circulation is impaired, blood pools in your leg veins, contributing to foot swelling by forcing fluids out of the blood and into the surrounding tissue.

More serious problems like varicose veins or blood clots can also result.

Read more about it on our blog:
Swelling When Traveling? Here’s Why It Happens + What to Do

You experience fatigue & jet lag

FREQUENT FLYERS EXPERIENCE CHRONIC JET LAG AND AGE FASTER

Scientists now understand and agree that certain genes affect how fast we age—and it appears the more someone travels by air, the faster they age. 

"Frequent flying can lead to chronic jet lag, which can cause memory impairment and has been linked in studies to disrupting gene expression that influences aging and the immune system, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke." 

Read more about it on our blog:
Travel Fatigue Explained: Signs, Symptoms & Causes

FREQUENT FLYERS EXPERIENCE CHRONIC JET LAG AND AGE FASTER

Scientists now understand and agree that certain genes affect how fast we age—and it appears the more someone travels by air, the faster they age. 

"Frequent flying can lead to chronic jet lag, which can cause memory impairment and has been linked in studies to disrupting gene expression that influences aging and the immune system, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke." 

Read more about it on our blog:
Travel Fatigue Explained: Signs, Symptoms & Causes
travel dehydration

Your body becomes dehydrated

KICKING OFF A DOMINO EFFECT OF SIDE EFFECTS

Cabin air is dryer than the Sahara Desert. Seriously. 

You can expect a typical passenger aircraft to have about 12% humidity. The Sahara Desert sees about 25% humidity.

It has to be this way; to support a more comfortable humidity level, the aircraft would have to carry gallons of heavy, expensive water, and would be at risk for excess condensation which can be damaging and corrosive to the parts. 

But knowing this doesn’t make it any less harmful to your hydration levels.

When you fly, you likely experience some side effects of dehydration. Dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, peeling cuticles, and even nose bleeds are common after spending even a short period of time in the air. 

Dehydration can also cause headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue.

Having dehydrated mucous membranes (especially in the nose) leaves us more vulnerable to airborne viruses as well. 

Read more about it on our blog:
does flying dehydrate you

KICKING OFF A DOMINO EFFECT OF SIDE EFFECTS

Cabin air is dryer than the Sahara Desert. Seriously. 

You can expect a typical passenger aircraft to have about 12% humidity. The Sahara Desert sees about 25% humidity.

It has to be this way; to support a more comfortable humidity level, the aircraft would have to carry gallons of heavy, expensive water, and would be at risk for excess condensation which can be damaging and corrosive to the parts. 

But knowing this doesn’t make it any less harmful to your hydration levels.

When you fly, you likely experience some side effects of dehydration. Dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, peeling cuticles, and even nose bleeds are common after spending even a short period of time in the air. 

Dehydration can also cause headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue.

Having dehydrated mucous membranes (especially in the nose) leaves us more vulnerable to airborne viruses as well. 

Read more about it on our blog:
does flying dehydrate you
getting sick while traveling

Your immune system is suppressed

You can imagine that spending hours in a confined space, with hundreds of strangers from all around the world, all while breathing in recycled air can impact your immune system.

And it's not just your imagination:

The likelihood that you will catch a cold is 100 times higher on an airplane. 

That's because not only are you exposed to tons of germs being in close quarters with hundreds of strangers, but the fatigue from reduced oxygen levels and jet lag can switch off immune system response. 

The dry cabin air also causes swelling of the mucous membranes, compromising their ability to protect you.

This means that frequent flyers have a suppressed immune system and therefore aren't as well equipped to fight off colds and viruses compared to people who travel less frequently. 

You can imagine that spending hours in a confined space, with hundreds of strangers from all around the world, all while breathing in recycled air can impact your immune system.

And it's not just your imagination:

The likelihood that you will catch a cold is 100 times higher on an airplane. 

That's because not only are you exposed to tons of germs being in close quarters with hundreds of strangers, but the fatigue from reduced oxygen levels and jet lag can switch off immune system response. 

The dry cabin air also causes swelling of the mucous membranes, compromising their ability to protect you.

This means that frequent flyers have a suppressed immune system and therefore aren't as well equipped to fight off colds and viruses compared to people who travel less frequently. 

cosmic radiation from flight

You are exposed to cosmic radiation

WHICH MAY BE LINKED TO DNA DAMAGE

Cosmic radiation is radiation from the sun. At ground level this isn’t a problem, because the atmosphere provides somewhat of a protective barrier.

Cosmic radiation is radiation from the sun. At ground level this isn’t a problem, because the atmosphere provides somewhat of a protective barrier.
“You can’t see it or feel them, but at any given moment, tens of thousands of highly charged particles are soaring through space and slamming into Earth from all directions.

These particles, sometimes called cosmic rays or cosmic ionizing radiation, originate from the farthest reaches of the Milky Way. They’re bits and pieces of atomic cores shot to nearly light-speed by black holes and exploding stars, and they smash into (and through) anything and everything in their way.

With that incredible speed and energy, it’s no surprise cosmic rays can easily penetrate the human body and, in the process, pose risks to our health. Their damage to tissues and DNA have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems, for example.”

WHICH MAY BE LINKED TO DNA DAMAGE

Cosmic radiation is radiation from the sun. At ground level this isn’t a problem, because the atmosphere provides somewhat of a protective barrier.

Cosmic radiation is radiation from the sun. At ground level this isn’t a problem, because the atmosphere provides somewhat of a protective barrier.
“You can’t see it or feel them, but at any given moment, tens of thousands of highly charged particles are soaring through space and slamming into Earth from all directions.

These particles, sometimes called cosmic rays or cosmic ionizing radiation, originate from the farthest reaches of the Milky Way. They’re bits and pieces of atomic cores shot to nearly light-speed by black holes and exploding stars, and they smash into (and through) anything and everything in their way.

With that incredible speed and energy, it’s no surprise cosmic rays can easily penetrate the human body and, in the process, pose risks to our health. Their damage to tissues and DNA have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems, for example.”

bloating after flying

Your body becomes bloated

YOUR BODY RETAINS WATER & BECOMES BLOATED

When you fly, your body goes into an immediate state of stress.  

When we're stressed, all of our body's energy goes to support our vital functions - like breathing and keeping our heart beating.

What does this mean for digestion? Well, the blood in our digestive tract is rerouted to support our vital functions so there is a lot less energy to digest the food you eat.

Your under-functioning digestive system will have a harder time digesting the unhealthy, nutrient depleted plane food, and the air pressure changes cause build-ups of gas -- it's clear why we feel bloated and experience all sorts of digestive disturbances while we fly. 

Read more about it on our blog:
Bloating After Flying: What Causes Jet Belly &  How to Prevent it

YOUR BODY RETAINS WATER & BECOMES BLOATED

When you fly, your body goes into an immediate state of stress.  

When we're stressed, all of our body's energy goes to support our vital functions - like breathing and keeping our heart beating.

What does this mean for digestion? Well, the blood in our digestive tract is rerouted to support our vital functions so there is a lot less energy to digest the food you eat.

Your under-functioning digestive system will have a harder time digesting the unhealthy, nutrient depleted plane food, and the air pressure changes cause build-ups of gas -- it's clear why we feel bloated and experience all sorts of digestive disturbances while we fly. 

Read more about it on our blog:
Bloating After Flying: What Causes Jet Belly &  How to Prevent it

How our ingredients help solve these issues

Pycnogenol

Jet Lag Support, Brain boost, Healthy Skin + Circulation Support

Why we chose it:

Pycnogenol (the trademark name for French maritime pine bark extract) is a powerful super-antioxidant shown in decades of research to boost blood circulation and act as a natural anti-inflammatory.

We decided to add this ingredient to Flight Elixir's formulation because of its ability to help relieve jet lag symptoms, reduce lower leg swelling known as edema, boost cognitive function and can help protect skin from UVB rays.


Elderberry + Astragalus

Immune Support

Why we chose it:

Maintaining a strong immune system is top of mind for everyone traveling.

High in vitamin C, B, and A, elderberry is antioxidant-rich and we included it in our flagship product, Flight Elixir, to support the immune system and prevent or reduce cold and flu symptoms.

Elderberry also contains anthocyanins — the pigment that gives the berries their purple, or black coloring. Anthocyanins are thought to prevent flu viruses from reproducing inside our bodies, which may prevent the onset of flu or decrease the duration of its symptoms.

Astragalus is an equally powerful ingredient packed full of cell-protecting antioxidants. Astragalus is a herb commonly used to support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections.


Coconut water crystals

Hydration + Electrolyte Replenishment

Why we chose it:

Maintaining hydration during your flight is one of the key things you can do to arrive at your destination feeling alert and ready to hit the ground running.

Coconut water is rich in key electrolytes (specifically potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium). These electrolytes are essential minerals that play a vital role in the functions of your body, including supporting hydration, digestion, energy, and circulation.


Papaya

BLOATING + DIGESTION

Why we chose it:

Papaya is a key ingredient in Flight Elixir because it is one of the best natural sources of digestive enzymes. These enzymes help to reduce bloating, gas, and digestive upset.

Papaya is a rich source of the enzymes papain, chymopapain, caricain and glycyl endopeptidase that each aid in healthy digestion.


Tart cherry

Jet Lag + Travel Fatigue

Why we chose it:

Research has found that consuming tart cherry increases melatonin levels and improves sleep quality and quantity.

Tart cherries contain many phytonutrients, such as phenolic acids and anthocyanins, which have been reported to provide “oxidative stress protection in neuronal cells”[1, 2]. Tart cherries also contain “anti-inflammatory substances and melatonin” [3, 4, 5], suggesting more than one promising sleep-promoting properties for this fruit.

The anti-inflammatory cytokines in tart cherries may promote sleep because “inflammatory cytokines are intricately related to the modulation of sleep [6]”. And the high melatonin concentration may promote circadian rhythm balance through melatonin’s sleep-regulating properties.


Goji, beetroot + black pepper

Circulation + Swelling

Why we chose it:

Goji, beetroot + black pepper to support circulation + swelling.

Beets are a source of betalains, a compound thought to be a powerful antioxidant which may help reduce inflammation and support circulation.

Beetroot is also a rich source of nitrates, which research suggests may aid in the removal of harmful compounds from the blood.


Glutathione

Cosmic Radiation Support

Why we chose it:

Radiation exposure can lower levels of this master antioxidant naturally produced by the body, putting frequent flyers at risk for radioresistance if depleted. 


Goji Berries

Beetroot

Pycnogenol

Astragalus

Black Pepper

Glutathione

Goji Berries

Beetroot

Pycnogenol

Astragalus

Black Pepper

Glutathione

WHY TRAVELERS REFUSE TO TRAVEL WITHOUT FLIGHTFŪD

WHY TRAVELERS REFUSE TO TRAVEL WITHOUT FLIGHTFŪD

Name

Brianna H.

Reason for Flight

Leisure

Rating

★★★★★

Review

I LOVE this! Helped keep me feeling well while traveling to Europe. Long-haul flights, long lay-overs, airplane food. Regardless I arrived feeling great, even with the 8 hour time difference! I take doses in the days after arriving and it massively helped in adjusting to the time change AND staying regular. I’ll keep taking this when I’m not traveling & need a boost.

Name

Paula W.

Reason for Flight

Leisure

Rating

★★★★★

Review

I bought this for my trip to Israel and had no jet lag, fatigue, or problems acclimating to the time change after my flight! I truly believe it was because I used this product.
On my flight back, I was on a flight for 15 1/2 hours and had two more layovers and was in the airport/plane for over 22 hours. I’m back today feeling refreshed and revitalized because I took Flightfūd!

Name

The H.

Reason for Flight

Business

Rating

★★★★★

Review

Does what it promises! I flew from SFO to Miami & drank a pack as we were about to board. I'd been feeling some dryness and tightness in my throat, and this took care of it immediately. Tastes good (I filled up the Flightfud bottle - highly recommend that as well). On my way back I was thrilled to feel no bloat or travel-weariness that can happen in the exhaustion of air travel.