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Travel Tip: Physiology of Flying

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We all know that traveling takes a toll on our health, but have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you’re on the plane?

Believe it or not, there’s a science behind the food that’s served on airlines. That’s because decreased humidity, filtered air, and change in pressure affects your sense of smell and taste. By the time you reach altitude, your sense of taste can be reduced by as much as a third.

Now we’ve all learned from experience to avoid heavy food, alcohol and even caffeine before getting on the plane. The fact is, flying has a huge effect on how our bodies process and digest the food. The decreased cabin pressure actually causes bloating, while the dry atmosphere contributes to dehydration and increased blood alcohol levels. And there are some food items that can wreak havoc in the body without you even realizing it. I’m talking about the gas in carbonated beverages, the sugars in candy and soda, and the salt in those airline peanuts and pretzels.

When you’re in the air, that’s one of the most important times to pay attention to what goes into your body, because the physiology can impact you even more than when you’re on the ground.

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