Why You Feel Bloated After Having Airline Food? Tips To Avoid It

As summer vacations approach, many of us eagerly look forward to holiday plans and exciting travel adventures. However, for those flying to their destinations, the journey can sometimes be less pleasant due to discomfort caused by bloating after consuming airline food. Bloating can be an unwelcome companion on flights, making an otherwise enjoyable trip quite uncomfortable. 

Understanding why we feel bloated after airline food and how to avoid it can help ensure a more pleasant travel experience. The unique environment of an airplane, combined with the types of foods typically served, can significantly impact our digestion and comfort levels. Here are some reasons listed behind in-flight bloating and practical tips to help you avoid this common issue, ensuring that your holiday begins and ends on a happy note. 

Why You Feel Bloated? 

High Sodium Content 

Airline meals often contain high levels of sodium. Sodium acts as both a preservative and a flavour enhancer, which is particularly useful for meals that need to remain safe and tasty over long periods. However, high sodium intake can lead to water retention and bloating. Consuming salty foods makes your body hold onto more water to balance the salt levels, leading to that puffy, bloated feeling. 

Cabin Pressure and Altitude 

The pressurised environment of an airplane cabin and the high altitude can significantly affect your body. Reduced air pressure at high altitudes causes the gas in your stomach and intestines to expand, which can lead to bloating and discomfort. Furthermore, the dry air inside the cabin can cause dehydration. Dehydration slows down digestion and can exacerbate feelings of bloating and discomfort. 

Limited Movement 

During long flights, passengers are often confined to their seats with limited opportunities for movement. This lack of physical activity can slow down the digestive system, making it harder for your body to process food efficiently. Inactivity leads to a buildup of gas and bloating, as digestion relies partly on movement to help food pass through the digestive tract. 

Gas-Inducing Foods 

Certain foods are more likely to cause gas and bloating, and these are often included in airline meals. Foods like beans, cabbage, and carbonated drinks can increase gas production in the stomach and intestines. When consumed in the confined space of an airplane cabin, these effects can be more pronounced due to other contributing factors like limited movement and cabin pressure. 

Tips to Avoid Bloating 

Stay Hydrated 

Drinking plenty of water is beneficial for preventing bloating. Hydration helps keep your digestive system moving smoothly and can counteract the dehydrating effects of dry cabin air. Aim to drink water regularly throughout the flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as these can contribute to dehydration. 

 Avoid Carbonated Beverages 

Carbonated drinks introduce extra gas into your digestive system, which can increase bloating and discomfort. Choose regular water, herbal teas, or juice instead. Avoiding these fizzy drinks can help keep gas levels down. 

Limit Sodium Intake 

Be mindful of the sodium content in your meals. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables when available, and try to avoid heavily salted snacks and meals. Bringing your own low-sodium snacks can be a great way to control your salt intake. 

Move and Stretch 

Try to move around the cabin whenever possible. Simple stretching exercises and walking can help stimulate digestion and reduce gas buildup. Even small movements in your seat, like flexing your feet and rotating your ankles, can make a difference. 

Avoid Gas-Inducing Foods 

Be wise with your food choices during the flight. Avoid foods known to cause gas and bloating, such as beans, peanuts, and carbonated drinks. Go for lighter meals that are easier to digest, and consider bringing your own snacks that are less likely to cause discomfort.