Hydration and travel
Travelling and holidaying in a warm or hot climate will usually increase our hydration needs.
In temperate climatic conditions the properly hydrated individual would lose an average of about 2−3 L of water from their bodies each day. This water loss is mainly via urine but sweating can also result in large water losses. We need to remember that the amount of water lost through sweating will be increased in hot and/or humid environments, especially in the presence of air currents or during increased physical activity.1 This water needs to be replaced for us to remain properly hydrated.
When travelling by plane, our bodies tend to dehydrate because air conditioning in the cabin makes the air drier than in a typical indoor environment. Dehydration during long flights, coupled with lack of movement, increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis.2
Travelling in a hot car can lead to sweating and high water loss. Even in air-conditioned vehicles, water loss can be increased on long journeys. It is very important to stay properly hydrated whilst driving as even mild levels of dehydration can impair physical and brain performance, potentially affecting concentration and increasing sleepiness.1 Frequent non-alcoholic drinks may help to prevent road fatigue.
If you would like more information about the themes discussed in this article, the ICASH website contains a range of materials which explore hydration-related subjects in more detail.