Bad Breath, Dry Skin, and Constipation: 6 Awful Things Flying Does to Your Body

Even in First! Aside from the cabin pressure, dry air, and having to sit in one place for an extended period of time, here are the unpleasant things air travel does to your body and how to prevent them:

It gives you bad breath. When you’re on a plane, many of your body’s systems slow down, including your production of saliva. That allows bacteria to flourish. To make matters worse, many travelers also alter their diets by either ODing on sugary drinks, fast food, and candy, or going without eating all day, which encourages halitosis. “Food particles in the mouth … produce a sulfur compound and cause bad breath,” according to J. Nick Russo, DDS, FAGD. And if you don’t eat anything all day, “‘morning mouth’ may reoccur later in the day,” according to Russo. In order to battle bad travel breath, eat healthfully, stay hydrated, and brush your teeth after meals.

It makes you constipated. All that plane-sitting causes your metabolic rate and digestion to slow. The result? Gas, bloating, and constipation. To lessen the blow (so to speak), cut down on your calorie intake — after all, you’re not expending very much energy — and twist side to side in your seat. It will ring out the GI tract and the muscles of the stomach, which will help everything keep moving.

It messes with your taste buds. Again, the culprit is that plane air. It dries out the mucous membranes in your mouth and nose which are both very closely related to your sense of taste and can alter it. In fact, a 2010 study by Lufthansa revealed that passengers’ ability to taste salty and sweet can drop by as much as 30 percent in-flight. The solution? Stay hydrated, and stick to sour, bitter, and spicy foods, tastes that are much less affected.

Thanks to Mark from Yahoo! for passing these along, check out the final three “awful things” and the full article here.

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