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How to prevent jet bloat

Updated April 17, 2017

Flying is not only responsible for causing stress and anxiety in people. Airplane travel can also be a source of physical discomfort. Bloating can be an uncomfortable side effect of flying. It occurs because the gases in your body expand at higher altitudes. Don't let bloating get the better of you, however. You can prevent jet bloating by employing some simple measures.

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  1. Avoid salty foods both before and during your flight. Stay away from things like pretzels and peanuts. The salt causes water retention and bloating. If possible, bring your own healthy snacks, such as an apple or grapes. The potassium in fruits and vegetables can reduce fluid retention and bloating.

  2. Drink water. Stay away from alcohol or carbonated beverages which can lead to fluid retention and bloating. Aim to drink 250 ml of water for every hour you are in the air.

  3. Take an over-the-counter treatment to reduce bloating. Try an anti-gas treatment such as Maalox or Gas-X. The simethicone in these products will break down the gas bubbles and help the gas leave your body quicker, thus reducing bloating. Follow the directions on the package for proper dosing.

  4. Try to move around if possible. Walk to the bathroom to get a little exercise. Also, try moving your position every half hour, even if it's just crossing your legs or flexing your feet. This will help keep the blood circulating and reduce bloating in legs and feet.

  5. Avoid gum or hard candies. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy causes you to swallow more air. You need to decrease the gas in your stomach so that you don't become bloated. Wait until you land before having candy or gum.

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About the Author

Melissa Morang began writing professionally in 2002. She has created sales scripts for telemarketing companies and contributes to online publications. Morang has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.

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