Phizz’s products are being marketed to help passengers stay hydrated in the air.

The relative humidity on airplanes can reach as low as 10 percent – even lower than in the Sahara Desert. These products will ensure travelers remain hydrated and healthy during the busy holiday travel season.

Air travel can be hard on the body. In fact, it was his own long-haul air travel experience that inspired Daniel Cray, the co-founder and marketing director of the effervescent tablet maker Phizz, to explore beverage supplements. “My friends and I would regularly fly from Melbourne to Europe and find ourselves repurposing and combining various products to stay hydrated and healthy, and minimize our travel fatigue,” Cray says.

Phizz researchers found passengers can lose as much as two percent of their total water content during a six-hour flight, even while drinking 13.5 fluid ounces of water. Nearly half of this is lost just by breathing, through a combination of the dry cabin air and the low-oxygen environment, which increases the breathing rate.

“It’s important for the body to have optimal nutrients to adapt to the change in environment.” – Galina Koval, Berocca

The company’s founders worked with an Oxford University visiting scholar in neurophysiology and a Swiss laboratory to develop a product containing sodium, glucose and other electrolytes used in oral rehydration therapies as well as essential vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy during and after a long-haul flight. Phizz recently renewed a contract with Emirates to offer the tablets to first-class passengers and expects to announce another major carrier in the near future.

“It’s important to ensure that the body has optimal nutrient levels to help adapt to this change in environment and support the body’s energy needs and ability to recover,” says Galina Koval, global brand leader of Berocca, a brand of over-the-counter nutritional supplements that offer eight B vitamins, as well as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium to support hydration and immunity.

Also on the market is 1Above, which uses the antioxidant Pycnogenol as an active ingredient to reduce jet lag, boost immunity and promote better circulation. The company cites a scientific study claiming Pycnogenol “has been proven to reduce the length of jet lag by 53.8 percent and severity by an average of 61.5 percent after 24 hours.” Sarah Anderson, founder of the Aviation Nutritionist, is a backer of 1Above products, recommending them as a way to maintain “the body’s natural salt balance and decrease urine and nutrient loss.”

“Refreshing Defense” was originally published in the 8.4 August/September issue of APEX Experience magazine.

Marisa Garcia was once locked in a hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen while fine-tuning Gandalf’s new seats. Seriously. The firemen got her out. Writing is less confining, but she has lovely memories of those hands-on days.