The One Drink You Should Always Order on an Airplane

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

It can help you avoid jet lag, boost your immune system, and keep you feeling your best at 35,000 feet.


There are so many plane-related health risks that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Not only would the bacteria on your tray table make you cringe, but you’ll want to think twice before using the blankets, as well. As for the menu? Let’s just say that you should only order one thing when the beverage cart rolls up to your seat.

While it’s tempting to take advantage of the free airline perks, consider skipping the soft drinks and juice. A better option is plain old water, experts say. (You might want to avoid drinking tea or coffee on planes for this gross reason, too.)

Why? Turns out, those cold, dry airplane cabins can wreak havoc on your body—causing fatigue, swelling, and most importantly, dehydration. Once you get dehydrated, you are also more vulnerable to air sickness, jet lag, and headaches while flying at 35,000 feet. A glass of H2O can combat the worst of your dehydration before it even sets in.

One more tip: Make sure your flight attendant serves you water from a bottle rather than the tap. A 2012 EPA report found that 12 percent of commercial planes tested positively for coliform bacteria in their water supplies, according to NBC 5.

If water is too boring for your tastebuds, Southern Living recommends ordering seltzer water mixed with a bit of cranberry juice. It’s a great substitute for the fizzy and flavorful taste of soft drinks—without the extra sugar, calories, and chemicals found in soda.

Staying hydrated shouldn’t be exclusively reserved for your travels, of course. These genius tricks will guarantee you’ll drink your recommended two liters of water every single day.