Lengthy flights can be particularly taxing to travelers, according to a newly conduced Harris Poll survey, which found 80% of those surveyed reported losing more than a day of performance every time they fly. Time spent during air travel can lead to dehydration, exhaustion, sore muscles and joints, and a weakened immune system.
Dehydration is one of the primary culprits impacting flyers, yet they vastly underestimate how severe its impact can be. In a survey, 11% of Americans believed they experienced dehydration during a plane ride, when in fact 71% of air travelers whose most recent flight was at least an hour did not drink sufficient liquids (all drinks excluding alcohol) on their last flight.
To combat dehydration from air travel and its associated health effects, 1Above, New York, NY, developed a line of beverages, shots, supplements, and powders to support the needs of frequent flyers.
According to Roger Boyd, the founder of 1Above, the effects of flying and jet lag can be far reaching, ranging from fatigue, low concentration and irritability to swelling in the extremities, headaches and dry skin, nasal and throat membranes. On top of that, there can be even more severe health risks, he said. “The risk of DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) more than triples on long flights, and studies show you are five times more likely to catch the flu or other illness,” explained Mr. Boyd. He added, “Dehydration exacerbates these risks, as cabin air at 35,000 feet creates conditions drier than the Sahara. Yet research shows U.S. travelers remain woefully unprepared and dehydrated when flying.”
The inspiration for this line came from Mr. Boyd’s real life experience, which led him to the harsh reality of how serious a toll air travel takes on health. “In my corporate life, I traveled all over the world for 12 years and worked my way through three passports,” he noted. “Each time I stepped on a plane I knew I was in for a world of pain at the other end but, like most people, I just accepted it as part of the cost of flying.”
But in 2001, exposure to a flight-related tragedy drove this message home as a fellow passenger on one of Mr. Boyd’s long flights passed away en route. “The doctor who worked on him happened to sit beside me, and proceeded to tell me about all the issues of flying dehydrated and nutritionally depleted,” he said. “For the first time it made me stop and think about the conditions our bodies are under when we fly, and what could be done to help people fly well, arrive ready, and return happily to their loved ones.”
This experience, along with his background in nutritional products, led Mr. Boyd to begin exploring how people travel and what the body needs to fly safely and comfortably. “I was so inspired, I left my corporate job and embarked on four years of research and development, before launching the first flight drink, 1Above, in 2010.”
After four years of research and development, the brand launched its line in New Zealand and Australia, and was introduced in North America this summer travel season at airports such as Toronto, Newark and Minneapolis through Cibo Express Gourmet Markets.
A key active ingredient in the line is the French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol, which has been found to reduce the length and severity of jet lag by more than 50%, according to the company. Pycnogenol also supports circulation and reduces the average length of the common cold and flu-like symptoms.
1Above also features six different electrolytes for hydration, B vitamins for energy enhancement, and vitamin C for its additional immune boosting capabilities.
Available as a concentrate or lightweight effervescent tablet, 1Above can be added to a bottle of water once through security or on the plane. It can also be purchased as a ready-to-drink after security at select airports. The company believes 1Above helps to takes the guesswork out of deciding how many liquids are needed to stay hydrated, as sizes are calculated based on flight length.
Looking toward the future, Mr. Boyd said the company would continue to focus on expansion around the globe. “Our ultimate goal remains the same,” he said. “Above all we want to provide education and resources to help people fly well, arrive ready, and bring back the love of flying again.”