A long flight can be a taxing experience even when you're feeling 100% healthy.
If you're not doing so great, the hours can drag by even slower, leaving you feeling trapped and miserable. And while sometimes there's nothing you can do to control feeling bad on a flight, your fate is partly in your hands.
Knowing what you eat before a long-haul flight can make a huge difference in your experience. Eat the right thing and you can easily fall into a blissful — for a plane that is — sleep. Chow down on something else and you may spend the next hours of your life is a state of regret and discomfort.
Read on as flight attendants reveal what you should be eating before a longhaul flight.
If you're looking to sleep on your flight, don't overeat beforehand. While you may be thinking that eating a lot will ensure you aren't reliant on plane food, your plan will likely backfire. Flight attendant Kara recommended eating a small meal before your flight to ensure comfort and easier sleep.
Flight attendant and Reddit user ukulelehey said they swear by nut butters to get through the hunger pangs of a long flight.
"I tend to bring a whole jar of natural peanut butter in my bag, and then if I eat any snacks, I add the peanut butter," they wrote. "Protein bursts help!"
If you're not a flight attendant, be warned that you likely won't be able to take the peanut butter on the plane because of TSA regulations, but you can enjoy it before your flight.
Flight attendant and Reddit user snowaurora said they recommend hummus to stay full on a long fight.
"One of the bloggers I watch on YouTube suggested hummus," they wrote. "It's supposed to help you feel more full. I was at Trader Joes recently & bought some with chips. Either it's in my mind, or it's true, but when I eat it I do feel full after a few bites. Plus it's cheap!"
This is another snack you want to be sure to eat before you go as opposed to bringing it on the plane.
Sandwiches and wraps
Sometimes you can't beat a hearty sandwich. Flight attendant and Reddit user Laumein suggested chowing down on a classic sandwich before or during your flight.
Reddit user and flight attendant GIFTH0RSE said they swear by portable tuna packets and avocado for a hearty in-flight or pre-flight snack.
"I love packing the pre-made tuna tins/packets," they wrote. "My fave is the thai chili one. I also bring two avocados with me. They're perfect for protein and I eat them right out of the skin (they go on the top)."
While you may be able to bring these on the plane, your flight-mates probably won't appreciate the smell too much, so maybe this is best snacked on in the airport.
In order to survive a long flight, you'll need fiber and protein. Flight attendant and Reddit user Samijowaslike suggested eating grain bowls that include quinoa to keep full on the go.
"I live off of quinoa and just add different stuff to it daily. I'm on a four-day and have had all I these meals so far:
-quinoa with roasted chickpeas and baby kale
-quinoa with oatmeal and blueberries
-quinoa with avocados, carrots, lemon juice, and chicken
-quinoa with chicken and lentils
You can add anything to it! It's so good for you and won't go bad that quickly! I made all of that and still have more from one cup of quinoa!"
Similarly, flight attendants swear by portable rice packets to make on-the-go grain bowls, according to Bon Appetit. If you're just a passenger, you can follow suit by making your own grain bowl before the flight or picking one up in the terminal.
Chia seeds are a great additive for any breakfast, and they'll keep you full through your long-haul flight and beyond. Flight attendants keep these on hand to bulk up their morning meals and feel better throughout the flight, according to Bon Appetit.
If you're running late or need a quick snack during or before your flight, crackers a great option, cabin crew member Carola wrote on her blog C The Sky.
For a quick, easy, and filling pre-flight snack, you can't go wrong with a smoothie, Carola wrote. She said that many terminals will carry pressed juice or smoothies, but passengers can also make their own and drink them on the way to the airport.
Along with not overeating, Kara also suggested avoiding foods that cause gastrointestinal issues. Bread or toast is a good, bland option that will keep you full while not upsetting your stomach.
Drink lots of water
While traveling on a long flight, you're susceptible to some serious dehydration, Kara pointed out. She recommended drinking a lot of water before your flight. It may not seem like the greatest idea if you don't want to keep getting up to use the bathroom, but it really is worth it.
Prepare your body by being proactive with your liquid intake and you should feel a lot better when you arrive.
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