If you feel oddly bloated when flying – like a human helium balloon – that’s because you’ve got jet bloat. Beyond just gas, there’s a simple physics explanation for that: Boyle’s law. As the plane rises and air pressure drops, gas in your gut expands. That would explain the uncomfortable “gassy” feeling you get. So yes, you may find yourself wanting to fart more than usual. To avoid the makrooh (unless you fart privately!), take these four simple steps to beat jet bloat with adab:
1. Pop a probiotic. Or, get them from drinking kombucha, kefir and from foods like yoghurt, kimchi and tempeh. Probiotics can help reduce gas production and keep your gut feeling right.
2. Get moving. Get off your seat and walk off that gas before they build up. Staying seated for too long can add to severe bloating. Walking around, just for a few minutes throughout your flight can help relieve that gas.
3. Stay off the fizzy drinks. You really do not want to add more gas to an already gassed-up body.
4. Drink up. Drink more water. More toilet breaks will force you off your seat for a walkabout (see #2).
5. Watch your pre- and in-flight food. What you eat before your flight matters just as much as what you consume in-flight. Avoid complex carbs, greasy and gas-inducing foods (think beans, onions and broccoli) before a flight. These will not digest well and, with being sedentary for some time on the flight, the food will just sit in your gut and produce gas. When onboard, choose lean protein and go crazy on your salads and fruits.