Rocky cliffs of southwest Mallorca and the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea.
What to Eat Before, During
& After Plane Flight
Planning for international travel? Worried about what to eat on the plane? Below you’ll find a
stress-free guide to help you eat well before, during, and after your flight.

What to Eat Before a Flight

  • Small meals will increase comfort and an easier sleep on the plane.
  • Nut butters: protein for added energy in small doses.
  • Quinoa & Chia seeds: fiber + protein to keep you feeling full in the best way possible.
  • Smoothie + protein: satisfying boost of energy & antioxidants.
  • Water, water, water: staying hydrated before and during the flight means feeling better upon arrival. Shoot for half your weight in ounces each day, 250 ml per hour when flying.
  • Magnesium-rich foods: kale, spinach, avocado, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds. All of these can help you sleep and relieve muscle tension.

What to Eat at the Airport

What are you favorite spots in your local airport? Where do you go for good food? Tag @prana and #airporteats and tell us how you eat well while traveling. We'll pull our favorite posts into our feed.

What to Eat & Drink on the Plane

Boats anchored in Port Soller on the northern coast of Mallorca.
  • Sliced veggies, dried fruit, energy or protein bars, unsalted nuts.
  • Herbal teas: fennel and peppermint aid in digestion; ginger can ease nausea and motion sickness and reduce inflammation, chamomile will help you relax.
  • Choose Lightest Meal Options: Fish, vegetables, salads and soups will help limit the amount of extra salt and overall amount of food in your gut.
Benefit: stay hydrated to give yourself the best chance of staying healthy and not catching a cold, feeling energized upon arrival, and maintaining a balance in your digestive system, which flights can wreak havoc on.

  • Staying hydrated on a plane is goal number one. Herbal teas will help the kidneys get rid of extra fluid in the body.
  • How much to drink? Daily, it’s half your body weight in ounces. On a plane, make it 250ml every hour.
  • Add a lemon to your water for added flavor, additional Vitamin C, and a boost to healthy digestion.
  • Be sure to bring your own water though. Read: Don’t Drink the Tap Water on Planes if you dare. Let’s just say tea could be hard to sort out. Learn more below in “What not to eat on a plane.”
Benefit: beyond knowing where your food is coming from, limited salt intake means less water retention, and plane food is typically loaded up with salt. Why? Altitude impacts our sense of taste, so extra salt is added to elevate bland-tasting food.

  • Pack your own if possible: sliced veggies or a homemade salad?
  • Snacks that are good at room temp are a must

PRO TIP PUT TO THE TEST: Don’t eat anything while flying

Aaron Hurst, prAna Content Manager
First leg: LAX => London => Madrid => Palma
Second leg: Palma => Madrid => LAX

On a recent trip to Mallorca, I went without food on travel days. I didn’t eat on the plane, didn’t eat in the airport, and didn’t eat until it was time for the next meal wherever I had landed.

Despite enduring possibly the worst travels days I’ve ever experienced, both there and back, the flights themselves were the easiest, most comfortable flights I’ve had. I drank 250ml of water every hour (unless I was asleep), added some nuun electrolyte tablets, and downed a couple grapefruit seed extract pills if I felt run down.

VERDICT: I’ll never eat on a plane or during travel days again
  • Slept great
  • Felt great
  • Stayed healthy
  • Jet lag was virtually unnoticeable

How to Maintain Consistent Meal Timing

A woman does yoga among the beautiful, rocky landscape of Mallorca.
Benefit: avoid jet lag and aid digestive comfort

  • Don’t just eat to eat: Just because the flight staff is serving food doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Pay attention to timing of your meals.
  • Mirror you regular eating routine: Eat when you would normally eat at home to maintain optimal metabolism and ensure your digestive system gets the break it is expecting.
  • Essentially, as we travel internationally, we change our schedules, eat more than we need, and eat at the wrong times. This causes our body to store the extra calories and fat, and throws off our digestive systems.

What Not to Eat on the Plane

Friends enjoy a serene dock below a pristine white structure.
As we fly, and reach cruising altitude, our ability to taste stays on the ground. To combat this, extra salt and sugar are added to airplane food. You either go without food as consummate traveler Anthony Bourdain recommended, or in the very least, avoid these foods.

  • Don’t eat these foods on a plane: Ice cream, salty chips, salted nuts, rice, pasta, noodles, bread, butter, or creamy sauces.
  • Avoid Carbs: Reduce cards to help reduce fluid retention, overall amount of food in your digestive tract, and bloating.
  • Avoid baked beans, chickpeas, broccoli, cabbage, lentils, onions for obvious reasons. Extra air in the gut isn’t good for anyone.
  • Carbonated drinks and chewing gum can add unwanted air to your gut too, which then expands as your plane climbs, bad all around.
  • Fatty and fried foods: remember, you’ll be sitting, without much movement, for hours.
  • The less alcohol, the better: couple every glass of alcohol with at least one of water (because honestly, who isn’t going to want a celebratory drink to kick off the trip?)
  • But seriously, dehydration is a common reason your gut is unhappy when you land, and reduces your defenses when it comes to germs.
  • Hot water: this bit of news conflicts with the call to drink more tea during your flight. Proceed at your own risk.

What to Eat Once You’ve Landed

Two women enjoy a bountiful meal in Indonesia.
Benefit: beat jet lag and squeeze every last drop of adventure out of your trip.

  • Antioxidant-rich foods and vegetables to rehydrate and boost to your immune system.
  • Green tea for an additional shot of hydrating antioxidants.
  • Protein, but not too much protein: needed for energy, but don’t overdo it.
  • Dark Chocolate can aid in jet lag because it’s a magnesium-rich food with caffeine.
A woman lies on a paddle board in the Balearic Sea soaking up sun.
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