If you’re anything like us, a pit stop at the closest Starbucks is an essential pre-flight ritual. (It’s just one of the problems all coffee lovers understand.) And why not? Coffee has a laundry list of amazing health benefits, for one. Plus, let’s be honest: Without a dose of caffeine, you could get lost on your way to the gate.
But you might want to think twice before gulping down that extra-large brew—aside from what happens when you drink it on an empty stomach. In fact, most airline professionals recommend holding off on your cup of Joe until you reach your destination.
What gives? First of all, drinking coffee dehydrates your body, which could lead to nausea and headaches while you’re in the air. And since airplane cabins are cold and dry to begin with, you won’t be doing your skin and immune system any favors.
That innocent java can also have a more drastic effect at high altitudes, causing you to feel jittery. Other side effects of a pre-flight cuppa include heartburn flare-ups and digestive issues, as coffee is a mild diuretic.
Because it takes about five to six hours for caffeine to wear off, drinking coffee even a couple hours pre-flight could spell bad news for your body. You need to stop making these airport mistakes before your next flight, too.
Between red-eye flights, long security lines, insane delays, flying can be exhausting business. We understand! But given the gross reason you should never, ever order coffee on a plane, too, you might want to stick with a bottle of water until you land. Better to be safe than sorry.