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Travellers who go for early morning airport pints warned over what it does to your body

Travellers who go for early morning airport pints warned over what it does to your body

Having a pint at the airport is a rite of passage for millions of Brits heading overseas, no matter what time of day

Millions of us have partaken in what has become a British tradition for the ages.

We're talking about the 2am drive to the airport, ready for our big summer holiday or a week break overseas, before battling through security and its long queues - made infinitely worse by the 100ml liquid rule that's in the process of being scrapped.

And then paradise calls us. Yes, the airport pint.

No matter the time of day or the price of said 568ml of lager, cider, ale or stout - it's a ritual in British culture that signifies it is time to let our hair down.

But without putting a downer on things too much, it's one that could maybe be avoided, according to the experts.

Speaking to LADbible, doctors and personal trainers told us about the very real impact an early morning pint has on your body. And you should probably listen to them.

It comes as questions are quietly being asked about the relationship between booze and flying following a number of violent incidents mid-air.

God bless the airport pint (Getty Stock Images)
God bless the airport pint (Getty Stock Images)

Earlier this year Spanish police arrested one group heading to the Canary Islands, and a second incident saw a plane from Edinburgh divert to Porto in Portugal to kick off a bunch of meddlesome passengers.

“Any kind of unruly or disruptive behaviour whether related to intoxication, aggression or other factors introduces an unnecessary risk to the normal operation of a flight," the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) says.

And while alcohol has obvious societal impacts, it's the health reasons we're focusing on here.

Stephanie Billingham is a Marketing Manager and Personal Trainer at MuscleSquad, which sells commercial and home gym equipment.

"The airport pint is a fun tradition but there are some important things to consider when you're consuming alcohol that early in the day," she told LADbible.

"The first is that alcohol is a sedative and leads to you feeling lethargic in both your body and mind. While this is true at any time of day, if you have a drink in the evening it's much more aligned with your circadian rhythm and won't disrupt your sleep as much as starting at the crack of dawn.

Flights board at Manchester Airport (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Flights board at Manchester Airport (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"Because of that, having one or two in the airport is only going to make you lethargic for the rest of the day."

Stephanie explained that boozing pre-flight in the early hours will 'lead to poorer quality sleep in the evening which isn't conducive to fighting jet lag'.

She said: "Ultimately, from my point of view, isn't worth the appeal even though it is fun to shake things up before the start of your holiday with a quick pint. Another curveball that people can miss when drinking at odd times of the day is that you've probably not eaten anything yet.

“You might know what your tolerance is on a full stomach of food, sure, but the alcohol will go to your head a lot faster when you've not eaten. At its most mild this can mean you'll have a dull headache after you land at your destination, but if you get tipsy abnormally fast then it could even lead to you being refused from boarding your flight. So it's all about being responsible. It's fun to have that first holiday drink in the airport, but you should be aware of what it means for your sleep and energy levels if you do."

Dr Kevin Huffman, CEO and founder of Ambari Nutrition, explained to LADbible that drinking pre-flight can actually make you feel more intoxicated than you are due to the science of sitting in a pressurised cabin.

It's time to cut airport pints out (Getty Stock Images)
It's time to cut airport pints out (Getty Stock Images)

He said: "Alcohol can also have a more robust effect on the body at altitude. Cabin pressure can boost your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) by as much as 50 percent, so that glass of wine at the airport could leave you feeling far more intoxicated than you’d otherwise be. That can affect your decision-making and motor skills, making you more prone to accidents or injury during boarding or deplaning."

The 'leading issue' for Dr Huffman is dehydration. He said: "Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it increases urination and thus fluid loss. Paired with the already drier air of an aircraft at altitude, this is a recipe for rapid dehydration. Once dehydrated, you can expect to suffer from headaches, fatigue, and to experience jet lag more intensely upon arrival.

"Dehydration experienced on a flight early in the day can carry on for the rest of the day. It can happen to you and undermine your ability to thoroughly enjoy your vacation."

He also revealed that boozing can alter something called your 'natural circadian rhythm', which is how you experience different states in a 24 hour period (such as sleep, when you eat, and physical activity).

Get it on the 'gram (Getty Stock Images)
Get it on the 'gram (Getty Stock Images)

But instead of just saying 'don't drink', Dr Huffman is also here to offer you some sage advice on what to do if you do partake.

He said: "Early morning flights are disruptive to your natural circadian rhythm. Alcohol interferes with sleep, and even though you may fall asleep on the plane, you might wake up the next morning feeling groggy and unrested, and unable to fully enjoy the first day of your trip.

"For these reasons, it is generally best to abstain from alcohol before an early morning flight. However, if you do imbibe, hydrate.

"Drink lots of water before, during and after your flight to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Have one drink, and pick lower-alcohol drinks. Healthy you and a smooth trip are more important than pre-flight cocktails."

Please drink responsibly. If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, 9am–8pm weekdays and 11am–4pm weekends for advice and support.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images / PAUL ELLIS / AFP via Getty Images

Topics: Alcohol, Food And Drink, Holiday, Travel, UK News, Viral, Business, Health, Originals