Passengers should order healthy drink that ‘tastes best in the air’

Nutrition coach at OriGym Centre of Excellence, Alice Williams, explained: “During a flight, two main things happen to the air: the pressure increases and the humidity drops. This combination of low pressure and dryness is ultimately what makes your taste buds change. The dryness in a plane also reduces your sense of smell. Since smell actually makes up a large part of how we taste food, this will also affect how food tastes in the air.”

Therefore, the travellers’ tastebuds notably changing is one of the main effects of flying but luckily, there are ways to combat this.

Some passengers realised there is a popular drink that tastes better than any other on the plane.

Tomato juice, which according to a study conducted by airline Lufthansa, is one of the most popular drinks on flights, will taste better than any other drink.

This is because tomato juice contains umami, an ingredient that “is not affected by flying” which is why “many airlines offer tomato juice as the option of a complimentary drink on their flights”.

Tomatoes are full of umami, a strong flavour present in many Asian foods such as miso, soy sauce or oyster sauce.

For food, Alice recommended “tuna sandwiches” when flying as “sandwich fillings are full of umami flavours and will taste best in the air”.

“A strong cheese and tomato sandwich will also taste good”, the nutritionist suggested.

Airline Lufthansa revealed that its flight attendants serve an average of 1.5 million litres of tomato juice on flights, making it one of the most popular drinks and definitely, the most sold juice.

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Travellers and airline workers took to social media to share their thoughts on the delicious drink with a flight attendant saying on Reddit: “You should try tomato juice while flying, even if you don’t normally like it.

“Science says it’s more delicious at high altitudes. Seriously, Google it.”

Another traveller commented: “I always get tomato juice on planes and since almost no one gets it they give me the whole can. Please don’t ruin my secret!”

Passenger Kevin Goslar opined: “It’s a reaction to the environment. The low air pressure makes the blood carry less oxygen, i.e. people start feeling a bit anaemic. Tomato juice, red as blood and rich in iron, is the perfect countermeasure for that.”

This is also the reason why many people who don’t normally drink tomato juice crave the beverage on an aeroplane.

Traveller Chris Riley said on the online forum Quora: “I often opt for tomato juice on planes for these reasons. It’s one of the only non-carbonated, non-syrupy options. I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing for me, of all options.

“It’s the closest of the beverages they serve to ‘food’ and goes well with the crackers/pretzels. Ice cubes are always involved, which thin it a bit, and make it nice and cold.”

The passenger also advised others to “order a carbonated water afterwards to wash out that funky tomato-ness”.

As normal foods may taste blander on the plane, some people turn to the flavorful tomato juice because of its added spices.

What are the health benefits of tomato juice?

Tomato juice is high in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, and contains electrolytes, potassium and antioxidants.

It also helps to hydrate while travelling in the dry cabin and it is a very filling beverage, making it a great option for those who want to avoid plane food or have a little snack and feel full.

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