April 29 2022  |  Amenities & Comfort

Hydration station with O.R.S

By Jane Hobson

The ORS Hydration Tablet tubes in blackcurrant, lemon and strawberry

People who travel often understand the struggle of not being optimally hydrated, especially inflight. But there is a special combination of electrolytes, glucose and minerals that can help.

O.R.S Hydration Tablets are electrolyte tablets that when dissolved in water, help the body quickly absorb fluids and restore hydration. The formula, created by pharmacists, is based on a recommended formula for optimal hydration by the World Health Organization. It helps the body maintain electrolyte balance. Drinking plenty of water is proven to help the prevention and treatment of jet lag, as well as travel fatigue, disturbed sleep, irritability, and loss of concentration.

“The cabin atmosphere on a plane is kept deliberately dry to minimize corrosion, the effects of which can leave passengers feeling dehydrated and uncomfortable, especially on long-haul flights,” says Steve Harvey, Travel Consultant at Clinova, O.R.S’ parent company.

Despite cabin crew encouraging passengers to drink plenty of water, the amount actually consumed depends on several personal choices and is often accompanied by frequent – and inconvenient – trips to the lavatory. It also contributes to a lot of waste for single-use plastic water bottles.

“Drinking a glass of O.R.S can provide the same level of hydration as five glasses of water, saving the airline the cost of purchasing and transporting hundreds of bottles of water on every flight,” Harvey explains. “So not only does it help passengers stay comfortable throughout the flight, but it also helps minimize trips to the bathroom and cost for airlines.”

The 17-calorie tablets come in three flavors, lemon, blackcurrant, and strawberry and are suitable for vegan, Halal, gluten-free diets, and are free of artificial preservatives.

Starting last month, O.R.S Hydration Tablets are available in Emirates Airways’ buy-on-board retail offering. The airline first brought the tablets onboard in 2020 as part of its First Class suite amenity basket.

“There is growing interest from many airlines in the region as they realize the positive effect O.R.S can have on their passengers’ experience,” Harvey says. “We hope to announce some new contracts in the very near future.”

The tablets are also convenient for athletes, hot climates and travel in general.

PAX International reviews O.R.S. tablets
PAX International Editor Jane Hobson tried the O.R.S. Hydration Tablets on a flight from California to Toronto. This is her review.

I flew a 787-8 medium-haul flight with Air Canada from Los Angeles (LAX) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) in the Economy Class cabin. On flights of anything longer than a couple hours, I tend to try to drink a lot of water and fluids to keep well hydrated and avoid a headache, dry mouth, dry eyes under my contact lenses, and tiredness.

I mixed one lemon-flavored O.R.S. Hydration Tablet into about half a plastic bottle of water at LAX pre-flight while I was having some lunch. The tablet dissolved quickly and gave the water a bright yellow color. I opted to drink the enhanced water in one go to get as much hydration as quickly as possible. The flavoring was not intense and did not have the typical sourness that fresh lemons bring. Nonetheless, it was easy to drink and tasted good. I also refilled my personal reusable 26-ounce water bottle at the fountain for fresh water, then I boarded the flight and was in the air about 30 minutes later.

Halfway through the flight I dropped another lemon O.R.S. tablet into one of the mini-sized water bottles supplied inflight. I drank it immediately and went back to listening to music. While eating on the flight, I continued to drink from my 26-ounce water bottle as I normally would. I noticed that I used the lavatory the same amount as I normally do, but I didn’t feel any signs of dehydration that usually show up for me – headache, dry mouth, dry eyes, and tiredness.

When we landed in Toronto there was congestion at customs that caused us to wait on the tarmac for about 35 minutes. I used this opportunity to have another lemon-flavored O.R.S. tablet.

Overall, I had three O.R.S. tablets in about five hours’ time and refilled my personal water bottle twice on the flight. Upon landing and arriving at home, I felt energetic, I was not thirsty, and I looked well-rested. The tablets were packaged in a convenient hard-shell tube that easily snaps open and closed. The slim tube does not weigh much and slid well into my backpack which I used as my personal item. I will continue using these tablets to avoid dehydration while traveling. I would recommend them to frequent flyers and travelers who tend to experience dehydration.

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