Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO/farting at 30,000 ft

Marjorie Spitz RentoComment

I just got back from a trip to Colorado and boy is my digestion happy to be home! Does air travel cause havoc on your digestion? It certainly does mine.

Between the plane ride, change in routine and high Colorado altitude, my digestion gets totally out of whack. Thank goodness my farts didn’t stink at 30,000 feet!

 You may take comfort in knowing that everyone has this problem and there’s an actual reason why you get gassy during a flight. Air pressure isn’t only felt in your ears, but your intestines too (and chewing gym won’t help).

Changes in air pressure result in a buildup of gas in the body, leading to issues like bloating and constipation. Just about halfway through last night’s flight I could feel the bubbles forming.

 Like one magazine put it, “As the atmospheric pressure decreases on ascent, the gas bubbles in our body get bigger in size, Anna-Maria Carvalho, a physician and medical consultant for Air Canada, told us previously. The gut has a lot of gas, and all that gas increases in size at altitude, which is why you feel bloated. This will be especially evident if you down a can of soda just before getting on the plane — all those tiny gas bubbles sitting in your stomach will get bigger in size on ascent.”

Another reason to avoid soda, especially while on a flight.

Scientists suggest you “let your flatulence fly.” I suggest we do what’s possible to minimize it.

You can diminish bloating by steering clear of gas-causing foods before and during your flight. Or don’t have any at all. 


When I worked for nutritionist Lyn-Genet Recitas, we encouraged our followers to never eat on a plane and to have a meal at least 3-4 hours prior to a flight.   

The main trick is to drink peppermint tea when you get to airport (I bring my own tea bags everywhere I go) and get another tea for the flight (do not drink water just sip your tea). Yup, even avoid water.

Oh please, you’re not going to starve by not eating on a long flight. Just think of it as a mini fast.

What you do when you get off the plane helps too.

You can have some almonds or seeds a half hour or so after you land if you are hungry, instead of diving into a huge meal.

Importantly, get your lymphatic system stimulated as soon as possible. This system plays a big role in eliminating toxins. In order for it to be effective, you need to move, so sitting on a plane for hours is the antithesis of that. Do what you can to get up and move while in flight, and after you land do a 10-20 minute workout, walk, or take a shower and body brush (many lymph nodes are close to the skin surface). Jumping rope is fantastic. 

So, do your digestion and seat buddy a favor and experiment with the suggestions above. Note what happens and share. 

Plan ahead and you too will avoid farting at 30,000 feet.

Happily yours, 

Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™