What Should You Eat before Skydiving (and When)?

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As you prepare for your skydive, you probably have some exciting jitters! 

You may be thinking, “should I eat before skydiving?” After all, the last thing you want is nausea when you’re in the air (or falling through it).

Many jumpers are worried about feeling sick or hungry mid-air, so they want to know the right things to eat and drink before boarding the plane. 

In this post, you’ll learn about some of the best foods you can eat before making a skydive — and when you should eat them!


What & When to Eat Before Skydiving

The day of a jump, most skydivers feel a mix of excitement and nerves. Depending on how you react to that kind of feeling, you may feel like eating a big breakfast or eating nothing at all. 

It’s important to know that skipping meals before your skydive could work against you. An empty stomach means you’re more likely to get light-headed or experience the shakes from low blood sugar, especially as you ascend to your jumping altitude in the aircraft. In fact, you’re less likely to feel nauseous if you eat what you normally would eat on your regular daily schedule. 

That includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner (though you probably won’t be jumping after dinner). This regularity ensures your body has its expected amount of energy and hydration throughout the day, meaning you can focus on the skydive instead of hunger pangs.

If you’re really finding it difficult to eat, getting something in your stomach will be better than nothing! Smoothies and drinks with electrolytes can help keep you lucid in the air if you’re having an exceptionally hard time eating.

What NOT to Eat or Drink Before a Skydive

For a lot of jumpers, skydiving is the event of the day. They and their friends build a whole excursion around their jump, complete with other fun activities like a road trip. 

If you find yourself in that situation, that’s fantastic. This is also when it’s good to know about the foods you should avoid before your jump.

Avoid greasy, fatty foods that may have a tendency of making you feel nauseous after eating them, much less when you’re up in the air. It’s also smart to avoid dairy as that can also have a tendency to “sit” in someone’s stomach and cause nausea. Combined with nerves, these foods could irritate your already topsy-turvy stomach.

It’s also a good idea to keep caffeine to essential amounts only. If you get caffeine withdrawal headaches, have some coffee to keep the migraine from coming. But over-caffeinating can make your nerves worse and harder to control. 

If you’re already nervous about your skydive, this can make the experience feel much more intense.

The Importance of Hydration

Along with food, hydration is crucial to your skydive. Dehydration is often the culprit for that light-headed feeling on the plane ride up and your nausea on the way down. 

Dehydration affects you differently at higher altitudes, though you don’t want to drink a full bottle of water just moments before stepping onto the plane. 

Instead, stay nice and hydrated the night before so that your body has time to absorb the water and keep you hydrated throughout the coming day. Keep in mind that you’ll be able to use the restroom right before gearing up and that you’ll only be in the plane for about 15 minutes — so you shouldn’t have to worry about anything else!

You Booze, You Lose

Because hydration is so important to your skydive, it’s smart to avoid anything that dehydrates you pre-jump — including alcohol. While a quick beer or two may sound like it’d calm your nerves before your jump, it could make you feel much sicker and uncomfortable as you climb altitude. Also, you must be 100% sober prior to your jump. You’ll be signing a legal document acknowledging the fact that you have not had any drugs or alcohol in the past 8 hours. 

The same is true for drinking the night before your skydive. Under no circumstances should you show up to a skydive hungover. Hangovers are hard enough on their own — fighting one as you’re climbing thousands of feet into the sky makes it even worse.

Eat again Post-Jump

Your body uses up a lot of fuel pumping endorphins through your system! Post-freefall, you’ll probably realize how hungry you are. 

Luckily, right next to the dropzone is our Flight Deck Bar & Grill, where you can celebrate your big jump with a proper meal. For those who aren’t hungry enough to dine, we also sell small snacks to hold you over on your drive home.

The Answers to All Your Skydiving Questions

You now know what to eat and drink before your first skydive, but we’re sure you have a few more questions.

Learn more about preparing for your first freefall by downloading our Complete Guide to Tandem Skydiving.

Click the button below to download your guide!

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Douglas Smith is CEO/President, and Guest Relations Associate at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He has owned and operated the business since 2000. He has been skydiving since 1994, and in addition to leading the CSC Team, is currently an instructor, videographer and pilot for CSC.

Topics: Tandem