As many an avid traveller will know, the dreaded jet lag can get you when you least expect it. Even if you catch some sleep on the plane and do your best to get through a new day in your exotic destination, many of us will give up and head to bed – even if it’s just for a nap.
However, there are two schools of thought about what you eat and how it can reduce the effects of jet lag.
First of all, there are some easy rules about avoiding jet lag, and they include avoiding alcohol until you’re settled into your destination, avoiding coffee and sticking to water during your flight.
Another tip is to eat water-rich foods such as berries, watermelon, celery and lettuce to keep you hydrated and stocked up on antioxidants to stave off the effects of a dry airplane environment if you arrive at your destination in the morning.
If you arrive at your destination at night, and you’re all turned around because it’s early in the morning at home, calcium in milk is also thought to act as a sleep aid as it helps to convert amino acid tryptophan into melatonin – which promotes sleep. So have a glass when it’s time to nod off.
Also avoid eating slaty, processed foods if you’re trying to get to sleep as these can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Go for vegetables instead.
2. Don’t eat
This method is a little tougher to wrap your head around and to endure, however business travel website God Save The Points says it has been used by the CIA, US Army, Navy and presidents, So, here goes.
The idea is to figure out the local breakfast time of your destination. Work out how many hours ahead or behind your destination is of where you are right now. Then, set an alarm on your phone for 14 hours prior to the first breakfast time in your destination.
On the day you travel, the best idea is to fast for 12 to 16 hours from the time breakfast would be served at your final destination.
When the alarm on your phone goes off, don’t eat anything more until breakfast at your destination. This process is thought to re-set the body clock and avoid the whole het lag thing. Eat a high-protein breakfast when you finally arrive, and a high carb dinner on your first night there.
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