It’s the dark cloud that can make even the sunniest of days seem grey on holidays – the dreaded jet lag.
But there are ways that you can safe guard yourself against its effects, and they can all be done pretty much on the plane over.
Manage meal time
“Meals help to regulate our underlying rhythms,” says Natalie Dautavich, fellow at the National Sleep Foundation in the States, but as soon as you throw a time change into the mix, it’s hard to keep on top of any normalcy.
The trick though, is to start eating as if you are on local time of the destination.
So although it might be dinnertime back at home, have a go at eating the breakfast they are serving onboard so that you begin to adjust to your new timezone before arrival.
This will kickstart your circadian rhythms and helps your body adapt to the new routine.
Plan and prepare
In the lead up to, and during your flight, ensure you are eating well. This will ensure your body remains strong and resilient to any ‘curve balls’ being thrown at it, notably jet lag.
As plane food might not be the best nutritionally for you, it’s always a good idea to have some snacks in your carry-on bag.
“Pairing a protein and carbohydrate like a peanut butter sandwich, trail mix, or fruit with string cheese will prepare you for delays, keep you satisfied, and maintain blood sugar,” she says. “Edamame (soy beans) is also a great idea because it encompasses protein, starch and fiber! Eat perishable foods within two-hours,” says Jennifer Vimbour, a registered nutritionist from Chicago.
Take a probiotic
Taking a probiotic regularly can help improve your immune system by promoting good gut health, and again ensure your body is fighting fit on the inside. You’re also less likely to turn to a sugary treat or stimulant for a pick me up, which would throw your body clock out of whack.
Water, water, water
Drinks LOTS of water and avoid caffeine or that sneaky nightcap, as this will ensure you get to sleep easily.
“Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and lightheadedness as well as amplify jet lag. Non-caffeinated beverages such mineral and flat water are your best bet to hydration. Shoot for one cup (eight ounces) per hour of the flight,” says Jennifer Vimbour.
Also once you reach your destination, have a swim or soak in the bath as the water can help replenish moisture via your pores.
This article originally appeared on 7Travel.