3 Simple Tips to Combat Jet Lag With Food
Nothing puts a damper on your vacation like dealing with jet lag once you get to your destination. The switch in time zones does a number on our bodies, creating what Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., an Environmental Fellow at the National Sleep Foundation describes as a desynchronisation between our internal body clock and the external time clock of our destination. 'Symptoms of this desynchronisation include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, indigestion, and a negative mood. Not the makings of an enjoyable time abroad. Luckily, there's a way to mitigate the effects of jet lag—through food. She recently outlined her top strategies in Travel + Leisure and we've chosen our favourite tips to highlight here.
Stick to set meal times. "Meals help to regulate our underlying rhythms so try to stick to the mealtimes of your destination time zone," suggests Dautovich. This begins even on the plane, so if dinner is served when you should be sleeping, ask the flight attendant to set your meal aside until you wake. Pack your own snacks so you can kickstart your circadian rhythms as soon as it's breakfast without having to wait for the flight crew to come around with another meal.
Start taking probiotics. Dautovich recommends taking probiotics as early as two weeks before embarking on your trip. "[Probiotics can] help improve the immune system and decrease risk of illness," she explains. Incorporate probiotics into your diet via supplements or fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and kefir.
Snack away. Throughout your trip you should be making sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water, but snacks are essential too. "Pairing a protein and carbohydrate like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, trail mix, or fruit with string cheese will prepare you for delays, keep you satisfied, and maintain blood sugar," says Dautovich. Planning and preparation can make a significant impact on your travel experience so do what you can to accommodate your body's adjustment.