Diet to Prevent Jet Lag

Diet to Prevent Jet Lag

A jet lag can make you feel depressed and disoriented. It is due to the time zone switches, that your body clock is left feeling disjunctive. Jet lag diet and a few tips on how to beat the effects of jet lag are here, at your service!
SleepHearty Staff
Have you ever felt drained out, and completely out-of-sync, after landing at your destination? Whether a business associate conglomeration or a holiday at your dream destination, jet lag is a condition that can haunt travelers even before the journey takes wings. I am sure you might have felt the urge to arrive at your destination, thoroughly synchronized with the local time. You must also have craved for meals before your stipulated time, or after the time has lapsed; however, you must not have felt the hunger pangs when you are bound to feel so. This is precisely called jet lag; when you lose touch with the local time and feel completely disoriented with yourself and the surroundings. Jet lag can occur when people travel rapidly from east to west, or west to east on an airplane. There is something called the circadian rhythm that gets deviated from the normal, causing disturbances in the biochemical, physiological and behavioral process of our bodies. It is generally referred to as body clock. Our circadian rhythm is responsible for the development of our daily activities, such as sleep, waking, eating and body temperature. Problems arise while readjusting our internal biological clock resulting in jet lag and some sleeping disorders.

What are the Symptoms of Jet Lag

The symptoms of jet lag heavily depend on several factors, including how many time zones have been traveled, the individual's age, current health condition, if there was any consumption of alcohol, the amount of food consumption during the flight, and if the person has had enough sleep during the flight. However, there are certain signature symptoms that are typical of jet lag. They are:
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Irritability
  • Mild depression
  • Dip in concentration levels
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
What are the Causes of Jet Lag
  • Traveling across time zones is one of the major cause of jet lag. When time zones are crossed the body clock goes completely out of sync.
  • The air on board the plane is extremely dry, therefore all those who have been living in dry climates feel a little uncomfortable causing headaches. It is best to stay hydrated during the journey.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol by all means during air travel as it can lead to severe jet lag. Due to the air pressure in the cabin, even a small amount of alcohol can increase the effects of jet lag. Beverages high in caffeine content can cause stomach discomfort. Drinking water is the best way to curb the adverse effects of jet lag.
How to Cure Jet Lag with the Jet Lag Diet

A jet lag diet that will not let you feel out of sync and thus, will help you have a great vacation or a fruitful business trip, whatever the purpose of travel may be.
  • Before you set forth for your trip, you must find out the day and time of breakfast at your destination. You must take the cue and start to follow the schedule four days before.
  • Call your traveling agent and order lacto-vegetarian meals for the flight and don't forget to confirm the order before you board the flight at the ticket counter.
  • Four days prior to the flight, reschedule your eating habits between a feast day and a fast day. Remember, fast on the day you leave.
  • Before we proceed further let me tell you what a feast and fast day is all about. A feast day is one that commands you to eat a high-protein breakfast and lunch, and a high-starch meal for dinner. For a ready-to-eat plan, you could have fruit, poached eggs, bread or fresh fruit, cereal with milk for breakfast. Lunch could involve green salad, boiled chicken, bread, fruit juice, poached fish and rice. Lastly, dinner could be green salad, pasta, fresh fruits and rice with vegetables.
  • A fast day is one that demands your total dedication to eating fruits and vegetables, a small amount of grain products at every meal and consuming as little fat as possible. Breakfast could involve fruits, cereals and milk. Lunch and Dinner could include green salad, cooked vegetables, vegetable soup, bread and fruits.
  • During the flight, keep your system irrigated with water, fruit or vegetable juice and avoid regular coffee after the evening meal. Abstain from alcohol all together.
  • Try to sleep until breakfast time at your destination followed by a high-protein diet. Stay awake until you arrive at your destination. Eat at local meal time after you have reached your destination. Avoid snoozing until after dinner. If you snooze off to glory, remember that the entire plan will be a waste of time and energy. You may well, place match sticks below and above your eyes to keep them blinking!
Some Other Ways to Cure Jet Lag
  • Stay well hydrated, before and during your flight, and avoid alcohol altogether.
  • Melatonin supplements are helpful. You may begin taking it on the day of your flight.
  • If your flight is long, avoid sleeping during hours that you would not devote to sleeping at your new destination.
  • Rest well, and avoid overexerting yourself.
  • You may continue with your regular exercise schedule at your new location. However you must make sure that your exercise timings are not close to your bedtime.
  • If your trip is a short one, you may continue with your normal schedule, however if your trip is a longer one, you may like to shift your schedule to help your system match up with the time zone of your new destination.
Jet lag diet can help you recoup faster, provided you are ready to cooperate with your circadian rhythm and make little adjustments. After all, who wouldn't prefer to get off the flight and feel in-sync!