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3 Food Tips to Help Prevent Jet Lag

3 Food Tips To Help Prevent Jet Lag

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It’s no secret that trying to adjust the body’s internal time clock to changing time zones can be tricky and quite literally, exhausting. Jet lag is simply the body’s way of saying our circadian rhythms are out of sync with the places we are traveling and the schedules (and time zones) that those locations adhere to.

As inconvenient as jet lag may be, the good news is that recent medical studies have figured out that it doesn’t have to completely interfere with your energy levels. With a little planning and a few smart moves where eating and drinking are concerned, you can ease your body into its new location and help prevent jet lag…and all without wreaking havoc on your travel itinerary.

Wet Your Whistle

Staying hydrated has never been so important! That being said, when traveling just remember it’s time to drink up — good old fashioned water, that is, not alcohol or caffeinated beverages, particularly while you’re in the air. Consuming the latter types of beverages at high altitude actually speeds dehydration and wreaks havoc on your system.

In fact, studies suggest that the more dehydrated you become, the tougher your jet lag will be. A good rule to remember is that you should try to consume 6 to 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air. Not only will you stay hydrated, but those trips to the restroom will also help to promote circulation. Double win!

Just Say No To Nibbling

Recently the Anti-Jet Lag Fast, developed by a team at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has been gaining attention with avid travelers. Although I haven’t tried it yet myself, this anti-jet lag diet really seems surprisingly simple. For this “diet,” travelers are supposed to be able to avoid jet lag completely by not eating for 12 to 16 hours before breakfast time in the new time zone. According to the scientists and jet lag-free travelers, the diet works because it automatically resets our internal master clock as soon as we start eating again.

Chew On This

While completely “fasting” and sustaining ourselves on water for 16 hours sounds like a great plan, for some travelers — like smaller children or those with certain medical conditions — this probably isn’t a realistic option. If you find that you (or your travel companions) fall into this category, just remember to keep it light! Great things to keep you satiated without overdoing it are: fresh fruit, fruit juices, light soups and broths and simple salads with no meat.

I hope these tips help you and yours to help prevent jet lag on your next vacation. Happy travels!

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Jet lagged travelers photo by Alberto Vaccaro / CC BY 2.0

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Belonging to the rare breed known as native Floridian, Mary Ellen is a wife, mother and freelance writer, currently living in Sarasota, on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast….

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