Best Foods to Eat to Help Beat Jet Lag

by Travelbag on 25 October 2017, 09:10AM

Even the most seasoned travellers sometimes struggle with jet lag. However, the good news is that there are a few things that you can do beat it, boosting your energy levels and easily catching up with some much-needed rest so that you can kick off your holiday in the best possible way by feeling great and ready to take on an adventure.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most important travel-tips we can give you (and this is applicable to all flights) is to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal tea, or fruit juice. As humidity levels on the plane are far lower than you will usually experience, you'll find that you'll lose water much faster and feel thirsty more regularly. When dehydrated, you'll probably feel tired and irritable which will only exacerbate those pesky feelings of jet lag when stepping off a long-haul flight.

As much as you might not want to avoiding both alcohol and caffeine both before and during your flight will help you to stay hydrated and, depending on the timing of your flight, might also help you to secure some much-needed sleep when you're up in the air.

You might also find it helpful to eat a variety of water-rich foods including cucumber, strawberries, watermelon and celery, in addition to drinking plenty of fluids both before, during, and after your flight to ensure that your body remains as hydrated as possible.

Post-Flight Jet-Lag-Tips

Once you have arrived at your destination, being mindful of what you're eating and drinking will help your body to adjust to your new time zone as quickly and as easily as possible. When you're running on little sleep, you'll be more prone to feel as though you're hungry when you're really just exhausted or dehydrated.

When tired and hungry it can be all too easy to reach for the most convenient option which isn't always necessarily the best choice. Although snacks will satiate those hunger pangs in the short-term, keeping your energy and blood sugar levels steady requires a series of lighter, balanced meals containing complex carbohydrates, protein and plant-based ingredients.

If you do want to tuck into a quick snack, however, anything rich in protein will be your best option. Protein bars, nuts, yoghurt, and peanut butter with whole grain bread are all excellent options. And you'll also find that incorporating any of the following into your pre and post-flight food choices will help you to beat jet-lag and ensure your natural sleep cycle isn't too disrupted by your time in the air.

Cherry Juice, Kiwi Fruits, and Goji Berries

As cherries are one of the few foods we can eat to get a boost of natural melatonin, drinking some tart cherry juice in the evening after you've landed will help you to ensure your natural sleep rhythm stays as regular as possible in your new surroundings. Similarly, tucking into a fresh kiwi fruit can also positively influence sleep quality as they are full of serotonin, which will be converted to melatonin by your body.

If you're looking for a pre-sleep snack, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better than a handful of goji berries. They have been scientifically proven to enhance sleep quality, which is essential if beating jet lag is firmly on the top of your travel to-do list.

Eggs

As an excellent source of vitamin B12, eggs will boost your energy levels as well as positively contributing to regulating your internal clock after a long flight. Helping to maximise your natural response to external light, vitamin B12 will dampen your body's melatonin signals during waking hours, ultimately improving feelings of wakefulness and alertness. Tucking into eggs for breakfast or brunch is always a good idea, but especially so on the morning after a long flight.

Bananas

If you're feeling a little bit drowsy during the afternoons, potassium-rich bananas will provide you with the perfect boost of energy and ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day. Enjoy a banana as part of a balanced post-flight breakfast and it'll be a good idea to consider keeping one with you during your afternoon activities too.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Magnesium contributes to feelings of calmness and can also aid our natural sleep cycles, helping us to achieve a restful night of sleep which is essential after any long flight. Rich in magnesium, enjoying a large helping of any leafy green vegetable during your evening meal post-flight is definitely a good idea.

Chamomile or Ginger Tea

As tempting as it may be to reach for the caffeine, you'll find that your post-flight fatigue will be far more effectively managed with some uplifting ginger tea. Stimulating caffeine can stay in your system for several hours, which will likely disrupt your sleep cycle by delaying the release of melatonin. Enjoying a cup of chamomile tea before bed should help you to feel calm and relaxed, hopefully assisting you in drifting off into a restful night's sleep.

Sources of Protein and Whole Grains

As fatty sources of protein can quickly drain your energy levels, choosing leaner meats including fish and chicken are ideal meals to enjoy in the hours after your flight.

Carbohydrate consumption stimulates the release of insulin into the blood, which manages our blood sugar levels. High levels of insulin often make us feel tired and drowsy, with lower levels helping us to feel more awake and alert. Avoiding a spike in your insulin levels before sleep is important to ensure your night is restful, which is why including some carbohydrates in your first post-flight meals is particularly important.

Enjoying a bowl of oatmeal after a morning flight will keep your insulin levels steady, with quinoa, sweet potatoes and brown rice ideal components for a post-flight lunch or dinner.

Keeping yourself energised and hydrated is key and we hope that following these jet lag beating hacks will help you to make the most of every second on your next overseas adventure.

 

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