I think we can all agree that a major downer to travelling across the world is jet lag. There is nothing worse than arriving in a new city for a holiday or business to find you’re feeling absolutely shattered during the day and wide awake at 3am. This time around I seemed to be coping well thanks to a few little daily habits and natural remedies that I’ve picked up over the years.
- Keep hydrated – Regularly sip on water when you’re travelling because it is easy to become dehydrated. Hydration and electrolyte balance will help your body adjust to a new time zone.
- Support your immune system – Your body is already in overdrive trying to adjust to new time zones and with all the different viruses around, its no wonder people often fall ill. Help support your immune system by taking Echinacea, vitamin D3 and eating foods high in vitamin C before, during, and after your journey. However, make sure you check with your naturopath if these supplements are right for your individual needs.
- Prepare your digestive system for food – If your gut is feeling rough, consider preparing your digestive system before you eat a meal. This can be done by drinking the juice of half a lemon or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before your meal.
- Don’t overload your system – You aren’t spending much energy on a plane, so it’s important to not overload your systems with too much food too often, or the wrong types of food (such as fast food, fried foods, sweets, crisps and chocolate). You do not have to eat everything that is offered to you on a flight. Listen to your body and only eat if you are hungry.
- Re-energise – Travelling can zap your energy levels so it’s important to replenish once you’ve arrived at your destination by eating foods high in nutritional value. Eating at least 5 different types of vegetables and fruits per day is a good start. Think leafy greens for all of the B vitamins and magnesium, capsicum/peppers for vitamin C and apricots for vitamin A. Eggs, raw nuts and seeds, and wholegrains are also extremely nutrient rich. You could even consider talking to your naturopath about taking an activated multi-vitamin.
- Promote lymphatic drainage – Being cooped up on a plane can cause lymphatic stagnation, aches and cramps. When you are travelling, get up, walk around and stretch every few hours. Once you have arrived, consider skin brushing, yoga and massage. Epsom salt baths with essential oils can also be incredibly effective.
- Help the body detoxify – After eating healthy, exercise is the best thing you can do to help your body adjust. Whether it be a slow walk or a 5 mile run, getting your body moving will help you recover from jet lag. It’s even better if you can exercise outside due to the benefits of fresh air and sunshine to help the sleep-wake cycle and vitamin D exposure. For maximum benefits, make sure you break into a sweat (wear an extra layer if walking) and breathe deeply. Re-hydrate and stretch your muscles to recover.
We all have our own preferred ways to overcome jet lag. Please share what works with you in the comments below!