YOU’ve done all your holiday planning. Tickets and accommodations booked, bags packed and a list of essential tourist destinations bookmarked. However, there’s one thing that comes with long distance travel that even the most seasoned globetrotter struggles with – jetlag.
We’re talking the sort that leaves you bleary-eyed and wandering like a zombie at noon while the tourist hordes around you snap photos manically, only to leave you tossing and turning at 3am.
Don’t punch the wall in despair though, cause we’ve got news. You can hack this dilemma, simply by changing the way you eat these five things while on vacay:
01: Kick booze to the curb
Flying long haul can leave you dehydrated, but drinking alcohol on when you’re 30,000 feet up in the air might just wreak havoc on your body, worsening the effects of jetlag and travel fatigue. Give the inflight beers and wine a pass, and sip on good ol’ H2O to keep your fluids up instead. Remember, you can always land fresh faced to get the party started.
02: Time your coffee fix wisely
We’re all for coffee consumption. There’s nothing like a steaming cup of Joe to perk you up by boosting energy levels. But the truth is, coffee can act like a double edged sword when you’re experiencing jetlag on travels. Your body requires at least six to eight hours to process caffeine effectively, so be mindful about when you decide get your caffeine fix.
For example, having that cup of cappuccino at 4pm local time (even though it’s 9am at home) can make falling asleep later that night a lot harder. Our advice? If you’re arriving at your destination after lunch, save the coffee for your breakfast the next day.
03: Grab some greens for your plate
Don’t shy away from your greens while on the road. Getting your daily serving of fresh vegetables and fruits can help you recover from jetlag faster as they’re a rich source of antioxidants, fibre, phytonutrients and water. They won’t just keep your weight in check and maintain your health while on the move – they can aid your body in fighting off jetlag a lot more effectively by countering the inflammation linked to travel and dehydration too. So get acquainted with the salad bar, and keep an eye out for things like celery and watermelon.
04: Snack on fruits that make you sleepy
Still having trouble hitting the hay? Time to recruit the aid of two fruits that can help you doze off faster: cherries and bananas. Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that plays a vital role in the human body’s circadian rhythm and can help you catch the ZZZs.
Bananas can be considered a potent, naturally occurring sleeping pill; they’re a great source of the muscle-relaxants potassium and magnesium, not to mention some simple carbs. Pack some cherries and bananas into your backpack and snack on them while sightseeing.
05: Get into a carb coma
Let’s try to replicate how sleepy you feel while staggering back into the office after gorging on a giant plate of fried rice at lunch hour. Carb-rich foods such as pasta, bread, rice and potatoes are a great source of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. Be sure to eat a serving of carbs with your meal at night while travelling, so you can fall asleep a lot faster later. If you’re concerned about going overboard with the carbs, remember that lean protein such as chicken and fish are a rich source of tryptophan too.