Almost 93% of travelers will have jet lag at some point during travel. It takes the body one day per time zone on average to adjust and recover, but it is not uncommon for jet lag to last a couple of days after you’ve landed.
Of course, everyone is different. While some are quick to adjust, others experience debilitating jet lag, paired with nervousness, nausea, headaches, and anxiety. Luckily, there is a practical way you can beat the problem and make the most of your journey. The key is fasting.
It’s true that people rely on fasting due to its connection to weight loss. It has shown 3% to 8% reductions in body weight in just 3 to 24 days. But there is more to fasting than meets the eye. Here is how fasting travel will revamp your system without letting the uncomfortable jet lag get in the way.
Jet Lag – What Is Happening In the Body?
Let’s say you are taking an 11-hour flight from New York to Hawaii. Your plane departs at 5 a.m. and lands at 10 a.m. Hawaii time. You have plenty of time to enjoy the beach or go out for a few drinks. But, your body doesn’t have the energy for it. That’s because the human system is still stuck in New York, where it is 4 p.m. The body is in need of rest, and it may take up to 5 or 6 days before it will completely adjust to Hawaii time.
This is what experts call jet lag. It happens when your sleep-wake patterns experience a drastic disturbance. It is making the body feel exhausted, grumpy, drowsy, and disoriented. The bigger the time zone difference, the more debilitating the symptoms can be.And in older individuals, it takes longer to get their internal body clock in sync.
But the good news is, you can use fasting when you travel to control the symptoms.
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How Can Fasting Beat Jet Lag?
- Time-restricted fasting engages the body’s internal clock.
- The brief fast can trigger a quick circadian rhythm reset.
- The food scarcity provoked by fasting makes the necessary adjustments in a single try.
Fasting can trick the body into believing you are getting a morning snack. You can use the fasting reset to get the circadian rhythm back on track. If you abstain from food while you travel and indulge in a filling meal the moment you land, you will supply the body with the necessary energy. Just like you would get from a regular morning meal.
With fasting, jet lag symptoms can subside. The trick is relatively simple. It’s best to sleep and eat at the appropriate time as your traveling destination while on the plane.
To do that, experts are recommending the Argonne diet. When you fast, you should focus on a protein-rich breakfast, “above average” lunch, and a carb-packed dinner. But during fasting days, you should cut back on calories and take about 800 calories. This is the Argonne diet.
Research shows the Argonne diet can alter the patterns and incidence of jet lag. In a large, carefully controlled study of 186 national guardsmen deployed abroad, Scientists reported that the guards assigned to the Argonne diet group reduced their chance of experiencing serious jet lag by 7 ½ times compared to those who stuck to their typical eating patterns.
Another option is relying on the fasting circadian clock. With a circadian rhythm diet (or body clock diet), you are incorporating a time-restricted eating plan. You will be eating in sync with the body’s internal clock.
Start by eating during daylight with a window of about 12 hours, and then fast for the rest of the 12 hours. This type of fasting travel period will engage the body’s new internal clock. When you apply it to a jet lag scenario, where people need plenty of time to adjust their body, using this fasting tactic can be a practical shortcut to your circadian rhythm. This is where hydration comes in handy.
Why Is Hydration Important for Jet Lag?
According to Harvard Health, to minimize jet lag and feel your best while traveling, you also have to stay hydrated. In addition to all the extra physical activity at the start and end of your journey, long flights have very dry air that is slowly drying you out. On top of that, we also normally get part of the water we need from food, which you’ll miss if you’re fasting. Therefore, drinking plenty of fluids while you’re traveling is an absolute necessity.
Nutritionists recommend 30 to 35 mL of water per kilogram of a person’s body weight. For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds will need to drink 80 ounces of water. If they are taking medications or if they live in warm climates, it’s best to aim a little bit higher.
However, try to avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine. They can further promote dehydration and aggravate the jet lag symptoms. Plus, the caffeine can keep you awake or disturb your sleep, and that is not something you need when adjusting your body to a new time zone.
The fasting reset can have numerous benefits for jet lag. It will engage the body’s internal clock and trigger a fast circadian rhythm reset. These are all useful factors you need to help the body adjust to a new time zone. That’s why refraining from eating a meal for a few hours before takeoff and during travel can be a simple and effective tactic. The moment you land, you can reward your body with a nutritious meal. If you are arriving in the morning, this will be an excellent breakfast to kick-start the day. Just don’t forget to drink plenty of water and refrain from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages – that way you can be happy and hydrated and ready to make the best of your trip.
Of course, getting past any lingering hunger from your previous schedule can be tough, and that’s where Citravarin fasting mints can help, both by reducing the pangs of hunger and by giving you an extra boost to avoid cravings or bad airport food court decisions.