I recently was lucky enough to have my 30th in Las Vegas…Great holiday & I highly recommend it! I wanted to share some tips on how to combat jet lag. I don’t change time zones regularly but when I’ve used the below tips I have never experienced jet lag. I am not going to say you won’t experience jet lag but I can say these options will help you adapt quicker than expected.
The idea here is to help adjust/reset your brain to the new time zone by raising the appropriate excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmitters. So I would recommend taking the ‘AM’ & ‘PM’ options to help you stay awake or get to sleep at the new local time. This may mean planning ahead and taking them on the flight with you.
- Alpha GPC: Enhances dopamine & acetylcholine release
- Acetyl L Carnitine: Improves acetylcholine release
- Tyrosine: Precursor to dopamine
*All 3 nutrients available in Designs for Health Brain Power Sours in a chew sweet that is also fantastic pre-workout!
- Taurine: pre-cursor to GABA & has calming effect on the CNS
- Melatonin: great for regulating sleep & your circadian rhythm
- Magnesium: I highly recommend Magnesium Threonate to enhance GABA levels in the brain and for its ability to cross the blood brain barrier effectively
- Inositol: helps to reset neurotransmitters
This is in much the same idea as the supplements where different foods have affects on your neurotransmitters.
- Red meat as it is high in tyrosine to help promote dopamine release
- Eggs for the same reason in that they help raise dopamine
- Although an extravagant option, caviar is know for promoting acetylcholine release so would be of benefit here
- Rice & beans to promote tranquillity and enhance serotonin release
- Blue fish (E.g. Mackerel) for its ability to raise GABA
- Sweet potato is known to boost serotonin levels
Getting a workout in your new AM time will help reset your circadian rhythm to the new time zone. A word of caution to avoid too heavy too soon. If you are travelling a great distance you are likely to have been sedentary for quite some time, alongside dehydration due to the travel time. 1 hour on a plane equates to a half litre fluid loss.
The danger for injury with heavy weights is thus higher so ease into it. I have for one experienced this personally! I would add in the YSPI Amino Electrolyte powder to fluids to support hydration.
Ideally I like to plan flight times so I get to sleep on the flight, using the flight to land in the morning of the new time zone. At worst, plan what you will do on the flight in regards to when to sleep, nap, wake and what you will be doing to ensure you can do this.
With my 9 hour trip from Vegas I planned an extended nap/mini sleep to wake at 11am in the local time to combat the 8 hour time difference. I opened the window shutter to get sunlight into my & my fiancée’s eyes to ensure we woke up effectively. She wasn’t so happy and wanted to stab me with her spork!
Getting back into your normal routine and trying to maintain as best a lifestyle is the most obvious option. Yes you’re on holiday so you’ve got to let your hair down and enjoy yourself, which I certainly did in Vegas! But even maintaining the start of the day and having meat & nuts instead of pancakes is one less poor meal and then you feel less guilty about your alcohol in the evening if that is what you prefer.