Jet lag, or desynchronosis, is a physiological condition that impacts the body’s circadian rhythms. It manifests as headaches, nausea, disorientation, fatigue and general malaise as a result of crossing multiple timelines at a faster rate than the body can adjust. The body’s circadian rhythms regulates things such as when we sleep, eat and our temperature. This biological clock is determined by external factors such as light and dark periods of each day.
Thanks to science, there is a way to decrease jet lag symptoms by adjusting eating, activity and sleep schedules. Dr. Ehret was a scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory who created the the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet. Back in 2004, the laboratory reported that travellers who followed the diet protocol were 16x less likely to experience jet lag when travelling west, and 7x less likely when travelling east. Each cell in the human body has its own internal clock, which is synced together by a tiny cluster of cells in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. When the eyes are exposed to light, neurotransmitters are sent to signal the suprachiasmatic nucleus to alert the body that it is time to be awake.
The ‘feast-fast, feast-fast’ diet helps to reset this internal clock. The diet alternates two days of moderate feasting pre-departure with two fasting days, the second falling on the travel day. For a more simplified version, fast both before and during your long-haul flight (but drink plenty of water) or extended travel and then eat in accordance to meal times at your destination once you arrive.
LIKE WHAT YOU READ? SIGN UP NOW TO GET THE LATEST TIPS AND ADVICE
Kaitlyn Weiss, TDAE's Sport Science and Research Coordinator is at the cutting edge of using sport science to drive performance gains.
She graduated from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Sport Science and Biomechanics in 2017. Graduated with Honors from Ball State University with a Master of Science in Exercise Science with a focus in Biomechanics in 2013. Graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2009. Current member of NSCA, SPRINZ, SKIPP, ISBS, and ISB. Holds the following certifications: NSCA CSCS, NASM PES, USAW Level 1, FMS, Precision Nutrition Level 1, and Balanced Body University Pilates Instructor.
Follow her on Instagram @kaitweissphd