Bounce Back Faster From Long Haul Flights
- Created: 09 March 2015 09 March 2015
Danielle Ashley BHSc (TCM &Acu) Dip Nat, a Dr of Chinese Medicine and natural therapist practicing in Melbourne, Australia. Danielle is an avid traveller and she created Flightamins to unite her love for health with her love for travel. Flightamins offers travellers the opportunity to maximise their precious time away by maintaining optimal health with the wholefood formulation, today Danielle shares her top tips to bounce back from your next long haul flight faster, so that you can really enjoy yourself and your destination:
1. Prepare for time difference by creating a sleep and light exposure/avoidance plan.
The more time zones you cross, the more severe jet lag symptoms you will experience. Generally speaking, it takes one day per time zone crossing for your body to adjust to the variation in circadian rhythms. Travelling westward requires less adjustment than eastward travel. This is because westward travel lengthens the duration of the first day and the body can adapt to this easily.
A good plan is to use a jet lag calculator such as the one found at Jetlag Rooster to ascertain the best time for sleep and light exposure/avoidance.
2. Drink a lot of water! This cannot be over-emphasised! Add electrolytes for proper hydration.
The plane cabin is a very dry environment with exceptionally low humidity, hovering around 8% -10%. This is a problem because it can dry out your nose, throat and eyes, which in turn can make you more susceptible to catching cold and flu, because the mucous membranes responsible for protecting you dry out. Dryness in the air can mean greater level of dehydration with an increase in the amount of water you require. Your body loses an extra litre of water for every five hours of flying time due to this low humidity!
Generally, it is recommended that people should drink about 8 glasses of water per day. Add to this an extra 200ml per hour of flying time. Therefore, if you are flying for 10 hours, aim to drink about 280ml per hour. Keep in mind that while water is important, the body also requires electrolytes to help this water to be absorbed into cells for proper hydration.
While a sugary sports drink may seem like a convenient solution from the airport vending machine, keep in mind that they are high in sugar, artificial colours and flavours and generally offer only two electrolytes in their profiles; sodium and potassium. It is preferable to look for an electrolyte supplement containing a full profile of 7 electrolytes, one that is without fructose, sucrose or other sugars. Even a small decrease in hydration, as little as 1% can affect mental performance and increase jet lag symptoms.
3. Meet your nutritional requirements on and off the plane.
Be honest, that white rice and dehydrated vegie stew served with a glass of wine is not going to contribute positively to your inflight nutrition!
We all know that correct nutrition provides our body with the sufficient building blocks to feel and look optimal. However, when people travel, they can feel out of control and at the mercy of the airplane trolley that contains very little of what is “good for you”.
We encourage you to take things into your own hands by packing a small lunch box with your favourite healthy treats. That way you can pick and choose from you plane meal, substituting some of the items that you dislike for others you have with you. Your choices between carbohydrates and proteins can help you induce or delay sleep. If your jet lag plan timetable says that your ideal sleep time is coming up, then eat more carbs and avoid light (use a flight mask). If however you are meant to be in your awake phase, seek light by opening your shutter if you have a window seat and eat meals containing more protein and less carbohydrate.
Be choosy with your supplements. You do not want an extra few kilograms of heavy bottles or jars to cart around. While multivitamins and flight drinks may seem like a sensible choice, most are made with synthetically produced ingredients and contain sugar like sucrose or fructose.
The key to understanding if a product is all natural or just ‘natural’ (which is terminology that can be used on packaging even if the product contains only 10% of natural ingredients!) is to see if the ingredients are real foods, plants and herbal extracts, chosen to generate vitamins.
Flightamins is ideal, a wholefood travel supplement. When you look at the ingredients, you will see Acerola; this is a Brazilian fruit that has very high level of vitamin C as well as the enzymes and bioflavonoids that increase its absorption.
Included in the formulation are all essential electrolytes, natural vitamin B complex, an antioxidant blend to protect against free radicals and natural vitamin A (as beta carotene), C, E, selenium, manganese as well as an ancient Chinese herbal formulation for immune support.
Whether you choose Flightamins or another quality supplement, it is good to take a good quality supplement with you that can support your body in event of sickness, dehydration, insufficient nutrition in the daily diet to keep you performing at your peak your entire trip.
You can find out more about Flightamins here.