Ever wonder what effects jet lag really has on you? We all know that feeling of being dragged down, tired, but there is a third pain. All that junk food you also tend to eat when you’re jet lagged, it’s because the bacteria in your gut is also tired. They help you to keep everything on schedule. The bacteria in your gut helps you to digest and keep things balanced. When your bacteria isn’t happy, you’re not happy, and your pants aren’t going to fit so well.
Eran Elinav MD, PhD of the Weizmann Institute of Science and lead author of the most recent study says,
These findings provide an explanation for a long-standing and mysterious observation, namely that people with chronically disturbed day-night cycles due to repetitive jet lag or shift work have a tendency to develop obesity and other metabolic complications.
Elinav has high hopes for the future, that this will lead to future treatments for jet lag and obesity. Specifically, he wants to be able to help people with more erratic schedules to be able to lose or control their weight. Until that time that we have a
cure, here are a few basic tips on how to handle your jet lag:
- Keep It Simple: Stick to a simple regimen. Rule out as many complications as you can. Ruth Sorotzkin MD, an internist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA says,
If it doesn’t have to be done then don’t do it.This could be things varying from complicated work meetings to large meals with family and friends or elaborate meals you have to cook. Give your body some time. Some people do better than others. But don’t get into too much too fast.
- Drink More Water: You can stay hydrated on the plane, before, and after your flight. Drink plenty of water throughout, and eat small, light, frequent meals to keep your digestive system functioning, but not overworked. Also don’t be afraid to take short naps. Your body needs it.
- Get Some Exercise: Exercise can be amazing. It gets your blood flowing, lets you beat it out, and it actually helps your body to reestablish its timelines. Sorotzkin explains,
As soon as you land try and take a walk outside in the fresh air and where you can see the light and feel the sun.According to experts, one of the most powerful tools we have to reset our internal clocks is natural sunlight.
- Get a Probiotic Supplement: Probiotic supplements can help you to rebalance and fortify your immune system by balancing out the gut bacteria. Taking them during your trip can help you to avoid a lot of the unpleasant tummy side effects of jet lag.