March brings spring break – and that means many of us (if we are fortunate enough to travel) will be headed to beautiful, sunny destinations, taking to the slopes, or embarking on a hiking adventure…
These trips sound amazing, but also require getting on a plane… Flying triggers my body (and many other people’s) to become sluggish and dehydrated, causes a host of digestive issues to flare up, and makes me feel bloated and tired. The trips are great, but getting there isn’t!
On a plane, you are exposed to that sluggish air and the sneezing person sitting next to you… You’re around new people and new environments… You might be eating on the go or not getting good sleep… Many of us can experience different health issues when we are eating different foods and don’t have access to our regular routines. Travel may be nourishing to the soul, but it can certainly take a toll on our bodies.
The airport lines and uncomfortable seats cannot be avoided, but that pesky jet lag can be dealt with.
It can take 3-5 days to get over those foggy-brained, always tired feelings – and the more time zones you cross, the more challenging it will be to get back on track.
The good news: with my top tips for slaying fatigue and sluggish digestion, you will become a travel guru. You’ll be excited to plan your next trip with these simple steps!
First, let’s review a few symptoms that many people experience from jet lag:
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Loss of concentration
- Poor memory
- Gastrointestinal disturbances (indigestion, loss of appetite, bowel irregularity)
- Physical weakness
- Daytime sleepiness
- Poor alertness
To help avoid these symptoms (or alleviate them), keep these tips in mind. You’ll improve your overall travel experience, and make sure you can actually enjoy your trip upon arrival, instead of waiting for the jet lag to wear off.
We need to double down on hydration when flying – a fact many people forget. Coffee and alcohol dehydrate us significantly, and thus, weaken the immune system when it is already working overtime to keep you healthy while traveling.
New places, airports, and the close quarters of the flight mean we are exposed to a ton of unfamiliar germs and pathogens, so we want to flush out our systems continuously. Consider replenishing with water and my favorite electrolytes. They come in travel packets, so they’re perfect to add to your water bottle and replenish any lost electrolytes while you travel.
Refrain from Eating a Large Meal During The Flight
I find that eating before travel is better for my digestive system. Digestion takes energy, and so does flying! If it’s a long flight, I bring Philosophie travel packs of protein, which are a quick meal replacement. I will also carry tulsi tea for the internal stress that my body combats during travel, and peppermint tea for digestive support.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Steer clear of airline-provided packaged foods – even the full meals. They are loaded with unhealthy fats and sugar that increase your chances for feeling jet lagged upon landing. I always pack an apple, a banana, and my Nourishing Lab muesli mix with some activated nuts (much easier to digest than regular nuts), seeds, goji berries, dried figs, Brazil nuts (a perfect source of magnesium), and cacao.
The most powerful muscle relaxer, magnesium is my go to supplement when traveling because it keeps things moving through the digestive tract. It is the tried and true antidote for stress – and traveling certainly causes us all distress, even when flights are on time and everything is running smoothly! I recommend Vital Nutrients magnesium citrate.
I just started using this remedy, and have found it beneficial for calming me down and helping to ease insomnia when traveling across different time zones. Recently, I have been back and forth through 4 different time zones… Throughout the travels, my lavender oil has stayed the sleep challenges!
According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, inhaling lavender (together with “sleep hygiene” recommendations like maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding coffee and alcohol, not eating late in the day, and avoiding screens and texting in bed) improved sleep quality in people who had difficulty sleeping more than sleep hygiene alone. I simply rub a few drops to my temples and chest, or spray some lavender on my pillows before falling asleep. Trust me, this is so refreshing and relaxing, you will fall asleep before your head hits the pillow!
Jet lag doesn’t have to ruin your spring break travels, or make you hesitate to take exciting trips. With a little bit of preparation, you fight back against those terrible groggy, disoriented feelings many of us experience with long flights, as well as keep your immune and digestive systems working at their best to keep you healthy away from home.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you travel, and let me know how they work for you!