Whether you’ve travelled across the country or halfway across the world, you know the feeling of jet lag. It’s the sun shining brightly at the hour that your body thinks is 1 am, it’s the pounding sleep-deprived headache, and it’s the feeling that you have been awake for 10 years.
While sleep is the only true cure, try out some of these food solutions to get you through the next few hours and back into your one true love: bed.
This is one of the few times it’s best to avoid coffee… Traveling by air leads to dehydration and the best way to combat it is to drink water before, during, and after travel. Sadly, caffeine and alcohol both promote dehydration; unfortunately, that skinny vanilla latte won’t keep you awake and the chardonnay won’t put you to sleep.
#SpoonTip: Bonus points if you put it in a glass water bottle instead of plastic.
2. Matcha Green Tea
Totally trumps coffee as not only an energy booster, but also but also an antioxidant and detoxifier. Since you’re drinking the high-quality powder instead of the herb infusion, it’s a million times better than green tea and will make you feel energized.
Lemon is one of the best ways to alkalize your body after a restless night of sleep. Combine it with a hot cup of water and it will kick off hydration to get rid of jet lag for good. Lemon also reduces anxiety and depression (for when you’re returning from that amazing trip instead of leaving for it).
I was always told that bananas were the cure for muscle cramps, and this is because they are a natural muscle relaxant (which also aids in falling asleep). They increase serotonin and melatonin, so there’s no need for the expensive herbal supplements.
5. Goji Berries
These berries enhance the quality of sleep, so when you finally do make it to your bed, they’ll make falling asleep much easier. Sometimes the hardest part of jet lag isn’t necessarily the long days but the inability to fall asleep once you actually do make it to bed.
6. Peanut or Almond Butter
Protein-rich snacks are helpful in keeping your energy levels steady, so having these snacks on hand is definitely helpful once you arrive to your travel destination. Peanut and almond butter can be found in energy bars, pre-packaged crackers, etc.
Be warned: peanut and almond butter are an American thing. This means that a lot of other countries don’t have jars of it lined up throughout their grocery stores, which are fairly tiny themselves (sadly, no Costco), so be sure to pack your own.
7. Fresh Ginger
Much like Goji berries, ginger is rich in melatonin. Not only does it aid in falling asleep, but it’s also been known to help cure stomach aches and motion sickness — just in case you’re feeling some not so great effects from the decision to roadtrip it to California.
These are another one of the only natural sources of melatonin. Cherry juice and dried cherries work just as well — try putting some in a trail mix with almonds to get not only the melatonin, but also the good fats to keep you going all day.
Bet you thought this wasn’t gonna be on here. Whether you’re advised against it or not, the truth is that you’re probably going to end up forking over a few Euros for that warm cup of joe.
While coffee is only a temporary fix, it can be helpful in getting through an entire day before you can finally make it to bed. Just be sure to avoid the super sugary drinks and keep lots of water on hand to counteract its dehydrating effects.
Whether you’re traveling across the country or “across the pond,” jet lag shouldn’t ruin your travels. Be sure to use these tips (and get plenty of sleep).