SNACKING HELPS JET LAG
Could snacking help you beat jet lag? Choosing your meals more carefully could be key to avoiding post-long-haul flight drowsiness, Japanese research has suggested . It’s the perennial conundrum for long-haul travellers: how on earth do you fend off – or prevent – the drowsy aftermath of a flight to the other side of the world? Some people swear by taking valium on board the flight; others have even said that Viagra could work as a cure. Others have bought specialised lamps to reduce the impact of changing time zones. The privileged few can always curl up on a first-class bed. And yes, there are of course apps that claim they can help flyers beat jet lag.
However, a new study suggests that our circadian clocks – which regulate hunger and tiredness according to the time of day – could be much more influenced by what we eat, reporters Discover Magazine. Managing our diet could adjust how we feel in different time zones more than previously thought – in particular the consumption of foods that release insulin. The research was carried out at Yamaguchi University in Japan. Its findings – based on the results of a study of the circadian cycle in mice liver cells – suggest that timing meals could be an effective way of minimising the sleepy feeling after disembarking your jumbo jet.
By choosing foods to influence insulin levels, passengers’ tiredness could be manipulated to fit in with the new time zone. Dr Makato Akashi who orchestrated the study said: "In short, insulin may help the stomach clock synchronise with mealtime." For example, eating foods that promote insulin secretion, such as a carbohydrate-rich pasta dish, might help our body clocks enter a sleep stage, while light, protein-rich snacks could help the body to stay awake. Not everyone is convinced, however. Clif Saper, a Harvard University neuroscientist agreed that insulin could have an influence on biological clocks, but questioned whether boosting insulin levels would help beat jet lag, The London Times reported.