Want to avoid jetlag and flatulence while flying? Follow these tips


Flights aren’t conventionally comfortable but there are a few tips to make sure you’re not tossing and turning all the way to your destination. Source: Shutterstock.com

IN ADDITION to screaming children, lengthy check-in queues, and tedious albeit essential security checks, simply eating and drinking the wrong things before a flight can add to the stress of your journey.

Whether you’re addicted to caffeine, obsessed with greasy burgers or love to guzzle protein-packed smoothies matter little – you should probably rethink your habits if you’re boarding a flight.

Here are five ways to keep your stomach from churning and save those around you from smelling the by-product of your dinner:

Steer away from grease

Boarding call is just moments away and your growling tummy is calling for sustenance. You probably think a quick burger is the perfect solution – but think again.

It’s best to avoid greasy, sodium-packed foods that are high in saturated fats before a flight. It’s hard enough for your body to digest these on the ground, don’t make it struggle at 35,000 feet.

Certain healthy foods are a no-go

High-fiber and sodium-rich foods are to be left out of your pre-departure meal as well. Certain vegetables and pulses such as onions, cauliflower, cabbages, leeks, beans, and lentils can cause you to retain gas and water.

The pressurized cabin already encourages bloating so you don’t want to start feeling like an over-inflated balloon, with only one exit escape for the trapped gas.

In 2006, an American Airlines flight had to turn back for an emergency landing after passengers reported a burning smell. On touch-down, a female passenger admitted to lighting matches to mask the smell of her flatulence.

Don’t get sloshed

For many, having a few alcoholic beverages before a flight is a ritual, especially when jetting off on a vacation. For others it is necessary to ease anxiety, but, you guessed it, it should be avoided before and during a flight.

Alcohol causes dehydration and thinning of the blood, which is already a side effect of flying due to the altitude and overly-salted plane food, compensating for your numbed taste buds.

If you can’t resist a tipple, make sure you drink plenty of water too.

Want to avoid jetlag? Don’t consume anything

Much easier said than done on a long-haul flight, but it might just be the key to conquering the dreaded day-wasting jetlag.

According to Dr. Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School, the human body works off a natural circadian clock, ticking away in the brain, and notifying us to eat and sleep in response to light.

However, a study shows a second backup clock swings into action when food is scarce. Through manipulation and a self-starvation period of up to 16 hours, travelers can chime this clock into action, and pre-adjust to their new time zone before arriving.

But before you starve yourself into a state of “hanger”, be aware that the study was conducted on a bunch of lab rats, who aren’t notoriously known for vacationing.