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Don't Eat, Avoid Jetlag

Vacations are all about indulgence—good food, great company, and all play, no work. But if your next vacation includes flying to a different time zone, you may want to hold off on splurging until after you land. According to a new study, researchers have found that not eating before a flight may be a healthy option to help to prevent jet lag.
Typically, the body’s natural clock in the brain tells us when to wake, eat and sleep, all in response to light. But new studies have shown that a second clock takes over when there is a lack of food, and controlling this clock by waiting to eat may help travelers adjust to new time zones. Doctors say a 16-hour period of fasting with no food at all is an adequate amount of time to engage this alternate clock.
Researchers said at the start of the study they already knew that animals are able to override their normal biological clock when food is scarce, therefore helping to better their chances of finding food. What’s more, studies have shown that mice fed only during the time when they normally sleep are able to shift their body clocks to this new routine.
The results have not proven whether or not skipping a meal before flying is a good idea, but it may be worth a shot.
After all, you can always make up for it when you are sitting poolside without a care in the world, right? [MSNBC]

Posted: 5/28/08

This was VERY good to know!