Le Magazine Accor Hotels
Business Traveller Wellbeing

Food to fight jet lag

Jet lag plus business trip equals a miserable few days. But make a few better food choices and you can totally up your business-meetings game like no other on your next work jolly.

Travelling is a distilled version of everyday life. So it should come as no surprise that there are some foods better suited to a comfortable flight and limited jet lag – just like at home when there are foods that make you actually feel better and there are some you binge on for short-term joy.

Before take off

Boost your body with healthy, filling foods before you take off – nut butters, avocado, kale, spinach, you know the stuff. That way you can say no to the inflight meal and enjoy the benefits of intermittent fasting, which will also help stave off jet lag according to scientists. Make your own rules.

Eating sweets, ‘gassy’ fruit and anything high fibre or with too much dairy sets your tummy up for a fall. It’s just too much for it to deal with, digestion wise, while already dealing with the pressures of flying. Avoid them to keep your tummy settled, ensuring you – and probably passengers around you – have a more comfortable flight.

Plane food

In flight

Drink water, drink water and drink water. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and salted snacks. If you’ve decided to not eat inflight and give your body a break from digesting, that’s great. But if fasting doesn’t appeal, pack healthy snacks that will help you reduce the effects of jet lag. 

Prep a little pack of quinoa- or oat-based energy bars with chocolate drops, coconut shards or a little dried fruit (don’t go overboard … think of the other passengers!). The bars will give you a little boost when you slump. 

A banana is also a solid choice, especially towards the end of your flight, because its magnesium and potassium will balance out your body salts and relax you for a restorative night’s sleep (or at least a kip before you head to the office)

Fun fact: Eating at altitude plays havoc with our tastebuds. A lot of science has gone into creating in-flight meals we can eat. The taste of tomatoes intensifies up there, so airlines often serve up tomatoey dishes. 

When you land

Obviously, it depends on the time of day you land and what you have to fit in between landing and crawling into bed. If you’re close to getting some shut eye, a cup of hot water laced with ginger, lemon and honey will have you nodding off in no time. A dash of cumin – known for its tranquilising qualities – will also work wonders. As you wind down, reach for Brazil nuts or a bowl of cherries. The selenium in Brazil nuts and melatonin in cherries will help you sleep, too.
To pep you up after your flight and keep you going till bedtime, try to go for a brisk walk or light jog to get your body moving again, then have a protein-rich meal – think chicken or turkey with a mountain of greens on quinoa. If you need energy to keep you going through till bedtime, a pile of wholewheat pasta and a sauce is a good choice, too. Just as you like it.

Did you like it? Share it!

At random

More travel ideas

Find your dream destination

With the Dream Detector

Use our Detector