To start, a brief history lesson: the term jet lag was first coined in 1966 by the newspaper Los Angeles Times, in an article that said "If you're going to be a member of the Jet Set and fly off to Kathmandu for coffee with King Mahindra, you can count on contracting Jet Lag." This feeling of general discomfort is caused when our biorhythms fall out of sync as we change time zones in a short space of time. This is especially intense when we travel to the east, as is the case of our riders on their way to the Pacific circuits.
To overcome the effects of this unusual condition, follow these tips which will make the time change easier to handle.
1. Adjust to the time zone of your destination
We can try to adapt our routine to the time zone of our destination. This means changing when we eat and go to bed. You can be more or less strict in this adaptation, and having a relaxed and flexible routine can be a big help. If you are travelling to the East, you should go to bed and get up one hour earlier than usual, ideally beginning this process two or three days before departure.
2. Get a good night's sleep and be careful with meals
You should try to be well rested for your flight and get at least seven hours sleep the night before you set out. It is also advisable to eat light and stay well hydrated, just as we explain in this article. If you are going to arrive during daylight hours, try and sleep during the flight.
3. Change the time on your watch
As soon as you board the plane, change the time on your watch so your body can start to get used to the new time at your destination. This will help you know when you should sleep and when you should be awake.
4. Keep your blood pumping
During the journey, try to move around the plane to get your blood circulating. You might see your fellow travellers doing this as well, so don't be shy. If you can, do a few stretches, especially if you're going to take part in a sporting event like Marc and Dani.
5. Get some sun and do some exercise
The best way to kick start our body and adapt to the new time zone is to make the most of daylight hours. Even if you're tired, resist the temptation to have a nap and get outside for some fresh air. It's highly advisable to do some exercise on the first day in your destination to speed up adaptation, as this will get your blood pumping and give you an endorphin boost.
6. After the first night in your destination: protein
After you spend your first night in the new time zone, what you eat for breakfast is an important decision. Make sure it's protein-packed so that you can perform to the best of your ability. During the day, snack on nuts such as almonds which contain melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. Have a light dinner to ensure that your sleep doesn't get interrupted by indigestion.
Now, all you need to do is put these tips to the test. If, like our riders, you need to travel to places like Japan, USA, or Malaysia, remember that you can beat jet lag to such a point that, even after a tough journey, you can win the World Championship just hours after touching down. The proof is in the photo 😉