Fasting when you fly can fend off jet lag, says Brian St. Pierre, RD, CSCS, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition in Scarborough, Maine.
Eating helps set your internal clock, St. Pierre says. If you go an extended period without food, your first meal in your destination will encourage your brain to operate on local time. That allows your body to adjust, so you won’t find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night and still groggy come morning.
It’s only worth doing if you’re crossing three or more time zones (like going from California to New York), St. Pierre notes, and you should fast for at least 14 hours. For example, if you’re boarding an eight-hour flight and you plan to eat dinner when you land, stop eating six hours before take-off.
Fasting en route to your destination can help minimize jet lag symptoms once you land. Drink plenty of water on the plane since flying can cause dehydration.
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