For frequent flyers like myself, the symptoms of jet lag are seemingly unavoidable. This temporary sleep disorder is caused by a disruption to the biological clock within the body that occurs when traveling through multiple time zones. Symptoms of jet lag can leave one feeling dehydrated, drowsy, sluggish and even sick, and it can take several days before the body’s natural rhythm is restored.
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In my world, business travel does not allow for days of recuperation. Clients do not wait until I am feeling refreshed and I cannot put meetings on hold while I take personal time to recover. I have tried various medications, supplements, and even folk-remedies to ease my symptoms, yet I still find myself struggling with the inevitable. Luckily, on a recent trip to Europe, I discovered green tea and its benefits. This ancient herbal remedy turns out to be just the ticket for dealing with those pesky jet lag symptoms that I dread so much.
The green variety of tea is known as the “healthiest” variety due to its lack of processing in comparison to other teas; Matcha being the most potent form. The tealeaves are steamed immediately upon harvesting to prevent fermentation, thus producing a dry and stable product. This enables the powdered tea to retain its green color and preserves the natural heath-promoting polyphenols that it is known for.
Antioxidants, which are special types of polyphenols, are found in abundance in powdered green tea. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent the oxidation of certain unstable molecules in the body, which can ultimately cause damage to cells. This process, called oxidative stress, can come from many different sources including mental and emotional stress, lack of sleep, diet, along with environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and even the atmosphere in airplanes. Traveling can make these internal and external factors unavoidable.
My fellow travelers agree that no matter how much we prepare for a long flight, be it with yoga, meditation, a healthy diet, or going on a special sleep schedule, we cannot help feeling sluggish and uncomfortable upon landing.
Incorporating Matcha into my life has helped me combat this stress and discomfort on a cellular level. The antioxidants in the tea bring my body back into balance and leave me with an overall sense of wellbeing. A study on the antioxidant effects of green tea was performed on twenty-five patients and those in the treatment group showed a better overall quality of life when it came to measuring body pain and social functioning.
Sitting for long periods of time is hard on the body, and no amount of yoga or other forms of exercise can eliminate the pain I feel after a long flight. This does not allow me to be fully present in the first few days of my trip and I feel even more pressured to live up to the never-ending expectations that come along with my job. This goes hand-in-hand with post-flight socializing; as I have a hard time hiding my discomfort through gritted teeth. The study above proves that antioxidants found in tea are helpful in overcoming pain and allow for more normal social functioning, which is very supportive for someone who travels a lot like me. Since incorporating powdered green tea into my life, and especially when I travel, I have noticed that I am able to feel better in my body in a shorter amount of time, and because of this I feel more confident in the workplace.
Apart from eliminating free radicals, antioxidants also work to boost the immune system, which is a must for people who are always on the go. Despite the steps I take to ensure I stay healthy, certain pathogens are unavoidable especially when traveling in closed quarters with strangers. I feel as if green tea benefits me by bulletproofing my body against disease, which enhances my overall travel experience.
Finally, this healthy product is an excellent source of natural energy. The caffeine provides me with an energy boost that I find to be pleasant and effective, unlike the jittery feeling that comes along with drinking coffee. It also serves as a pick-me-up upon landing or anytime that I need an extra boost throughout the duration of my trip.
From its energy-boosting, cancer-fighting effects, to being an aid in weight-loss and digestion, the health benefits of green tea are countless. I am not the only one who thinks highly of this beverage. Health conscious celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Dr. Oz are long-time advocates for this green elixir as well. Starbucks was even ahead of the game years ago with the debut of the Matcha Latte. What is not to love about a healthy, sugar-free and fat-free alternative to coffee and other not-so-healthy beverages?
Unlike synthetic medicines that may come along with unwanted side effects, I use green tea for jet lag because it is natural, inexpensive, and easy to use. I bring the powdered version with me on the plane, dissolve it in water, and feel its healing, hydrating and energizing effects almost instantly. Thanks to the healing power of green tea my jet lag does not take precedence in my life. With the help of this natural support system, I can feel more healthy, confident, and comfortable at any given moment.
Has green tea helped you beat the jet lag? Let us know in the comment section below.