Jet Lag – What Causes It?

FLYING SUCCESS: “On a recent very long flight (30 plus hours ), I made sure I had CalMag-C at regular intervals when I felt my body was getting very tired and stressed. This helped me to relax, took the stressed feelings out of my body and helped me to sleep on the flight, something I usually find quite difficult. It also helped ensure I didn’t suffer from the usual jet lag and I found, when I arrived, I slept quite well and more quickly adjusted to the time change. I will certainly be doing this each time I fly in the future!  The difference was very noticeable.”   

AA, New Zealand 

Personal Experience 

When I flew for the first time many decades ago, I had a hard time coping with it despite only being in my early twenties. After landing at my destination, I was completely out of it for almost the entire week I was there and I did not enjoy the trip. I dreaded the return trip. 

The next time I flew some years later, the same thing happened. It took me almost a week to get over that trip too. I just didn’t understand what caused the discomfort so I asked around amongst my friends and found that I wasn’t unique – they also battled for up to about a week to recover from their trips. All I found out was that it was called jet lag. 

I wondered why people went through that just to have a vacation that ended up with them being jet lagged and dragging themselves around. I couldn’t imagine going on an important business trip and feeling like that. 

What Causes Jet Lag 

Soon after my second flight, I got into the nutrition business and one of the things I decided was that I had to find out what causes this thing called jet lag so I started researching it and discovered that all the symptoms of jet lag correlated with dehydration and low oxygen symptoms and that included:

  1. Anxiety

  2. Palpitations

  3. Dizziness or light-headedness

  4. Tiredness or Fatigue

  5. Insomnia

  6. Headaches

  7. Irritability

  8. Clammy sweat

  9. Crying or wanting to cry

  10. Disorientation

  11. Swollen feet or hands

  12. Irregular heartbeat

  13. Nausea

  14. Lethargy

  15. Diarrhea

  16. Excessive urination

  17. Drowsiness or sleepiness

  18. Dry skin or eyes

  19. ‘Flu or colds

  20. Fogginess

  21. Extreme tiredness

  22. Muscle cramps or spasms

What Could Cause The Dehydration?

This kind of confused me initially because you always see people drinking water and other beverages in airports and on the plane. I decided that further research and understanding was needed so I started looking at what conditions were common in airports and airplanes.  

Airports and airplanes are all closed in, air-conditioned spaces and people drink a lot of water, coffee and other beverages as well as consume fast-foods and candy. 

Airplanes also have oxygen control factors. 

I knew that sugar, fizzy drinks and coffee caused dehydration but it still didn't answer my question fully because people do that everywhere in the world and maybe they’re dehydrated and maybe they’re not and that didn’t explain jet lag to me. 

Air-conditioning – A Major Culprit 

Then the penny dropped. I realized it was the air-conditioning. Air-conditioning’s job is to extract the moisture (humidity) from the environment and the biggest moisture-carrying object in most environments is the human body. So, if the air-conditioning is sucking up the moisture that means it is also sucking it out of our bodies. 

Okay, I thought, but people are drinking water so they must be replenishing the lost moisture. Aha, but dehydration is not caused by lack of water only. In fact, over the years, I’ve had to help handle many a dehydrated person and many of them say: “but I drink x-number of gallons a day” but there they are,  dehydrated. 

Minerals – The Key 

Aha, I realized, they’re missing the minerals. In fact, drinking excessive amounts of water without also replenishing the minerals actually makes dehydration worse. Huh? 

Minerals are what create chemical activity in the body. They are needed to pull the water into the cells and remove toxins. Without them you can die, as have many people who were extremely dehydrated and didn’t reach a hospital on time. If you end up in a hospital with dehydration, they always put you on a drip of electrolytes (another word for minerals). 

The more water you drink, the more you urinate and/or sweat, the more minerals you’re losing if you’re not replenishing them and this just becomes a vicious circle – drink, urinate/sweat, drink, urinate/sweat – and the condition worsens. 

Low Oxygen Levels 

You may be aware of the fact that the cabin pressure is controlled to make it more comfortable for the passengers and crew. However, the amount of oxygen is much lower than when on the ground. For some people, this environment — with lower oxygen levels than the ground –  can cause a bunch of negative symptoms. This is also how flying can make you feel terrible. 

As a plane flies, air that flows through the engine gets sucked in, compressed, cooled, filtered, and pumped into the cabin. If this didn’t happen, the passengers and crew would die as the low air pressure at the elevations planes fly (typically 35,000 feet or so) means there isn’t enough oxygen present for your body to function. 

Still, the amount of air pumped inside doesn’t result in quite as much oxygen as you’d normally breathe at sea level. “The cabin is only pressurized to simulate an elevation of 6,000 to 8,000 feet on modern jets,” says Brent Blue, a doctor and longtime pilot. In other words, to your body, flying is like sitting on a 6,000 to 8,000 foot mountain for several hours. As Blue says, “that’s a significant difference for people who live at sea level, and aren’t used to it.” 

“If you’re flying for six hours and dropping your blood’s oxygen saturation by five or ten percent, the fatigue factor is significant,” Blue says. Even if they don’t cause fatigue, reduced oxygen levels can also make your thinking a bit less sharp. 

There is a solution to the oxygen problem though. 

The Secret to Solving Jet Lag 

With this knowledge I’m now able to fly across many time zones, arrive at my destination and bounce around full of energy. Here’s how I do it.

  1. Drink water – plenty but not excessive – but always with salt.

  2. Take minerals – in the form of Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt in drinking water (put enough in till the water tastes pleasant) or those little homeopathic salts called Bioplasma Salts (the one with 12 salts) – they’re just a mixture of different minerals in very palatable, sweetish pills that dissolve under your tongue.

  3. I always drink CalMag-C – as many times as I can during the trip, even in the airport before departure or if I’m in transit. The air hostesses are very accommodating and allow me to mix myself as many glasses as I want in the galley where they always have hot water. In the airports, you can ask any Starbucks for boiling water to mix it, then get some ice blocks to cool it.

  4. I avoid drinking coffee, sugar and fizzy drinks so that I keep my energy. These will increase dehydration.

  5. I take vitamin E to get oxygen into my bloodstream and also carry them on board with me and take them every hour or so, depending on how far I’m flying. The best form is wheat germ oil - either in capsules or the oil.

  6. I eat salads, meat and top up with a good protein bar – not overly sweet. (Remember, sugar dehydrates.)

  7. Time zones and sleep. When travelling across time zones, I always do what the time zone I’m arriving in is doing. For example, if I arrive in the morning, I don't go to sleep till later in the afternoon so I get into the time zone. 

  8. I sleep as much as I can while flying – the CalMag-C and minerals definitely help because they relax the nerves and muscles.

Please don’t forget that babies have the same problem. I always gave mine the little homeopathic salts with CalMag-C. Calcium and magnesium are vital for muscle relaxation, sleep, reducing stress, etc. 

Instant CalMag-C 

Why Instant CalMag-C Works: It has been formulated in a 2:1 ratio of calcium gluconate and magnesium carbonate with vitamin C to adjust the pH so your body can actually use it.

Why is this important?

Calcium and magnesium are two minerals your body needs. Without them, life would cease. They are very important as they are responsible for hundreds of body functions. 

Simply, calcium’s job is to contract the muscles while magnesium’s job is to relax them, and that’s effectively how the heart and all other muscles work. The nervous system sends signals to all different organs, glands and other body parts to tell them what to do. 

Calcium Needs Magnesium: In order for the body to absorb calcium, it needs magnesium – and vice versa – in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. The best form of calcium is the gluconate form. (It is also used for severe pain.) 

Calcium and Magnesium Need Vitamin C: As both minerals are alkaline, they can’t be absorbed by the body unless they have some kind of acid such as vitamin C (or apple cider vinegar). Failing to have this balance can increase deficiencies of both calcium and magnesium. 

We have used both ascorbic and citric acids to create the correct pH so the body can absorb and use the calcium and magnesium efficiently. Having calcium without the proper pH can result in calcium depositing in joints (arthritis) or kidneys (stones) and even behind the eyes (cataracts). 

It is safe for small babies (great for teething, colicky and restless babies) in very small doses, like the tip of a teaspoon in their water bottle a few times a day. As tolerance increases, you can increase it slowly. 

Mixing Instructions (click here for video): Place 1 – 3 rounded teaspoons in a coffee mug or glass, add boiling water, stir till dissolved and then add ice blocks, cold water or your favorite herbal tea bag or unsweetened juice. Don’t add sugar as it creates deficiencies of calcium and magnesium.

Click here to order CalMag-C now!


Disclaimer: Please note that we are not doctors. Should you have any illness or disease, please refer to your medical practitioner for the advice. The only advice we give is purely educational but we do recommend that you find yourself a practitioner who understands nutrition in relation to disease.


#children #dehydration #jetlag

1 comment

  • This is a VERY good article on JET LAG that can benefit every Human being – pleade read it!!

    Smarie Ditlevsen

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