Your Favorite Sweet Treat May Be The Key To Fighting Jet Lag

There's no denying it: jet lag sucks. As exciting as it is to fly halfway across the world and explore new territory, the tradeoff is that you have to deal with a disruption in your body clock and circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, the World Health Organization notes that jet lag is unavoidable, especially after enduring long-haul flights. The more time zones you cross, the more serious your jet lag will be. In short: expect more post-flight fatigue and crankiness the farther you go.

You can't bypass jet lag, but what you can do is mitigate its effects. Jet lag can persist for days, and the last thing you want is for your flight-induced exhaustion to spoil the trip you've planned hard for. According to the Sleep Foundation, exercising after you land helps, and so does eating healthy meals that primarily consist of fruits and vegetables.

There are many lifesaving jet lag remedies, but a study conducted by Qantas Airlines and the University of Sydney revealed one that's also quite tasty: chocolate. Who would have thought that munching on chocolate could help make traveling easier on your body

Chocolate may help you stay alert

People who have a sweet tooth may be at an advantage when it comes to fighting against jet lag. In Qantas Airlines and the University of Sydney's collaborative study on how to make long-haul flights bearable, it was found that the inclusion of specific ingredients, particularly chocolate, in plane food was found to enhance "traveler wellbeing." Svetlana Postnova, a circadian modeling expert at the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Center, explained to The Washington Post that this is because chocolate helps bolster alertness.

In the flight trials, volunteer passengers were asked to consume meals with chocolate components when they needed to be awake. Aside from helping you stay alert, a study published in Behavioural Neurology found that chocolate, especially the dark kind, contributes to the reduction of fatigue and a boost in energy. A study conducted on rats, published in Scientific Reports, corroborated this, with the researchers coming to the conclusion that chocolate consumption can help fight against circadian desynchrony (a disruption in the body's natural rhythm) because its high fat and sugar content signals wakefulness. Chocolate is also tinged with caffeine, so munching on it when you reach your destination may help assist in maintaining alertness, potentially aiding in a quicker adjustment to the new time zone.

It probably wouldn't hurt to treat yourself to a scrumptious chocolate bar in-flight or once you land. Not only may it help you acclimate to a new time zone, but it might even fend off post-flight grumpiness, too!