How Gordon Ramsay Stays One Step Ahead Of Jet Lag

Being a celebrity chef pays off not only for the samples of delicious food — the job might also help combat jet lag. At least that's the case for "Hell's Kitchen" host Gordon Ramsay. The chef has been in the business for years, long before becoming a hot-headed TV personality. He began his culinary training in his early 20s, working at restaurants and eventually becoming a head chef. After honing his skills for a decade, he began opening his own iconic food spots and now owns restaurants all around the globe.

So what does all this have to do with jet lag? Ramsay opened up about his travel habits with The Telegraph in 2021, where he revealed that many chefs don't experience jet lag. The U.K. native noted at the time of the interview that he had racked up over 4.5 million air miles, and even while zipping across several time zones, his experience working in restaurants helped him adapt like a pro. "Chefs don't suffer from jet lag because they're used to working long, 16-hour days," he explained. "I don't need melatonin to help me."

Instead, Ramsay shared that he switches to his destination's time zone before his trip begins. When taking long flights, he also makes sure to wake up four hours early on travel days to prevent post-arrival insomnia.

The chef also uses exercise to deal with jet lag

Gordon Ramsay's claim that chefs don't experience jet lag might not be entirely true. In fact, the foodie has admitted to experiencing the circadian rhythm disorder during his travels on social media, though he doesn't let fatigue get the best of him. Instead, it seems he relies on a good workout to help him beat jet lag once it strikes.

In a photo posted to Instagram in 2018, a toned Ramsay poses for the camera while standing on a beach wearing swim trunks and a sports watch. "Iron Chef to Ironman for @greatormondst #teamramsay London Triathlon can't wait! Great way to shake off jet lag," reads the picture's caption. In 2021, the chef uploaded a video to Facebook during an early-morning run in a city, along with the caption, "The only way to get rid of jet lag is to go for a run, such a beautiful start to the day."

Gordon Ramsay's jet lag techniques can work for you too

You might not be able to transform into a chef before your next getaway, but you can still borrow Gordon Ramsay's jet lag strategies to stay alert and energized during your trip (unless, of course, you're planning a sleep tourism vacation). Ramsay's method of shifting his schedule before flying can come in handy, especially when traveling eastward. 

Dr. Vishesh Kapur, founder of the University of Washington Sleep Medicine Center, told The New York Times that travelers should adjust their wake and sleep routines by one hour each day until they've conformed to the time zone of their destination. Ramsay's approach is slightly different, where he waits until his flight day to wake up four hours earlier. Still, this could work if you're only crossing a few time zones.

Exercise can also mitigate the effects of jet lag, especially if you time your workout carefully. A 2019 study published in The Journal of Physiology found that exercising at 7 a.m. or between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. helps to shift the circadian rhythm to an earlier time, while exercising between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. delays the body's natural wake and sleep times. Squeezing in a quick run between sightseeing could be just what you need to get your body back on track.