At the time of writing this, I am getting ready to fly to Boise, Idaho for a few days, and then off to a music festival in Oregon for a week out west on vacation.
I will use my actual timeline for flying, changes in time zone, and protocol to prepare my body for the beating it takes when traveling by air, to provide better context as to the “why” of everything I do, and when I do it.
This is my personal protocol, feel free to take as much or as little away from it as you’d like.
What happens to your body when you travel by air?
The simple fact of the matter is, airline travel wreaks havoc on your body.
I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you find traveling, especially via air, exhausting.
Yes, there can be the wacky sleep schedule around flying depending on when your flight is, but there’s more to it.
So why is airline travel so exhausting when you’re basically sitting and doing nothing for the greater part of it?
From the x-rays you’re exposed to in security, to the Wi-Fi on the plane, to the incredible amount of non-native EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) from all the airplane controls and in the airport, you are being zapped with radiation from every angle in much higher amounts than normal.
All put together, you’re quite literally getting the life zapped out of you, and your cells are being bombarded with all kinds of frequencies and radiation that wreak havoc on them and cause massive confusion, unnecessary stress, and trigger an inflammatory and immune response.
In short, it’s not good, it’s really not good at all.
So much so, that I actually try to drive everywhere I can. We live in a beautiful country, and I really enjoy a nice road trip, but alas, flying is definitely far more convenient in certain circumstances, and is definitely necessary for most business travel.
I choose to play offense in these situations when I opt to fly. Meaning, I educate and make myself aware of the health concerns with airline travel, and then rather than stress about it, I accept the inevitable barrage of radiation I’m about to expose myself to, and instead focus on solutions to mitigate many of the harmful effects of travel, which ultimately, will also leave me feeling much better overall for the duration of my travel.
I’ll begin with my supplement protocol.
Consuming ketone esters pre-flight is probably the single most important supplement I take in my opinion.
For starters, they keep you clear and reduce appetite, and as much as you may want to eat, ideally, you want to fly on an empty stomach (no food closer than an hour before flying, and at best, no food at all if flying in the AM), and don’t want to eat for the duration of your airline travel. If you’re doing some long haul international travel, this may be a bit too much, but for most airline travel, you ideally want to fast for the entirety of the time you are flying and in airports.
The idea behind this is similar to why fasting is beneficial. Food in general, but especially pro-inflammatory fast food often found in airports, forces your body to focus on digestion. It’s automatic. You eat food, your body has no choice but to then start focusing its energy on digesting said food.
If your body is focusing all of its energy on digesting food while being bombarded with radiation from every angle on the plane and in the airport, then it can’t focus any energy on mitigating the harmful effects of the radiation.
By resting for the duration of your airline travel, you at minimum allow your body to focus more of its energy on mitigating the harmful effects of the harmful radiation it's being exposed to.
Ketones are a natural, endogenous (produced within the body) form of energy, and when supplemented with, put your body into a state of ketones within 30 minutes, which provides mental clarity, (also great for traveling) and with a reduced appetite, making it far easier to stay fasted for the duration of your air travel.
But wait, they get even more valuable.
Ketones also increase AMPK activity.
AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) activation has been studied for its potential to mitigate the harmful effects of radiation exposure. Preclinical studies have shown that activating AMPK may offer some protective effects against radiation-induced damage by regulating cellular processes related to DNA repair, apoptosis (programmed cell death), and inflammation.
Supplementing with ketones, and being in a state of ketones is quite possibly the single most effective state for increasing AMPK activity.
I will consume some ketones right before I head to the airport. They will last around 4-5 hours in your bloodstream, so if your travel day is longer than that, you may need a second serving.
I dissolve two tablets of molecular hydrogen in a glass of spring water every morning and consume immediately upon waking (literally releasing more free form hydrogen into your glass of water), for the same reasons I will discuss below, however, I will focus specifically on why I think it’s critically important to consume molecular hydrogen before flying if trying to mitigate the harmful effects of airline travel on the body and your cells.
Molecular hydrogen appears to be the supreme antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule for the body.
The antioxidant effects of molecular hydrogen are believed to be achieved through two main mechanisms:
1. Direct Scavenging: Molecular hydrogen can directly neutralize harmful ROS, such as hydroxyl radicals (OH•), one of the most reactive and damaging types of ROS.
2. Indirect Regulation: Molecular hydrogen can modulate the activity of various antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which are essential in neutralizing ROS and maintaining cellular redox balance. H2 appears to upregulate the expression and activity of these antioxidant enzymes, further enhancing the cellular antioxidant defense.
Moreover, molecular hydrogen may also have anti-inflammatory effects, as excessive ROS can trigger inflammatory responses. By reducing oxidative stress, H2 may help mitigate inflammation and contribute to overall cellular health. Furthermore, if the systemic inflammation can be reduced significantly, your body will be more adept at recovering more quickly from said travel.
We know hydration is critical for survival. In fact, water is probably the second most critical molecule to consume for survival outside of oxygen, however, it I were to ask you to peel back a single layer on the critical importance of hydration for survival and ask “why is it so critical for survival?”, many of us wouldn’t know the answer, To be honest, most of the scientific community until about a decade or so ago couldn’t answer this question because they weren’t asking it. All they knew was that there was a correlation between the necessity for water consumption and life. That’s it.
Well, thanks to the research of a few key individuals, we now know the actual role water, and “proper” hydration plays in the body, and it’s probably even more critical than you think if you want to live optimally.
The short of it is that water, ideally in it’s most natural, unprocessed state (spring water or restructured water) combines with a combination of minerals, ideally 72 total minerals and trace minerals inside our cells to produce a highly conductive gel (think of the gel inside an aloe plant) that produces a natural electricity called “bio electricity”. This bioelectricity is literally what fuels the entire body, as it is what the Central Nervous System (CNS) runs on, and the CNS controls everything in the body. Cut the cord on the CNS and it’s instantly lights out for good.
So yes, the human body is a battery that runs on electricity. To read more about this, check out a PDF I wrote called, The Human Body is a Battery.
Very key to this point is that it’s a combination of water AND trace minerals that makes this happen.
Drink lifeless, processed water, devoid of minerals, and it will actually dehydrate the body, and make you less electric. If you drink lots of water but still feel thirsty all the time, have dry skin and lips, and low energy, this is probably you.
Without minerals, you are not truly hydrating when drinking water.
This is why key, hydrating minerals are called ELECTROlytes, as they are highly conductive minerals, very adept at helping you produce more bioelectricity at the intracellular level.
When well hydrated, with both quality water and trace minerals, the human body is a highly conductive, electricity producing (natural energy) machine, meaning quite literally, EVERYTHING in the body is running better, including your antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways that will help reduce and mitigate the harmful effects of the excessive radiation you’re being exposed to while traveling.
Now, properly hydrating with quality water and minerals daily is pretty critical for life and living more optimally as a whole, however, with the focus of this segment being on travel, I’d argue the point that it’s even more critical due to the amount of non-native EMFs and radiation your body is exposed to while traveling by air.
I’ll add a teaspoon of trace minerals to water 2-3 times throughout the day when I travel, and begin by mixing them with ketones pre-flight. There’s a smaller trial or travel size of minerals I use from Omni Blue that is great for travel.
I also travel with a Bee Propolis throat spray from Beekeeper;s Naturals. Bee Propolis has been shown to have potent antiviral properties, and using a throat spray is basically like applying this potent natural antiviral at the direct point of contact with airborne viruses that we come into contact with. Airports and airplanes, due to the high concentration of people and lack of quality fresh air flow, are a definite higher risk for viral infections of all kinds, so taking some extra measures to prevent illness while traveling is always a solid bet.
Supplementing with probiotics when traveling is another solid bet for your immune system and overall digestion. First, you will be traveling, even if not super far, to a new environment, which also means exposure to different bacteria and pathogens along the way. Supplementing with extra healthy probiotics is a great way to maintain proper balance in your gut and positive immune system regulation when exposure to new bacteria and pathogens is pretty imminent while traveling.
When traveling via air, it’s most likely that in some shape or form, your Circadian Rhythm is going to get thrown off in some way.
This can be from changing time zones, especially flying east to west.
This can be from super early, or super late travel that disrupts normal sleep patterns.
If any of the above apply to your future air travel, here are some hacks to reset your Circadian Rhythm, which will reduce jet lag, and improve the overall quality of your sleep when traveling, which will keep energy and immune health higher for the duration of your travel.
If you’ve changed time zones, and/or had to wake up early to travel, or traveled late into the night the morning before, your nighttime melatonin response will be thrown off. Supplementing with melatonin will give you a timed pulse of melatonin when you want it to, which will help reset your Circadian Rhythm.
I also travel with CBD oil, as a dose of 60-100mg has been clinically researched and shown to improve time in deep sleep (your restorative, high quality sleep) by up to 100% in some adults. This is a great complement to melatonin.
A redundancy in “The Weekly Thread:” (very purposeful, but redundant nonetheless) is the importance of natural light exposure to many areas of health, namely for this piece, your Circadian Rhythm.
When traveling, get your butt outside and exposed to natural light immediately upon waking. Okay, drink a glass of water first, but then get your butt outside. Ideally 20 minutes or more. A nice walk is always a great start to the day.
Natural light exposure with your eyes and skin will set off a cascade of positive hormonal and endogenous chemical responses that will set your Circadian Rhythm. The longer you go without natural light exposure in the morning, with an already out of whack Circadian Rhythm, the more out of whack it will be. This could also lead to a longer re-adjustment period when you get back home.
Much of your Circadian Rhythm is also regulated by your gut bacteria. The Circadian Rhythm of your gut bacteria is set and regulated by natural light exposure and when you typically eat your first meal of the day.
TIP: Regardless of when you first eat, try to eat within the same hour everyday for better Circadian Rhythm, and thus, sleep at night.
This is important to note when you are changing time zones, because your gut bacteria doesn’t operate on time zone changes.
For example, I’ll typically eat my first meal between 11am-12pm everyday as I practice time restricted eating, or intermittent fasting.
I’m traveling to Boise, Idaho, which is Mountain Time Zone, and thus, 1 hour behind my everyday time zone.
This means that I want to eat my first meal of the day when in Boise between 10am-11pm to align with the typical beginning of my daily feeding window of 11am-12pm in the Central Time Zone.
When I travel further west to Oregon, I’ll then be in the Pacific Time Zone, and thus, now 2 hours behind my standard time zone.
This means I’ll want to eat my first meal of the day between 9am-10am to not disrupt my gut microbiome’s daily Circadian Rhythm that is set by my first meal of the day.
Hope this is helpful, and be sure to save and/or bookmark this for reference when you travel in the future.