How to Beat Jet Lag and Play Your Best

Updated May 20, 2009
    Jet lag is a fact of life for anyone who travels, and not just golfers. There are ways to help your body overcome the rigors of air travel. You want to be as fresh as possible when you tee off after traveling and that can be done if you prepare for your trip.


    Difficulty: Moderate
    1. Travel early. You don't want to fly two time zones or rent a car and drive straight to the golf course. This is a recipe for a full-blown case of jet lag that will certainly impact your game. Instead, take it easy the day you travel and don't push yourself. Play your first round of golf the next day you travel to one of your golf destinations.
    2. Stay away from alcohol. When you are sitting on the plane for three hours or more and you are drinking alcohol, your body is going to feel tired and possibly sick. Your reactions are not going to be at their best and you will not be in a condition to play a solid and competitive round of golf.
    3. Keep your caffeine intact down. Don't have more than 1 cup of coffee or 1 can of soda when you are traveling for three hours or more on a jet. You will start "buzzing" and if you proceed to the golf course, you may find it difficult to concentrate on the shot you have coming up. You may start thinking about what you are doing later that night or the next day.
    4. Drink one bottle of water for every hour you are on the jet. By keeping your system hydrated as possible, you will feel sharper than you usually do when your air travel is complete. You may go to the restroom more than normal but you will not feel groggy or "buzzed up."
    5. Get a good night's sleep the night before your travel. You may be rushing around to pack and pick up a few sundries before your trip and that might cause you to miss sleep the night before you fly. If you think you can make up for this sleep on the plane, you are mistaken because the sleep you get in the air is not as restful as the sleep you get in your own bed.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Traveling east to west is not usually as taxing on the body as traveling west to east.