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The Loop

Blame It On Jet Lag . . .

April 15, 2009

I spoke to Gary Player yesterday. Our complete conversation will appear in the travel section of this website next Tuesday. We talked about a new course he's building in Mexico, his travel habits and the emotional week he had at the Masters. When I asked him how to help control the effects of jet lag. He told me to not eat animal fat, eat more fruits and vegetables and to drink water, not alcohol.

In the New York Times today there's a "guest column" about jet lag written by Leon Kreitzman, who co-authored a book about biological clocks called, "Rhythms of Life."

Here's the start of the column:

The Japanese call it Jisaboke and in French it is les effets du decalage horaire. Whatever the language, the symptoms of jet lag are the same the world over--fatigue, insomnia, disorientation, swelling limbs, loss of appetite, headaches, mood disturbances, bowel irregularity and light-headedness. Jet lag has also been implicated in loss of libido, nausea, sore throat, fall in cognitive performance and even an increased susceptibility to malaria.

It is not just unpleasant. Jet lag can start wars. In 1956, United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles arrived back in Washington after a long flight to learn that the Egyptians had just bought a substantial amount of Russian arms. Dulles immediately canceled the agreement he had made with Colonel Nasser to bankroll the Aswan Dam project. The Suez Crisis that followed ended Britain's imperial pretensions, and at the height of the Cold War the Russians had their first foothold in Africa. Years later Dulles admitted that he had made a mistake in acting so hastily. He blamed it on the effects of jet lag.

I'm on the road this week reporting the next Away Game. Last night I had a chunk of animal fat and a little alcohol. If I don't play well today, I'll use a new excuse. I'll blame my lame game on jet lag (even though my travels haven't taken me out of the eastern time zone).

--Matty G.