The largest expert travel community:
  • 743,458 Total members
  • 7,479 Users online now
  • 1,685,869 Threads
  • 30,463,407 Posts

CIA Operatives Use This Trick to Beat Jet Lag

CIA Operatives Use This Trick to Beat Jet Lag
Jennifer Billock

Flying a long-haul route overseas soon, or at least planning on becoming a secret agent? Check out the diet CIA operatives use when they’re traveling across the world that helps them kick jetlag out the door—be warned, though, it might seem a bit extreme for anyone who really loves to eat frequently.

We all know it: jetlag sucks. No one wants to get to a new destination just to be sleepy and feeling gross all the time. And once you finally get over it, it’s time to hop on a plane and go home again.

Luckily, we can beat this problem with an alteration to our diet. It’s a method Central Intelligence Agency operatives (read: spies) use when they travel overseas, called the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet.

“Anyone traveling across three or more time zones can use the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet to eliminate or reduce jet lag,” said Argonne National Laboratory’s Dave Baurac. “The Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet maintains our healthy cellular rhythms by using the same natural time cues that nature uses, such as meal contents and timing, light and dark cycles and daily activity cycles.”

Here’s how it works: You have to fast. Determine the typical breakfast time for wherever you’re going, and then fast for 12 to 16 hours before that time. During the fast, you can only drink water. Your first meal will be in your new destination at breakfast time, so your body will be accustomed to the new time zone immediately.

That’s the shortened version of the diet, though. CIA operatives use a version that takes several days of intermittent fasting based on the time zone they’re traveling to, in order to condition their bodies for the new schedule.

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (11)


  1. Amil

    March 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    I got pulled over halfway to saw airport . The Uber driver asked me to cover for him and i did. They said how did i arrange the ride I told the cops it was through the hotel. After they asked me 5 times they let us go. I didn’t really have a choice but to lie because we were in the middle of nowhere and I was late for my flight I didn’t even know it was illegal until we got pulled over. I think Uber should do a better job of telling us it’s illegal.

  2. ratechaser

    March 17, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Well that was relevant Amil…

  3. AAdamE

    March 19, 2019 at 10:15 am

    @Amil, that happened to me too! I hear Uber checks these comments often for feedback.

  4. katycab

    March 20, 2019 at 5:39 am

    I feel like I am in the twilight zone, guys. I keep re-reading the article looking for the Uber…

  5. jimthehorsegod

    March 20, 2019 at 5:57 am

    Cool story bro

  6. sfcharles1

    March 20, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Was your uber driver a secret CIA Agent? Maybe he mistook fasting for running fast…

    Frankly, I kinda thought the way they beat jet lag was to waterboard it.

  7. Disneymkvii

    March 20, 2019 at 7:16 am

    I’ve head that a small amount of cocaine will also help ease jet lag issues. Also allows the traveler to get a lot of extra work done.

  8. gotinfluence

    March 20, 2019 at 7:34 am

    This is a completely INACCURATE description of the Argonne Diet.

    Intermittent fasting came decades after this diet. There are alternating fast and feast days and strategic use and avoidance of caffeine, depending on multiple factors – time zones, East/West travel, time of day.

    CIA? that’s silly and is a tactic bad bloggers use to trick people into clicking through.

    The Diet was designed for government travelers and also used by Delta Force. You can read Dr. Ehret’s book. But the best resource was written with the Dr. before he died…

    The Cure for Jet Lag by Lynne Waller Scanlon, Charles F. Ehret Ph.D.

    If you stick with this religiously, it works. If you’re a coffee drinker you can’t cheat on the caffeine part.

    I’ve taking international basketball teams overseas (US to AUS) and had players, including myself, get off the plane and go to a practice. Guys who didn’t do the diet had problems, including injuries (possibly related most to the hydration piece), and serious sleep issues.

    I’ve done business trips using Scanlon & Ehret’s resource and had a day or so of tiredness. Upon returning it might be a couple days. But the rule of thumb is this, # of hours time zone change = days needed to adjust. So going to HCMC with 12 hours change and recovering in 24-36 hours is fabulous.

    While I’m disappointed that someone heard a rumor or something and posted this. I hope people will understand the true concepts behind this approach to jet-lag and attend to the book as a solution.

  9. darthbimmer

    March 20, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Extreme fasting can cause hallucination. Looks like some people mistook their Uber ride for an airplane.

  10. boerne

    March 20, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Lunesta and no Uber

  11. MaldivesFreak


    March 21, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Diet can help but it’s a ridiculously slow technique. And the so-called ‘rule of thumb’ that says ‘# of hours time zone change = days needed to adjust’ is just BS. The only thing you need to do is either:

    a) if it’s a flight where you arrive at your destination at night, then just don’t sleep at all the night before your flight. Keep awake whatever way you can – with caffeine if you don’t injest it regularly or go run or work out, stay up on the PC or whatever… you’re fatigued and dead tired the next night when you arrive at the destination, or

    b) if you’re going to arrive in the morning at your destination and need to be awake for the whole day, don’t sleep at all or sleep one or two hours on the night two days prior to your flight (mimicking ‘a’ above), then on the previous day adjust the time you go to sleep and sleep a normal length of time or a couple of hours less and according to, or near to, the time at the destination. If you’re able to sleep well on a plane then it makes it easier and you can adjust accordingly.

    Basically the principle is to stay awake for 24-36 hours or thereabouts (more than that and you’ll experience more fatigue than necessary) to deprive your body of sleep then sleep according to your destination’s time zone for however long you need whether it’s before you land or after (remembering that you can’t ‘make up for lost sleep’ by sleeping half a day just because you were dead tired the previous night, it doesn’t work that way)
    Obviously limit, or reduce entirely, light entering the eyes and blue light before you want to sleep and use earplugs if you’re easily woken by noise. If you can find out when you are getting your REM sleep then that will help you adjust the mechanism even further.

You must be logged in on the FORUM to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


More in Tips

Strategies for Getting to Australia on Points and Miles

Ariana ArghandewalApril 17, 2019

Why I’m Going to Start Paying My Cell Phone Bill With Citi Prestige

Caroline LupiniApril 15, 2019

Take a Trip Down Priority Lane (But Only In a Few Airports)

Scott DylanMarch 30, 2019

Copyright © 2014 Top News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.