University of Otago researchers (from left) Jim Cotter,
Fiona Nyhof and Patrick Silcock display examples of a drink
they helped develop, designed to combat jet lag. Photo by
The All Blacks take jet lag seriously and their search
for ways to combat its effects led them to a solution developed
by University of Otago researchers.
The product, developed with the company Flyhidrate, consists
of three different coloured drinks, designed to be consumed
at different stages of a long-haul flight. The drinks were
first used by the All Blacks during this year's rugby
championship and again on their trip to Scotland ahead of
their northern hemisphere tour.
School of physical education senior lecturer Dr Jim Cotter,
who worked on the product with a team of researchers from the
school of physical education and the food science department,
said it felt "good" the product they helped create was being
used by the All Blacks.
He said they agreed to take part in the project in early 2010
and developed, tested and refined the drink over 18 months,
from June 2010 to December last year. It first went on the
market at the start of this year.
Dr Cotter said in developing the drinks the team applied to
long-haul flying some of the work they had done on hydration
solutions for athletes competing in the heat.
"There are a lot of effects from long-haul flying and one of
them is associated with dehydration caused by being in a very
low humidity environment."
Keeping hydrated throughout a flight resulted in less fatigue
at the end of the flight and helped the body get used to new
time zones quicker, he said.
The three-stage beverage system's main purpose was to promote
hydration, but it also contained antioxidants and other
ingredients to fight off the effects of flying.
While it was not created specifically for sports people, the
amount of travel they did meant many could take advantage
"If it can do something that makes them feel better with
their travel and make them feel a bit better at the other
end, then that's great."
However, he was keen to point out it was not a"magic bullet"
for combating jet lag.
"There is no substitute for common sense when you are flying
in terms of good fluid consumption, keeping moving, and not
drinking too much alcohol."
The drinks are available at Auckland Airport as well as some
airports in Australia.