Cheetahs' reveal jet lag plan
Cape Town - The Cheetahs' team doctor has a special plan to help the team overcome jet lag on their upcoming Australasian Super Rugby tour.
The men from Bloemfontein start their tour with a clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch on March 21, before facing the Chiefs (Hamilton, March 28), Brumbies (Canberra, April 4) and Force (April 11).
Dr Louis Holtzhausen said the fact that the Cheetahs' first game is in Christchurch makes things extra difficult.
"It's the furthest that you can travel and the most difficult away game to start with," he told Netwerk24.
The Cheetahs will arrive in Christchurch early on the Tuesday morning, after already boarding the previous Sunday.
"It's something like 10 different time zones. On average, it takes one hour per day to recover from the time zone difference."
This means the Cheetahs basically need 10 days to recover and "we're playing on day five, which is actually the toughest".
Holtzhausen said the players will be given melatonin pills and their sleeping patterns will be adjusted specifically for the destination they're due to play at. They will attempt this during the two days spent travelling from South Africa.
When they players arrive at their hotel in New Zealand at 03:00, they will be able to sleep until 09:00 before doing a light training session that morning.
"The hormone balance associated with jet lag is influenced by light and darkness," continued Holtzhausen.
The players will then receive medicine that evening in order to go to bed early so they can adapt quicker.
The Cheetahs started their Super Rugby campaign on a high note when they upset the Sharks 35-29 in Durban last weekend.
They have a bye this coming weekend.