Do you love traveling though find yourself either getting sick or feeling less than optimal when away from home? This article will provide some information to help prevent and give you ideas for how to overcome some of the most common complaints while on the road.
The most common problem I hear about from my clients when traveling is digestive issues, more often than not, constipation. Traveling can throw your body’s routine off, and if you’re stressed or worried this is more likely to happen. This is something that can easily be prevented by bringing a good probiotic and a magnesium supplement with you. Take 250-800mg of Magnesium before bedtime to bowel tolerance. If you experience loose stools, reduce the amount. Your diet may also be lacking fiber when traveling, so make sure you bring healthy snacks and you may also choose to bring a fiber supplement, though typically if eating well and taking Magnesium, this is not necessary. You may or may not need to do all three. Whatever you do, make sure and drink plenty of water!
Diarrhea is probably the most dreaded digestive issue that can occur, as it can really ruin a vacation. This is when a probiotic (specifically this strain has been shown to be effective against diarrhea) can work wonders! Take 1 capsule 3 times a day. Diarrhea while traveling can be caused by food poisoning or low quality food choices. To support your digestion and your first line of defense when it comes to killing bad bacteria and pathogens, you can take HCL capsules or tablets, as well as enzymes. I don’t leave home without these!
I am not talking antacids here. Stomach acid is important! For the majority of people, the problem is that they don’t have enough stomach acid so the food they are taking in is not being digested properly. This will cause your undigested food to ferment in the stomach, building pressure and causing the food to push back into the esophagus. The tissue in your esophagus is very delicate, unlike your stomach tissue, which is why the burn is felt. You can read more about this in the book “Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You”. Like I mentioned above, stomach acid is your body’s first line of defense to kill bacteria, parasites, and prevent infections. It is also critical to breakdown and digest our proteins and certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and selenium. A hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement can make all the difference. Reducing your starch intake and eating a gluten/ grain free diet can also be extremely helpful for most. Check out my post on Avoiding Digestive Upset for what I feel are the most important changes you can make to support digestion.
Motion Sickness/ Nausea
I am not referring to only rocking boats or plane rides. Motion sickness can be triggered by any movement. In my experience, nausea is a sign of liver and gallbladder congestion, though this would require more investigation and a plan to address the root cause. For temporary relief for traveling purposes, Ginger root works wonderful! There have been studies done showing Ginger is more effective compared to the drug dimenhydrinate, given for the same purpose. I find the liquid extract of ginger to be the most powerful. Make sure you are using a clean, potent line for the best results. Ginger can be used as needed, but I would recommend starting 2-4 hours before traveling or before the activity that may trigger the nausea for you.
There is much to consider here, especially when diet and lifestyle comes into play. I am only going to focus on specific supplements that can give your immune system support to ward off exposure to bacteria and parasites, which is more likely to happen when traveling. Since 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, digestion and healthy gut flora is crucial to address and support, this is where probiotics, whether it be from food or supplements, needs to be consumed on a daily basis. Preparing your immune system before traveling is the best way to help prevent sickness. Besides taking an individual Vit D supplement, I like combination support formulas containing ingredients such as Reishi, Chaga, Adrenal, Thymus, Spleen, and Liver glandulars, Bioflavonids, and Glutathione are some things I like to look for. I would suggest taking vitamin C, Zinc, and perhaps Elderberry and Echinacea on the first onset of a cold. For more information on diet and lifestyle factors to consider, check out my article I wrote on how to Rev up Your Immunity.
Did you know it takes your body one day to adjust for every hour of time zones you cross? So if you are flying from coast to coast, it will take you 3 days to adjust, and if your trip is short, you will soon have to go through the whole process again. So what can you do to support your body through this transition? Melatonin is a well known hormone supplement used to fall asleep. It naturally helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles. Taking 1-3mg of sublingual form of melatonin 30 minutes prior to bedtime will help reset your time clock. You should start 3-5 days prior to your trip and continue for the same number of days when returning.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Vox Efx