5 Tips For Keeping Your Gut Healthy And Improve Digestion While Traveling
Traveling is a huge part of my life and work, and so after traveling to over 35 countries around the world I have learn a lot about how to keep my body (and gut) feeling it’s best while traveling. Especially because I have celiac disease, making sure that I am protecting and supporting your gut health while traveling is so important and something that over the years I have really learned how to best care for.
Disclaimer: This article is in partnership and sponsored by New Chapter, a leading vitamin and herbal supplement brand based in Vermont whose products are full of whole foods and herbs that provide superior supplemental nutrition that actually works. As always, all options are my own and I thank you for supporting the brands that make the educational work we do here possible.
Why Are Gut Issues So Common While Traveling?
As most people can attest, traveling can be really stressful on all our digestive systems, and if you step back and think about it, it makes a lot of sense. First of all, when we travel we usually are not following our usually sleep and exercise routines, two behaviors that we know are incredibly important for maintaining optimal gut health and regularity. We also are usually eating a lot of different foods when we travel, and are exposed to so many new microbes that our digestive systems may not be used to.
So it really is no wonder that when we travel most people report feeling some type of: bloating, gas, constipation, nausea, or general discomfort. But just because these symptoms may be common, doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything we can do about them!
I know after experiencing one too many trips that were negatively impacted by my upset stomach that I needed to come up with a game plan for proactively supporting my gut health while traveling. So after years of trial and error, I came up with a healthy gut game-plan that has kept my digestion healthy and happy on so many adventure around the world, and allows me to enjoy my travels more and stop worrying about any annoying GI symptoms that may arise.
5 Tips For Keeping Your Gut Healthy And Improve Digestion While Traveling
Tip #1: Use A High Quality Probiotic At Least 30 Days Before Travel And While Traveling
Using the right probiotics completely changed my gut health and was the most important factor that improved my travel related gut issues. But not all probiotics are created equal and it is important to know what to look for before choosing the best option for your travels.
I personally love using the All Flora Probiotic from New Chapter, which provides two types of clinical strength flora (bacterial and yeast) that help support healthy balance in the gut microbiome and can improve immune health, regularity, reduce gas and bloating, and improve diarrhea/constipation related symptoms.
While most other probiotics only include a few different probiotic strains in their formulations, New Chapter includes three different compounds that together work to support optimal gut balance:
- prebiotics (fibers from healing herbs that act as fuel for the probiotics)
- 10 billion CFUs of clinically tested probiotics (the beneficial “good” bacteria)
- postbiotics (beneficial compounds that support long-term digestive health)
I also love that the All Flora Probiotic is shelf stable, which means that you don’t need to worry about finding refrigeration for your probiotics while traveling, which often times isn’t possible. This as a game changer for me when working in global health environments, and made supporting my gut health in even the most remote areas so much easier.
So whenever I get asked about how I maintain gut health while traveling all around the world, my first recommendation is always to start with probiotics from New Chapter . Especially when used a minimum of 30 days ahead of travel, during travel, and after travel it can be the friendly helper you need to keep your gut healthy, and combat any digestive upset you may experience while traveling.
Tip #2: Eat More Whole, Fiber Rich Foods
Before any trip I always start to load up more on whole fruits and vegetables, and other fiber rich foods like nuts and whole grains. This helps ensure that my body and digestion is healthy before every trip, which makes staying healthy while traveling a whole lot easier.
While many people recommend eating things like nuts and raw fruit/veggies for travel snacks, I like opting for whole foods that are a little bit easier to digest like hard boiled eggs, blended soups and cooked veggies with whole grains. Personally, I find that things like nuts and raw veggies can be difficult to digest and can increase bloating especially on travel days.
It also goes without saying that as much as possible it is so important to avoid sugary sodas, and other processed foods that don’t leave you feeling all that well even on non-travel days. So skip the processed stuff and opt for cooked foods that you know will fuel your body and support your digestion.
Tip #3: Keep Ginger On Hand
Ginger is an incredible herbal aid for improving digestion and alleviating GI discomfort, and Ginger Force from New Chapter is something I always have on hand when I travel. Ginger has a long history of supporting gut health and acts as a digestive aid by stimulating and warming the stomach to stimulate bile secretion and help move food through the digestive tract, which can help alleviate bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
So whenever I find that my stomach feels just a little off while traveling I always will reach for ginger and find that it usually will do the trick to help calm and alleviate any tummy troubles I may be experiencing.
Tip #4: Move Your Body
Long flights and too much time spent in transportation can mean not a whole lot of movement. While most of us tend to be pretty active once we get to our travel destinations, that time in transportation is when you want to really focus on getting some movement in.
Try to get up every hour or so on long flights or train rides to stretch your legs and get your body moving a bit. You also can utilize open space in airports to do some gentle yoga poses, squats, and other stretches that can help get your blood circulating and wake up your digestion!
Tip #5: Stay Hydrated
It can be difficult to stay hydrated while traveling, but it is so important if you want to keep your digestion regular and reduce travel bloat. Water helps move material through your digestive tract, which will help combat travel related constipation and reduce bloating that can happen when food lingers for too long in your gut.
Flying especially can quickly dehydrate your body due to the low humidity in the air so make sure to drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you are in flight. My best advice is to make sure that you bring a full water bottle onto the flight, and then ask the flight attendants while traveling to fill your water bottle as often as possible.
If you follow these tips when traveling you will be blown away by how much they can improve your digestion and keep your gut feeling healthy and happy. What are some of your favorite tips for improving digestion while traveling? Leave a few below in the comments.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.