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Many people are back to travel, and I have recently been fielding questions on how best to travel while still maintaining your normal daily health routine. Whether you are wanting to sleep well, avoid disruptive bowel changes or just stay healthy, here are a few common tips to keep in mind the next time you travel.
Traveler’s Diarrhea Prevention
Bring along a well-rounded probiotic blend, especially if traveling internationally. In a 2005 study, probiotics containing a strand called Saccharomyces boulardii with a mixture of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species was best in preventing traveler’s diarrhea. Skip the blends containing prebiotics as those can increase bloat and gas in some people.
Traveler’s Constipation Prevention
Magnesium will help keep bowel movements stay regular but be careful about the dose. If you have never taken magnesium, start with half the dose recommended on the bottle, and increase to the full dose if you are not seeing improvement. My favorite magnesium for travel is the Natural Calm powder. You can purchase the powder in individual servings so it’s easy to pack. Raspberry lemon is a crowd favorite. Add it to water in the evening to help with a morning bowel movement. Other benefits of magnesium are sleep improvement and muscle relaxation.
Bring along an easily dissolvable fiber supplement, especially if your meals will be lacking in veggies and fruit. My favorite is Sunfiber. Take one scoop daily.
When traveling across multiple time zones, consider bringing along 1 to 5 mg of melatonin in your carry-on bag. Definitely take it the first night away, but it’s also OK to take melatonin multiple nights in a row if needed. Get as much natural sunlight as you can as this can help retrain your circadian rhythm. If sleep is historically a struggle for you, avoid sleep disruptors such as late-night alcohol, sugar or caffeine.
Before your trip, think through your meal options. Over-eating is common on vacation, and weight gain will follow. If you have a rented house with a kitchen, stock it with raw veggies and grab-and-go fruit. Pick up packs with individual servings of pistachios, almonds, apple chips and GoMacro bars for quick snacks. Start your day with a solid 20 grams of protein, as this will help curb sweet cravings during the day.
Bring your stainless-steel water bottle and keep up with hydration. If you’ll be doing lots of walking in hot climates, I’m a fan of hauling along packets of Liquid IV electrolyte replacement to mix in your water bottle.
If these tips change your current health plan, remember to refer to your primary care physician. Or, if you are a patient at the Whole Health Institute, give us a call at 913-632-3550 to check with your provider before making changes on your own.
Have fun and safe travels!
About the Author
Megan Schlick, ND
Dr. Schlick has special training in nutritional medicine, herbal medicine and lifestyle modifications and she is an expert in identifying nutrient deficiencies and accurately prescribing nutritional and herbal supplements. Much of her practice focuses on evaluation into the root cause of your symptoms, with much focus on digestive health, hormonal health, immune health and nutritional status. With overall wellness in mind, she works with patients to develop an individualized plan to treat illness and support optimal health.