Learn how to keep your gut healthy while traveling, and you’ll have a more fun and memorable experience.
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In this article:
- Know the Possible Culprits to Determine the Best Solution
- Drink Water to Reduce Constipation
- Consume High-Fiber and Fermented Foods to Pass Stool Fast
- Consume Bitters to Control Bloating and Nausea
- Get Some Sleep
- Go Easy on the Bacteria Killers
- Eat Healthy Fats
7 Ways to Keep Your Gut Healthy While Traveling
1. Know the Possible Culprits to Determine the Best Solution
To know how to keep your gut healthy while traveling, you should understand the probable causes of your digestive issues, including traveler’s diarrhea. These can include the following:
- jet lag
- contaminated or dirty tap water and food
- exposure to bad bacteria or pathogens
- sleep deprivation
- physical and emotional trauma
- consumption of an unfamiliar meal or cuisine
- poop suppression
These factors can increase your chances of having an upset stomach while traveling since they can disrupt the balance of the microbiome.
What is traveler’s diarrhea? It is a condition affecting the digestive tract that leads to abdominal cramps or loose stool that can last for at least three days. It can be caused by consuming contaminated water or food.
2. Drink Water to Reduce Constipation
It’s essential to keep yourself hydrated when you’re traveling. Not only does it help replenish the fluids you lose from all the walking, but it also supports good gut health.
Water plays a significant role in digestion as it helps break down food into digestible pieces. It also assists in moving food toward the small intestine and into the colon.
The colon or the large intestine also needs water. Otherwise, it will absorb whatever fluid is in the poop, making it a hard stool to pass.
Finding a good water source may be difficult in some countries, so use a water bottle with an activated charcoal filter. Avoid plastic water bottles as they can also have health risks.
3. Consume High-Fiber and Fermented Foods to Pass Stool Fast
Another way to keep your gut healthy while traveling is to consume fiber and fermented foods. Both of these can help keep your gut healthy by making it easier to pass stool and maintain the balance of healthy bacteria.
Fermented foods are also some of the best probiotics for travel. In cases of mild food poisoning or upset stomach, they can increase the population of healthy gut microbes.
When traveling, consider adding the following into your diet:
- whole grains
- chia seeds
You can look for healthy food stores, or you can check restaurants that may serve some of them as side dishes.
You can also bring along powder blends such as Alkalizing Greens. This has a combination of superfoods such as green tea, wheatgrass, vegetables like kale and spinach, and chlorella.
Besides fiber, Alkalizing Greens will also give you essential nutrients for your travel, such as:
- B vitamins, which can boost your energy levels naturally
- Folate, which can help regulate your mood and enhance brain function
- EGCG, which can assist in maintaining a healthy weight
These foods can also help you follow an anti-inflammatory diet while traveling.
4. Consume Bitters to Control Bloating and Nausea
Bloating and nausea can happen while traveling, and there can be a lot of reasons why these occur:
- Eating food too soon or too fast
- Drinking a lot of soda, which increases gas
- Consuming too many carbs and sugar, which boosts water retention
- Eating dairy even when you’re lactose intolerant
- Eating gluten when you’re sensitive or intolerant to the protein
- Having your menstrual period
- Suffering from certain digestive conditions such as acid reflux
Usually, bloating and nausea are not life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. You can stay healthy on the road and beat the bloat with bitters.
Bitters don’t have the nicest flavors, but they can stimulate your digestive organs such as the pancreas, stomach, and liver to release digestive juices or enzymes. These can then help break down food more effectively and boost nutrient absorption.
Some great options are:
Interestingly, some bars can make you a simple tonic with these basic ingredients. You can quell your bloat while relaxing.
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5. Get Some Sleep
Sleep and travel often don’t agree, and that’s understandable. You are in a new place, and you’re probably nervous or excited, not to mention, you’re nursing jet lag.
Sleep, or the lack thereof, though, has a huge impact on the balance of healthy bacteria. It turns out the body’s internal clock or the circadian rhythm works alongside your microbiome.
This may explain why sleep deprivation often occurs with changes in the bowel movement and even eating habits.
There are many ways to improve your sleep and keep your gut healthy while traveling:
- Perform some low-impact exercises such as yoga.
- Meditate for at least 30 minutes to calm yourself.
- Listen to music.
- Take a stroll around the block to expend excess energy.
You can also take Relax & Unwind that can help normalize your sleeping patterns and ensure you don’t feel exhausted when you wake up.
Then, in the morning, consume Elevate H2 that has magnesium as an active ingredient. This mineral can help relax the intestinal muscles to make pooping easy.
6. Go Easy on the Bacteria Killers
For some people, staying healthy while traveling means getting rid of any possible trace of bacteria. In the process, they tend to abuse their hand sanitizer.
In reality, not all hand sanitizers are effective, and even the best ones cannot kill all the germs. They may only reduce their growth.
In fact, for the Centers and Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), handwashing is the most effective way to get rid of pathogens in most situations. They are also less likely to kill beneficial bacteria in the environment.
In some cases, hand sanitizers are a better option especially if you don’t trust the water supply in your destination. When buying, pick the ones with at least 60% alcohol.
How about antibiotics? If you end up traveling while still under an antibiotic treatment plan, then, by all means, stick to the regimen.
Follow the doctor’s recommendation including the duration of the treatment. You can also ask your physician for some referrals or ideas in case the symptoms still persist even after taking the antibiotics.
Do not try to extend your treatment without your doctor’s approval, and avoid buying an antibiotic your physician didn’t prescribe.
7. Eat Healthy Fats
While bad fats can contribute to the bloat and other digestive symptoms, the good ones can keep your gut healthy while traveling.
These healthy fats can act as lubricants for the intestines, making it faster for the stool to get out of the colon. They can also curb hunger, so you’re less likely to end up eating or binging on unfamiliar food.
Some healthy food sources of fat are:
- olive oil and coconut oil
- nut butters
- hard-boiled eggs
- chia seeds and flaxseed
- hemp seed
The last thing you want to happen when you’re on a trip is letting your gut get in the way of a fun experience. So keep your gut healthy while traveling and exercise extra caution with what you consume.
How do you maintain a healthy gut when you’re traveling? Share your tips in the comments section below!