Have you ever felt like you needed to recover from a vacation? Don't get me wrong, traveling is awesome, but sometimes you return home feeling the need for serious detox and two-a-days at the gym for a month. Been there.
As much as I love venturing away from home, travel can sometimes wreak havoc on the body. Traveling, whether for fun or business, usually means eating out, eating too much, stress, adapting to a different environment, sitting for long periods of time (flying or driving), and being out of your normal routine. Traveling often leaves us with less healthy options and little control over what goes in our body. This can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, and tired when you're supposed to be having fun! I know what that's like, and I don't like it.
I refuse to stop adventuring, so I've experimented with some natural remedies to offset the negative effects of traveling. I've assembled my own "travel kit" of supplements that help keep me spunky and healthy while on the road. I also have many clients who travel for business and have found these to be extremely valuable.
There are many ways to optimize your nutrition when eating out and exercising away from home, but that is a topic for another day. Today, I'm sharing with you my top supplements that are a must when traveling. Even when I'm out backpacking and camping I bring these gems with me, and it makes a world of difference. You may not need each one of them, but here are some suggestions for creating your own travel kit:
- Multivitamin: It can be tough to stick to a nutritious diet while traveling, so it's a good idea to pack your daily multivitamin to make sure you're getting adequate micro-nutrients. This can also help boost the body's nutrient stores as it undergoes stress and changes in environment.
- Greens: Again, you never know what you'll be eating when you leave home. Some iceberg lettuce and a pickle might be the most veggies you can find. For this reason, I like to bring green powders to provide much needed alkalizing minerals. Most green powders include a blend of green veggies, spirulina, chlorella, and other phytonutrients that may be lacking in airport food. My personal favorite is the Amazing Grass brand.
- Adaptogenic herbs: Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to any type of stress. Traveling can be stressful and tiring at times, and these herbs have a powerful effect on the nervous and endocrine system. Some of my favorites are ashwagandha, maca, ginseng, rhodiola, and holy basil. Rhodiola and maca are especially helpful in keeping energy high throughout the day. Look for a brand that is organic, and follow dosage recommendations according to product label. My personal fave is the Herb Pharm organic herbal tinctures.
- Digestive enzymes: This one has been a total life (and gut) saver for me! The changes in altitude when flying, paired with foods I may not normally eat can really upset normal digestion. And you know what that means....bloating, gas, cramps, constipation, or loose stools. Digestive enzymes occur naturally in our saliva and stomach acid, and they help break down foods for optimal absorption. Big meals, heavy foods, and stress can disrupt normal digestion, and taking enzymes before or after a meal will keep your GI tract running smoothly.
- Immune support: Whether it's sick kids on an airplanes or street food in India, there are plenty of opportunities to come down with a bug. Support your immune system by bringing along some Emergen-C, Airborne, or better yet Astragalus. Astragalus is another adaptogenic herb that supports a healthy immune system.
- Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is most widely known for its ability to bind to toxins and remove them from the body. It's so effective in doing this that it's actually used to treat overdoses and poisonings. If you know you're vacation is going to be of the partying sort, or if you're just not sure what's in the food you're eating, activated charcoal is a great addition to your travel kit. It can help minimize toxins in the body, prevent hangovers, and reduce gas and bloating. Activated charcoal is very dehydrating, so make sure to drink additional water when taking it! Also keep in mind that it can interfere with nutrient and medication absorption so avoid taking it with medications.
- Water: This one should be obvious, but I can't stress enough the importance of staying hydrated while traveling. Being in the pressurized and low-humidity environment of an airplane can cause dehydration as well as excess gas and bloating. Drink at least 8 oz. of water for every hour you're on a plane to keep you hydrated.
Next time you plan to leave home, try throwing a few of these supps in your bag. You may be surprised at how they allow you to stay healthy and energized!
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Vroomen-Durning, Marijke. "Preventing Dehydration From Air Travel."EverydayHealth.com. Every Day Health Media, LLC, 5 Feb. 2009. Web. 02 June 2016.