The wonder of travel puts us in a position where we are primed to face new experiences with a capacity that tends to be more expansive than our everyday lives. All of a sudden, we’re open to different habits, trying new things, and tend to toss our routines to the wind for the sake of immersing ourselves elsewhere. While this works for the most part to enjoy the experience, it can also work against it.
Other sleeping habits and trying new foods are stapled vacation feats. Also, it’s expected that you’ll feel a bit out of sorts overseas due to the excitement, jet lag, and culture shock. But what about the internal things that happen when we travel?
We can’t always control jet lag, and we have limited control over time. However, what we put in our bodies is well within what we can manage. Traveling and eating overseas can have a significant impact on our gut health, so we mustn’t let it suffer for the sake of abandoning caution.
Here are some tips on how to care for your gut as you prepare to travel overseas.
Assess Before You Go
To prepare and monitor as you go, you’ll need to establish a baseline for your gut before your travels. If you’re new to gut health altogether, it’s a good idea to solidify an understanding of how your gut operates.
If you have time, seeing a chiropractor can help you in your assessment. Consider taking an at-home gut health test for an idea of where you stand, though the most accurate way to test your gut is over an extended period. Take note of how you feel after eating certain foods, what food you should generally avoid, and which foods make you feel energized.
Take Prebiotics & Probiotics
Begin taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements at a minimum of two weeks before you travel. This will work to strengthen your immunity and gut health. If possible, find one with strands similar to the ones your body will face abroad.
Go for the Fiber
Adequate fiber intake is an excellent way to ensure the health of your gut regularly, but even more so if you’re traveling. Promote a healthy gut by consuming a fair amount of fiber.
Increasing your water intake before your travel will help to clean your system before you go. It will also enable you to crave and require more water when you are traveling. Drinking more water will ensure that you’re gut is being flushed as much as possible while you’re away. Here are eight ways to remind yourself to drink more water.
Limit Processed Foods
While you’re on-the-go processed foods like cereal bars and instant soups can come in handy, we understand. However, these foods can promote inflammation in your gut, leading to uncomfortable symptoms later.
Do your best to stay away from processed foods throughout your vacation. Also, be mindful of the effects international cuisines can have on your gut. If you feel unwell, stay with foods your gut knows well.
Don’t Skip Trips to the Restroom
While on vacation, it can be easy to skip the restroom for fear of not wanting to use a specific location or public place. Whatever you do, do not hold in the urge, as it will work to dysregulate your bowel system.
Wash Your Hands
This is, of course, a given, but take extra precaution in regularly disinfecting your hands as you travel. Our hands pick up so much extra bacteria. As we’re enjoying ourselves focusing on views, photos, and novelty experiences—the last thing on our mind is germs.
Overall, preparing your gut for travel is all about staying in tune with what your body needs. Take time and necessary precautions ahead of time, and remain aware of what your gut needs as you enjoy your vacation. Happy travels, GR8 friends.