How to Keep Your Digestion On Track While Traveling

How to Keep Your Digestion On Track While Traveling

How to Keep Your Digestion On Track While Traveling

How to Keep Your Digestion On Track While Traveling

There are a few short weeks left of summer, but it's not over just yet! It seems like this year more than ever, people are travelling out of their city, or even out of the country. As a gut health nutritionist, I help my clients make healthy habits not only when they're at home doing their usual routine, but also what to do when they're out of the house, travelling on the go. Read on to learn why it's important to take care of your digestion, especially when on vacation. Just a few easy steps and you'll be well-equipped - no need to expect constipation, bloating or loose stools on your trip!

Why Gut Health Matters When You're Traveling

Did you know that whenever you go somewhere new, your body needs time to adjust to these changes? It's the changes we can't see - our bacteria and microbiome will change to adapt to their new environment! So when you're experiencing bloat, constipation or other digestive-related symptoms, it is likely due to a shift in your microbiome adjusting to your new location. These new bacteria are not necessarily harmful, but as your body adapts, you may experience some digestive symptoms.

Another common occurrence during travelling? Parasites and fungi! These are not only present in third-world countries, they are everywhere. Even though you can accumulate parasites and fungi while at home, when you're out and about, you have more opportunities for exposure. Some of the easiest ways to catch a parasitic infection are through improperly handled/cooked foods (pork is the biggest one!), public washrooms, public transportation, tap water and human connection.

It's impossible to avoid all parasites, but being aware of the sources is helpful. The most common place to contact a parasite is when you're eating out. At restaurants, it is difficult to know how the meal is being cooked, what it’s being cooked with and how clean the environment is. There are all factors that can impact how you feel afterwards, digestive-wise. Because of this, you have an increased possibility of experiencing food poisoning or bloat after a meal out. Both can lead to mild or even severe discomfort after eating out, especially when eating out for multiple meals in a row.

No need to worry though, there are precautions you can take! As a gut health nutritionist, here are the strategies I tell my clients to help them mitigate the changes of digestive discomfort when they travel to a new place:

How to Keep Your Digestion Thriving When Traveling

Prep Your Gut With a Probiotic

I always recommend travelling with a probiotic! It’s one of the easiest things we can do to ensure that our digestive system has protection. It’s almost like traveller insurance for your digestive health. Probiotics are good bacteria that are well-researched to fight against and out crowd the bad bacteria you may encounter. I’m a huge fan of HMF Travel because it makes it is easy to take along in my purse (no refrigeration needed), and it contains a variety of strains

Always travel with a probiotic

Keep Hydrated with Filtered Water

Another important consideration is to travel with a water bottle to stay hydrated. Often we forget about water when spending the days outside, so here's your reminder to prioritize water! The quality of water is also important. If you're able, choose filtered water over tap water, which can contain parasites, heavy metals and chlorine. If you're not able to access filtered water, I recommend getting a water filtration stick or charcoal stick. All you do is add this stick to your water bottle and it will help to filter out any heavy metals, parasites and chemical residue. Plus, it makes the water taste so much better!

Keep Hydrated with Filtered Water

Add a Digestive Enzyme

If you’re going to be eating out of your normal routine, a digestive enzyme like the one from Innovite is key. Digestive enzymes can be taken before substantial meals to support digestion. They provide the body with enzymes to break down food properly, helping the digestive system to excrete bad bacteria and keep the good ones. If you tend to get bloated easily, keep these in your purse so that you're prepared!

Load Up on Antioxidants

Another common concern with travelling is the dreaded jet lag. If you struggle with jet lag or just need an energy boost, try looking into an antioxidant-rich supplement. These can be absolutely life-changing for those who need a few days to recover from jet lag. Not only does jet lag result in low energy, it can also take away from your normal digestive system functions, making you prone to symptoms like bloat, gas, constipation or diarrhea. I love CanPrev Antioxidant Network because it's an easy addition to add a variety of antioxidants that you may be lacking during travels.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Keep these strategies in mind on your next trip! Even if it's just a weekend away or a short road trip, it's better to be prepared beforehand. I've seen the difference it makes in my clients, and I know that it will help you too!


Written by Jass Stupak, CNP

Jass Stupak is a Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, BC. Jass is the owner and founder of Nourish with Jass, her private practice, where she specializes in gut health, skin health and digestion for women.


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