Whether you’re embarking on an epic adventure or seeking some much-needed R&R, the last thing you want is to ruin your travels because you’re run down, sick, or can’t leave the bathroom. Avoid this scenario, by bolstering your immune system before and during your trip, as well as being prepared if you do come down with something while away from home with these essential supplements for travel.
Trust me, the hassle of searching for specific supplements in a foreign country, deciphering labels in a different language, questioning ingredients, or paying 3x the cost in a tourist destination is not worth it… especially when you’re already not feeling well.
The most common health issues while on the go are digestive problems, viral infections, and sleep disruptions. Let’s break down recommendations based on these specific health complaints.
***The following is not a substitute for medical advice. If you need to seek medical attention while traveling, your travel insurance company, hotel concierge, or Airbnb hosts can be great resources for local healthcare providers. In many countries, the local pharmacy acts as a quick clinic for simple medical advice. Send your travel companion (if you have one) in your place with a full description of symptoms if you cannot leave your accommodations or feel like you may be contagious.***
Essential Supplements For Digestive Issues During Travel
From Bali Belly to Montezuma’s Revenge, you won’t be enjoying anything if you can’t get farther than sprinting distance from a toilet.
While Travelers’ Diarrhea affects an estimated 30- 70% of travelers (depending on the destination and the season) ruining vacations for many, 5-10% of those individuals will go on to suffer Postinfectious IBS. Symptoms include chronic intestinal inflammation, gut motility changes with small-bowel bacterial overgrowth, and alterations of gut permeability, that more often than not, are still present over 5 years later.
So, while this information should not stop you from seeing the world, it certainly validates taking a few extra steps to protect yourself.
If you do nothing else, especially if headed to a tropical climate, I would start taking this very unique probiotic before you leave on vacation and stay on it throughout the duration of your travels.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is actually a probiotic yeast and is well known for its ability to treat diarrhea whether due to travel, food-borne microbes, antibiotic use, Clostridium difficile, IBS, or IBD. And I have found it to offer protection from getting sick in the first place – priceless.
It has long been recognized as a first-line defense against candida as well as other fungal infections and e. Coli. It may also improve overall immune health and prevent biofilms from forming (more on biofilms below, but this is key to avoiding chronic illness).
Hydrochloric Acid and Digestive Enzymes
One way to really set yourself up for food poisoning is having low stomach acid.
Our first line of defense against food-borne illness is a proper ph level (ideally between 1-2) in the stomach that’s meant to kill pathogens.
With everything from antacids to stress and alcohol and even nutritional deficiencies leading to inadequate production of stomach acid, many of us are all but guaranteed to get sick when exposed to any unfamiliar bacteria in food.
Read here to learn more about this and the 7 most common causes of digestive issues. And, why acidity that is too low is more often the cause of chronic heartburn than too high.
Popping some HCL (an element of stomach acid) before you grab some authentic cuisine from a street vendor might save your whole vacation.
Many of us have a hard time digesting different foods even at home, and while we may have figured out how to avoid these things in our local habitats, it’s not always easy when we travel. Digestive enzymes (the production of which is also dependent on adequate nutrition) can help with gas, bloating, and other digestive discomforts when eating unfamiliar foods.
Activated Charcoal or G.I. Detox
Activated charcoal helps to absorb toxins from the gut, preventing them from entering the bloodstream and causing further illness. It can help reduce symptoms of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Additionally, activated charcoal can help bind and remove toxins from the gut, which can help reduce the severity of food poisoning.
There’s a product called G.I. Detox that includes activated charcoal and several other binding and detoxification agents long used in traditional medicine and supported by modern research that further aid in the removal of toxins and pathogens. (Recall the 5-10% of people with travelers’ diarrhea that end up suffering from post-infectious IBS for years.) The additional ingredients (zeolite clay, silica, apple pectin, humic powder, and aloe vera) also act to soothe many aspects of digestive discomfort and reduce inflammation in the gut as well.
Be sure to take this and any activated charcoal supplements 1-2 hours away from any other supplements, medications, or food as they can bind to nutrients and chemicals making them unabsorbable.
Sometimes the stress and dehydration that often comes with travel can cause constipation.
And lots of people just have a hard time going number two when away from home even if they are just across town for the day. You definitely don’t want to spend your entire vacation uncomfortable and unable to button your pants.
Instead of relying on unpredictable laxatives that may cause cramping, ascorbic acid offers an opportunity for relief as well as immune support. Why does this work? The upper recommended limit of ascorbic acid is 2000 mg. Not because higher doses are harmful, but because they can cause diarrhea. This is because Vitamin C increases gastric motility.
So, if it were me, I would start at 2000mg and increase from there until you have… um, results. Take it at night before bed, especially if you are going to be out adventuring during the day!
Essential Supplements For Immune System Support While Traveling
More often than not our vacations can include a very high amount of stress and increased physical demand.
Getting everything packed and making sure all of your ducks are in a row at home. Hectic travel schedules, and being cramped in planes, trains, and automobiles just to get to your destination. Then, depending on your travel style, going non-stop so you don’t miss a thing, or drinking non-stop… and if you have kids… well that could be more like chaperoning a field trip than a relaxing vacation. All this can take a lot out of us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It’s amazing we all don’t wind up sick 100% of the time from travel.
Taking the time to prepare and protect your immune system can reduce the risk of catching, or the severity and duration of, viruses and stomach bugs.
Buffered Vitamin C and Zinc
I’m sure everyone is well aware that Zinc and Vitamin C both offer significant benefits to protecting and supporting immune health so I won’t go on about it here. But here’s some helpful info about these particular supplements.
I suggest taking a buffered Vitamin C supplement regularly over ascorbic acid, especially when traveling because the last thing you want to take if you do end up with traveler’s diarrhea, is something that increases motility. Many people may not tolerate ascorbic acid even when not hosting a parasite. Buffered Vitamin C is less acidic and less likely to cause G.I. issues.
Zinc is a key ingredient in the production of stomach acid (helping to kill off pathogens before you get sick) and has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
A traveling staple for sure!
Be sure to take Zinc with a meal if you find it upsets your stomach.
Elderberry extract is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to help reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu when taken at the first sign of symptoms, making it an excellent supplement to have on hand or to take as a preventative measure throughout the duration of your trip.
Biocidin Broad Spectrum Liquid Formula
This product is a traveler’s secret weapon.
To understand the full utility of Biocidin, let’s briefly discuss biofilms.
Biofilms are the matrix formed by bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. This matrix creates a protective barrier which (in the context of your body) means the immune system can’t recognize it as a pathogen and antimicrobials (such as antibiotics) can become less, if not entirely, ineffective.
In this study, they found biofilms were present (meaning visible during endoscopy) in 57% of patients with IBS and 34% of patients with ulcerative colitis compared with 6% of controls (meaning people without these illnesses).
Stop suffering from chronic or persistent symptoms, digestive or otherwise. Check out The Optimal Health Blueprint today to get practical solutions based on your unique body, lifestyle, and personality.
What’s even more amazing to me is that all of the 1426 people with biofilms present went through a full bowel prep… You know, that jug of rocket squirt they give you before a colonoscopy – when most people aren’t sure if they’ll survive the diarrhea, these biofilms held on! That’s how resilient these things can be.
What do pond scum and dental plaque have in common?
All of this is to reiterate that you do not want a bout of travelers’ diarrhea to turn into a decade or more of chronic illness and this product contains very well-researched botanicals and essential oils shown to support not only the immune system but biofilm breakdown, healthy digestion, elimination, and detoxification.
Here are those ingredients:
Bilberry fruit extract, Grape seed extract, Shiitake mushroom extract, Golden Seal root, Noni fruit extract, Garlic bulb, White Willow bark, Milk Thistle seed, Raspberry fruit, Echinacea Purpurea plant extract, Echinacea Angustifolia root, Black Walnut hull, Black Walnut leaf, Lavender oil, Oregano oil, Galbanum oil, Tea Tree oil, Fumitory aerial parts extract, Gentian Lutea root
If you do get sick, you’ll want to have a small bottle of this on hand, combined with the G.I. Detox to ensure an acute infection does not become chronic and to speed recovery.
Essential Supplements For Sleep While Traveling
The excitement of travel, changing time zones, uncomfortable beds, and sharing accommodations with people you normally don’t can all contribute to a lack of one of life’s most precious commodities – sleep.
The following supplements are highly effective solutions for helping you to get a good night’s sleep no matter whether you are home or away.
Every cell in your body contains magnesium and requires it to function properly (and all of your tissues and organs are made of cells). I don’t know that there’s a single piece of literature that documents all that magnesium is responsible for in the body, but if it does, it would be one monster of a book. And if you know of one, please let me know!
The short version of how magnesium helps calm the body and mind – It regulates neurotransmitters (GABA, serotonin, and dopamine) and hormones (cortisol, melatonin, and insulin) that play significant roles in your body’s ability to relax and sleep well.
There are many forms of magnesium, Magnesium Glycinate offers one of the most absorbable and bioavailable forms at a reasonable price point. It is also one of the least likely forms to cause loose stools while on the road. Try to avoid the carbonate, chloride, gluconate, and oxide forms for this reason – unless constipated.
Ashwagandha has been extensively researched and has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety (and cortisol levels), improve mood, and promote mental clarity, helping you to feel more relaxed and “in the moment.” Additionally, ashwagandha has been shown to have immune-boosting properties as well. Who couldn’t use more of all of that!?!
Do you ever go to lay down to bed at night, so ready to sleep, only to find your mind racing with to-do lists or trying to find solutions for problems you are too tired to solve?
This supplement is a great solution for exactly that scenario.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is primarily found in green tea leaves. It has been shown to have calming and relaxing effects on the body and mind, without causing drowsiness (but also helping to sleep, when the time is right).
And it has also been shown to increase sleep quality and duration.
Where To Find These Essential Supplements For Travel
I’ve created resources for those both in the U.S. and globally. You can access lists of the exact supplements I would order. You can use it as a reference to find these items on your own or order them through the following trusted distributors with a 10% discount without having to search all over the place!
For Orders Within The U.S.
Use this Fullscript link to access the list. You can order all of the supplements or just the ones you are missing and get free shipping on orders over $50
To receive a 10% discount – message me with your email and ‘Travel Protocol’ via any of the following channels:
For Orders Within The U.K.
Go to https://www.amritanutrition.co.uk/account/register
And enter the invite code 13R4TD (all caps) – to receive a 10% discount on their full catalog of products.
Then, message me with your email and ‘Travel Protocol’ via any of the following channels:
All orders above £30 will receive free shipping through Royal Mail
Orders over £150 will have the option of DPD Express free
For Orders Globally
Go to https://amritanutrition.com/account/register
And enter the invite code QU7FP0 (all caps, that’s a zero at the end) – to receive a 10% discount on their full catalog of products.
Then, message me with your email and ‘Travel Protocol’ via any of the following channels:
Free shipping on orders over £100-125, depending on where you are in the EU. Visit https://amritanutrition.com/pages/shipping-information for a full list of shipping destinations, times, and costs.
If you are outside of the EU, be sure to check for applicable import taxes and regulations regarding supplements before ordering.
Have questions or suggestions? Reach out via any of the above channels to let me know 🙂