Are you one of the millions of Americans who will be hitting the road this holiday season? Planes, trains, or automobiles, holiday travel can wreak havoc on your gut health.
Getting consistent sleep when traveling is hard. Whether it’s changing time zones or an uncomfortable guest bed, sticking to your routine can be a challenge, and one thing in particular is affected — your microbiome. That’s right. Sleep and gut health are connected.
The microbial life within our bodies is in perpetual flux, with microbes constantly being generated and dying. Some of this decay and renewal naturally occurs during sleep. So, to keep your microbiome and gut health in check, start with making sure you’re getting enough sleep.
While sleep is key to the microbial health of your gut, gut health in turn affects sleep. That’s right, you’re more likely to get a good night’s rest when your stomach is feeling it’s best. Check out Five Foods to Eat for Better Sleep, and you can find tried and true pre-bed sleep tips here. To stave off any sleeping problems while traveling for the holidays, bring along a sleep kit while traveling. Prep your kit with essential oils, melatonin, a good book, and a sleeping mask to ensure a good night’s rest.
Incorporate probiotics as part of your daily routine. There are lots of different probiotic varieties (vegan, liquid, powder, capsule, flavored, unflavored, et cetera) so you can easily find one that works for your lifestyle. If you travel a lot, consider a shelf-stable probiotic so you don’t need to worry about refrigeration. Our Superfoods powder is shelf-stable and has 5 billion probiotics in every serving. Mix into water, juice, or a smoothie for an easy way to get your probiotics while traveling.
Eat Your Greens
It is so easy to eat sugar, dairy, and processed foods when traveling, but with a little planning and preparation, you’ll be happy to skip the candy aisle at the convenience store. Avoid unhealthy temptations and bring along some organic protein bars to snack on. Even a cast iron stomach suffers consequences from bad airport or rest stop food, and why ruin all your hard work? Our Superfoods powder is a simple way to incorporate all the goodness your body needs during travel. Try the Berry flavor in your water bottle for a fruity kick!
Water and Fiber
Fiber is a key component for gut health. Fiber is a carbohydrate that, unlike most carbs, your body cannot digest. Typically, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules. Fiber passes through your body undigested, which helps your body manage its use of sugar. Fiber is vital to your body’s management of blood sugar and hunger. Adults and children should aim for 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day for optimal health. (Source: Harvard)
An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough fiber this holiday travel season is to stock up on our protein shakes and protein powders before you jet off. Not only will the protein keep you full between meals, they are filled with fiber! But don’t forget your water bottle; staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body, both short-term and long-term. Drinking more than enough water while increasing your fiber intake is a crucial step towards gut health success.
Monitor Your Stress
It’s easy to get stressed out when traveling. From holiday traffic to family drama, emotions can run awry. Take time for yourself. Meditation (you can do this on a plane or as the passenger in a car!), exercise, and maintaining your healthy habits will go a long way towards your physical and mental well-being. Intestinal distress can contribute to anxiety levels, so do yourself a favor during what might already be a hectic season: eat well, exercise, get some sleep and pause here and there to meditate or take stock in your personal health. A little bit goes a long way when it comes to keeping your tummy happy while traveling.