We all look forward to our holidays and, with travel bans across the world being lifted, this summer is going to see more of us venturing abroad for sun and sea. But how can you take care of your travel health when away from home?
Being in a different part of the world exposes us to bacteria that we’ve not met before – which is great for our long-term immunity, but might come with some short-term consequences. Factor in changes in time zones, reduced sleep, excess unfamiliar food (and alcohol for adults), air travel, dehydration and other ‘unusual’ stressors, and we can find that our immune system starts to struggle to fight the foreign bugs and that we start to suffer from bloating, constipation and other digestive symptoms.
Depending on your destination, the threat of travellers’ diarrhoea is also real and affects up to half of all people holidaying abroad. Travellers’ diarrhoea comes from food or water contaminated with everyday bacteria from the new environment, but which we are new to us. It generally takes a day or two to appear and can last up to 10 days, easily affecting (or ruining!) our well-earned holiday. Taking care of your travel health when being in unfamiliar environments is paramount.
Live bacteria – probiotics – help to maintain the ratio of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria and have been shown to help prevent travellers’ diarrhoea without side effects. They have also been shown to be safe for the whole family – from newborn babies and pregnant mums to the elderly. Taking probiotics when on holiday follows a slightly different routine than normal, read on to find out when and how much you should be taking…
How to take probiotics for travel health
- Always choose research-backed probiotics that are stable at room temperature – good manufacturers now have the technology to keep high potency probiotics stable for 18-24 months in room temperature conditions. However, in very high temperatures, we would recommend keeping probiotics in a cool place or in a fridge.
- Start taking the probiotics daily with food 7 days before you leave.
- Take double the recommended dose for the duration of your holiday (particularly if you are holidaying in a remote destination) – one dose in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening with dinner.
- Take the probiotics for further 7-14 days upon returning home.
General tips for travel health
Other than supplementing with probiotics, there are a few things that you can do to help stay feeling well on holiday:
- Maintain a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and protein, with a range of brightly coloured foods. Be careful of food washed in local water and try to limit alcohol, processed foods and sugar, which can affect your immune system.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water – not fizzy or alcoholic drinks – particularly when flying, but also throughout your trip.
- Get lots of good quality sleep. Find out how to quickly adapt to a new time zone here.
- Get some exercise each day – walk around on a long flight and try and do some simple exercises in your room, such as push-ups, squats and planks, that do not need any equipment.
- Make the most of the sunlight to boost levels of vitamin D.
- Take a high-quality probiotic that has research evidence to support its safety and effectiveness. Fermented foods, such as live natural yoghurt, sauerkraut and kefir, are also good natural sources of probiotics.
- Ginger may help to reduce nausea if you suffer from travel sickness.
And most importantly? Take the opportunity to relax, destress, and return home recharged and ready for new challenges!
Want to know more?
ProVen Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy whilst travelling, please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth ProVen research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107