Nutritionist advice to prevent constipation on vacation

You finally use your well-deserved PTO and get out of town for a few glorious days of R&R. Question your bag, your travel outfit is on fuk (does anyone still say this?), and your OOO information is saved. After the important hours of travel, you’ve reached your destination and are ready to explore or wonder by the lake. Nothing can go wrong – that is, until you experience discomfort in your stomach. Enter: the dreaded motion sickness.

Nausea while traveling is common. From dry air on airplanes to long periods of sitting and perhaps taking the phrase “Rosé All Day” a little too lightly, it’s easy for our digestive system to be a bit sluggish. If you suffer from constipation while traveling, know that you are not alone and there are many ways to help. beat him. As a dietitian, these are my tried and true tips to make your next vacation a breeze.

1. Move every day

One of the worst causes of bloat (and other eating problems) when traveling is sitting. Whether it’s a long plane ride, hours in the car, or hanging out at the beach, all that seating slows down your digestive tract. It sounds simple, but the easiest way to prevent this is by setting goals for daily movement. During travel, try to get up to stretch and walk for at least two hours at a time, especially on long trips. Depending on the type of vacation, you can incorporate activities such as hiking, exploring a new city, or swimming built into your vacation. But if your vacation is a beach vacation, try to find a way to be worksuch as walking on the beach or doing everyday stretch out.

2. Stay hydrated

When it comes to pampering on vacation, water is your best friend. Travel—especially flying—can cause dehydration, so your skin tends to feel dry or dull after a long flight or car ride. To keep things going, drink water while traveling and throughout the day once you reach your destination. Using a travel water bottle makes it easier to reach your hydration goals, and as an added bonus, it saves you money on expensive airport water bottles and is better for the planet.

If drinking alcohol is part of your vacation plans, wait until you get to your destination so you don’t get too drunk during the trip. When you start drinking your favorite cocktail, use it wisely and try to alternate with water between drinks. While drinking alcohol is no substitute for the old-fashioned glass of water, you can stay on top of your hydration by adding water to your drinks, ordering spritzers and sparkling water. soda instead of soda, or asking for ice cubes in your drink.

3. Avoid chewing gum when flying

Growing up, I was always told to chew gum on airplanes to help my ears. Although chewing gum can help your hearing, it is not very good for your digestion. When you chew gum, you swallow a lot of air. This can lead to excess gas in the stomach, causing discomfort. Depending on the type of gum, it may also contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols (especially sugar-free varieties), which have been reported to contain. bad feelings and melting.

4. Consider probiotics

Probiotics are supplements that contain bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. As a nutritionist, I often recommend a whole-foods diet first, but taking a daily probiotic while you’re out can help fill in any nutrient gaps you’re missing from eating. different than you usually do on vacation. When looking for a probiotic, be sure to choose one that releases quickly. Otherwise, probiotics can break down in stomach acid, meaning that beneficial bacteria don’t reach the gut as they should. Probiotics labeled “time-release” or “fast-acting” are your best bet.

If taking supplements isn’t really your thing, choose foods that contain good bacteria for your gut. Fermented foods, such as plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and tempeh, are good sources of probiotics. On the flip side, prebiotic foods provide food for the bacteria itself, which also contributes to a healthy and happy GI tract. Sources of prebiotic foods include onions, garlic, asparagus, oats, flaxseeds, and apples.

5. Eat well

I firmly believe that everyone knows what they want. While you’re on vacation, read insider knowledge from eat well. If there’s a good time to eat healthy, it’s the holidays. Not only are you relaxed (hopefully), but you’re also free from work distractions, so you can focus on your diet and the present moment. Staying calm during meals stabilizes your body for digestion and detoxification and gives you a signal when you’re full – a win for preventing constipation!

6. Plan your meals ahead of time when possible

When I’m on vacation, I like to try new foods and meals that I wouldn’t cook at home. Although it is delicious and tasty, I know that some foods and large meals can damage my digestion. During the holidays, be careful about the foods you eat and avoid certain foods that you know will cause bloat, gas, or discomfort. The most common causes of GI problems are cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, beans, and milk (if lactose intolerant).

It can help to pack healthy snacks that you enjoy to keep your body healthy while traveling. Foods like nuts, popcorn, dried fruit (look for sugar-free ones!), and whole-grain vegetables (i.e. carrots) are all healthy choices that are full of fiber to keep your digestion going all the time. .

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