The Travelling Tummy – Looking After Your Gut While You’re Away

15th August, 2023
The travelling tummy - Looking after your gut while you're away.

Who doesn’t love a holiday?! Jetting off, exploring new places, and trying new exotic dishes is arguably one of the best ways to spend your free time. But travelling can take your gut health on a wild ride too. Lucky for you, Tummy MOT is here to help you understand the travelling tummy. We’ll also bring you tips and tricks to make sure your tummy is as ready as you are to take on the world.

First, let’s look at 3 things going on in your gut when you get away. Then it’s on to our tips for getting around them.

1. Messed-Up Routines and Tummy Troubles

When you’re off exploring the world, chances are your daily routine is disrupted – including your eating and pooping habits.

Changes to routine can have a big impact on your gut and could be the reason for tummy troubles on your holidays. Late-night snacking, irregular meals, and unfamiliar treats, can leave your tummy facing unknown challenges and take a toll on digestion. These changes can lead to digestive discomfort: bloating, gas and constipation.

2. Foreign Environment = Foreign Microbes!

When we travel to new places, our body is exposed to new environments, climates, and ecosystems, and that means new microbes too. Your gut gets exposed to new bacteria, viruses, and parasites that it just isn’t used to, disturbing the balance of your gut microbiota and compromising digestive health. Because of this, travellers are more susceptible to picking up tummy bugs – commonly known as “traveller’s diarrhoea”.

3. Stressed Out Tummies

Travel is super fun and exciting, but that doesn’t mean it comes without stress. Long flights, jet lag, time-zone confusion, and getting lost in translation, can all make you stressed when you’re on holiday. And your gut hates stress! Stress can disrupt the harmony of your gut microbes, leading to inflammation and digestive disasters, such as diarrhoea, constipation, and acid reflux to name a few!

Keeping your tummy healthy while facing all of these challenges may sound like a tall order! But don’t worry, there are loads of ways to keep your tummy in good shape while you’re adventuring.

Our Top Tips for a Tip-Top Tummy while Travelling

1. Pack a probiotic!

Taking prebiotics or probiotics in the weeks before your trip and while you’re away can support a healthy gut. Having more of the good guys in your gut can help to fight off any foreign invaders. But don’t wait until right before your trip to experiment with a new product for the first time – give it a go at home first so you know how it affects you before your holiday. Check out our ‘Reviews’ to find our Tummy Trusted brands for Travel.

2. Practice food safety.

Be cautious about food hygiene, and opt for freshly prepared, properly cooked meals to reduce your risk. Remember, pathogens can come in water too. In places with unsafe tap water, you’re better off switching to bottled water – for drinking, washing fruit, and even cleaning your teeth. And avoid ice in your drinks too!

3.For sensitive tummies…

Travel prepared with your own snacks. Stress can have a major impact on your gut. So, any anxiety about being stranded somewhere with food that might not agree with you can only make a sensitive stomach worse. If you have some of your favourite snacks or herbal teabags packed n your luggage, you’ll know there’s no need to worry.

4. If you do get hit with traveller’s diarrhoea…

You’re best sticking with blander foods until you feel better. Things like toast, boiled potatoes and bananas are easier to stomach. Try to avoid fatty foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and gas-provoking vegetables like beans or cabbage, as these can aggravate your digestion. Keep an intestinal adsorbent like Enterosgel in your suitcase too – taking this can help to treat diarrhoea by binding and removing toxins from bacteria, so you can get back to enjoying your trip quicker!

5. Stay hydrated!

Proper hydration supports digestion function and keeps your bowel movements regular too. Keep your water bottle filled up to reduce the chance of constipation throwing curve balls at your trip away. Travelling by plane can be extra dehydrating, as the humidity level is lower on flights. So, aim to drink extra water while you’re in the air – about a quarter of a litre per hour is recommended to keep your hydration up.

6. Don’t forget the hand sanitiser

Hand washing, particularly before handling food, is super important to keep you safe. One of the most common ways to catch tummy bugs on holiday is from handling cash, so keeping the sanitiser handy and using this regularly when you’re out is a good way to keep those germs away.

Now you know the potential challenges, you can be armed with a few gut-saving strategies to minimise any tummy-based disruptions! These can help you deal with the immediate and temporary effects on gut health.

Keep reading to find out what puts you at higher risk of these travel related troubles. As well as how to protect your tummy in the longer term.

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