When traveling, it's very common for our "internal system" to get a bit out-of-whack. We eat differently, maybe we’re on a different time zone, we don’t follow our regular exercise routine, we often stay up later, ETC. All of these little changes can impact our digestion and bowel movements. Even the fact that we’re not using our own toilet can affect us.
When our bowel movements are off, that can mean we get bloated, gassy, possibly stomach aches, and even gain a bit of weight.
To avoid this from happening on your next trip, I wanted to share 6 tricks that WORK to help keep your body's digestion and elimination process as regular as possible when traveling.
1. HYDRATE. When we travel, it’s a lot more common to get dehydrated, and its one of the principal reasons why we get constipated. Airplanes are super dehydrating, and then any change of weather, plus change in routine can dehydrate us, especially as we may not be as focused on having our 8 glasses, and are possibly having some extra wine/alcohol. So make it a point to drink A TON of water throughout your day. Start your day with 2 glasses of water. And always travel with a water bottle (preferably glass or steel) and constantly refill it. If you’re a gal, keep it in your purse at all times. If you’re a guy, ask a girl that you’re traveling with to keep it for you!
2. FRUIT & SEEDS. Start your day with some fiber. I usually recommend some high-fiber fruit (you can have it as a “pre-breakfast”- and that’s accessible anywhere); I particularly like berries which are not only high in fiber, but also rich in antioxidants and low in sugar. And if you can plan ahead, packs some travel packets of flax and/or chia seeds. Just sprinkle ½ pack on your fruit or breakfast each morning, or mix with water overnight and drink the soaked seeds first thing upon rising.
3. MOVE. Make sure to do some exercise, if possible every day, ideally when waking up. Regular exercise stimulates peristalsis, so this one is KEY, trust me. Walking helps (and is easy to do anywhere), yoga is amazing, and for many people, a light jog is the best thing to get things movin’. And if you haven’t pooped all day, squeeze in at least 15 mins of exercise before your next meal. Go to your room and do some sun salutations and twisting yoga postures (if you’re a yogi) - try 5 min yoga app, or alternatively, do 2 rounds of the 7-minute app.
4. ROUTINE. When your body is “off schedule” it can lead to constipation. So try to establish a routine despite being on vacation, and include elements of your usual day-to-day. Our bodies function best on a routine as it helps maintain our natural circadian rhythm that affects our hormones and all of our bodily functions, including digestion/pooping! Even if you’re in a different setting/ different time zone, make sure to sleep your regular hours every night (ideally 7-9) and keep up as much of your daily habits as possible. Ex. Try to wake up at a similar time each day, not too different from your usual. Try to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner at regular times. And if you normally poop first thing in the AM, then go sit on the toilet for a bit in the morning. If you normally exercise in the AM, try to do something of movement in the AM even if it's just a 10 min walk. The idea is you want to get your body back on its regular schedule by incorporating as much routine as possible.
5. ELEVATE. When traveling we often need that extra bit of help to poop regularly and properly. And one tiny trick that I find helps a lot is elevating your feet when trying to poop. Just flip over an empty trashcan and rest your feet on it, or if you can, travel with a travel squatty potty! They are amazing and life changing, promise. Prop your feet up, take deep breaths, avoid distracting yourself with your phone and just focus at the task on hand. Relax back, don’t stiffen, and it will flow!
6. MAGNESIUM & TRIPHALA. The two supplement that in my extensive experience work the best – and are completely natural, not habit forming, not laxatives, are 1) magnesium (citrate and glycinate work well) and 2) triphala- a blend of Indian ayurvedic herbs that support digestion/elimination. The best is the combination of the two. I always travel with my packets of Natural Calm (take 2-3 tsp before bed mixed in hot water), a supply of Triphala capsules (take 2 upon rising and 2 before bed), and just in case, some capsules of Cleanse More – a supplement that works better than anything I’ve taken, which combines magnesium and triphala. If you’re a bit backed up, 2 capsules of Cleanse More overnight do the trick, if you’re super backed up, you can try taking 3. It depends on each person but these are the BEST in my opinion and completely natural, not chemical laxatives which I recommend avoiding. (Of course always check with your doctor if you’re on medication or have health complications)
Apply all 6 of these tips and I can almost assure you that your travel-constipation woes will be a thing of the past!
Travel Shopping list:
- Glass Water Bottle
- Flaxseeds travel packets and/or Chia seed travel packets
- Natural Calm Magnesium packets
- Organic Triphala
- Cleanse More
- Travel Squatty Potty
Love and constipation-free travels,