We’ve all been there, two days into your holiday, loving the beach and the pool, having great fun with the others but just wishing your gut wasn’t feeling so sh*t?!
Bowel habits can go totally haywire when it comes to travelling, which isn’t surprising when you think about all the hours spent in the car or plane, eating out of routine, trying new foods, and let’s not forget family dynamics (what’s with the itinerary, Dad?). All these things can really affect how much you enjoy your time away, so here’s a few tips and tricks to help you feel your best and keep things moving as they should be.
If you’re feeling backed up and haven’t been all week…
Dehydration can happen pretty easily when you’re in a hot place and on the move, but if you're not drinking enough, it can lead to not pooping enough too. Remember to keep a water bottle on you at all times, especially when travelling, and don’t just hold it, keep taking sips! This will help soften stools and prevent too much gas building up.
Eat plenty of fibre
We won’t go into the full fibre 101 right now but, for the sake of your one-week holiday, just try and eat with your gut in mind, including lots of fruits, vegetables and summer salads. These will provide your gut with heaps of helpful bacteria to keep your microbiome happy.
Pack some loose clothes
Tight, restrictive outfits might look great for night, but they definitely don’t do your tummy many favours! Digestion can be negatively affected if not there’s not enough blood flow to the gut and if breathing is altered, so by packing enough loose, baggy clothes you’ll be giving yourself the option of a comfier evening when/if needed.
If you find yourself running to the loo more frequently than the bar…
If you’re running off to the loo more often, there’s a chance you’ll be losing more water than usual. Keep hydrated and drink fluids regularly.
If you know that your gut has a tendency to play up when you’re away, planning ahead can be game changing. Packing what you need can help put your mind at ease from the very beginning of the trip, so whether it’s anti-diarrhoeals, rehydration salts or psyllium husk in your check in luggage, make sure you’ve got your toolkit with you just in case.
Limit foods that stimulate the gut
Such as spicy foods, high-fat foods, caffeine and alcohol - a tricky one while on holiday, we'll admit.
Two final things to remember...
Try to get into a holiday routine
Your bowels love routine! So even if you’ve got a busy agenda for the rest of the day, try and make some time every morning to check in with yourself. A great combination is mindfulness and movement, take some deep breaths, have a warm drink, and go for a gentle walk to get things going!
Lastly, relax into it!
Anxiety will only make things worse; the gut-brain axis is legit guys. Try to remember that gut sensations are only temporary, they will pass, and you are definitely not alone! Pretty much everyone experiences ‘holiday tummy’ at some point, so keep calm and give yourself a little pep-talk, you’ve got this. One thing you can guarantee on holiday is that there will be plenty of new, interesting, and fun things around you to help keep you distracted! Make the most!