Now with most of us eagerly whipping out the passport, sun tan lotion, bikinis (or speedos gents!) for that long awaiting holiday somewhere sunny and hot we may also think about shoving in a packet of pain killers for that night out that (ahem) turns into an extra few cocktails but there is also a real side effect for many of us and that can be our gut health.
It is quite common that our digestion can go a bit skew-whiff when we travel and that can often mean altered activity when it comes to bowel movements. That could be going more often or much less so than usual. Various factors can affect this, one is the journey itself that whilst brings excitement can also bring a heap of stress, particularly if you are managing the entire family logistics. Planes are also a great sucker of moisture and the air pressure alone once up in-flight mode can also knock the gut unfavourably, particularly for longer haul ones, and if you are someone that already has a propensity for bloating and wind. Then once at your chosen destination you might not naturally drink enough water that can leave your gut dehydrated as well as eating foods that you wouldn’t normally have in your diet. And depending on your preferred choice on the menu this can mean lacking in veggies and fibre that support the gut. On the flip side the majority of us do find plenty of time to relax when we are on our hols and the gut loves a bit of down time too but just try to keep in some kind of gentle daily movement such as swimming or walking as that also keeps things ticking along nicely.
Here’s a couple of my pointers on how you can keep your gut on track…
- Drink up – in hot weather we need more fluid so ensure that you sip water consistently throughout the day as the gut is a thirsty organ after all and needs regular watering. On that try to keep you alcohol to a reasonable amount and not at the hottest times of the day. I’m no killjoy here and think a few well deserved tipples on a holiday is all part of the fun but just don’t go crazy as it won’t serve your gut, or your head the next day, very well.
- Avoid having large meals before and during flights – as this can create a nice environment for all that extra air to accumulate and leave you bloated and gassy. Take your own light snack – something like some simple roasted nuts would be a good idea but avoid fruit for the same fermentation stuff that can ensue.
- Rest & digest – use the time away to lap up having time out of the hum drum of day-to-day life. Gut health can have a lot to do with the stress we put ourselves under so allow it to also relax and rejuvenate too. That means using the time to sit down and eat meals slowly and with plenty of chewing action. You’re in no rush so enjoy and appreciate all that delicious food.
- Take a good probiotic – changing environments also opens us up to whole load of different microorganisms, which isn’t always a bad thing, but some of them can make us feel pretty unwell. If you can have your internal army well bolstered then that can help your natural defences so you don’t waste your holiday with an upset stomach. It also helps things to keep moving smoothly too. So make sure you remember to pack that SYMPROVE next to the sarong and you’ll be all set for the beach and beyond!