If you’ve ever gotten sick while traveling, you know how miserable it can be. Nothing ruins a good vacation like catching some kind of illness.
With probiotics though, you can reduce your chances of getting sick, have more energy, and have a better sense of well-being while you travel.
Why Your Gut Health May Decline While Traveling
There isn’t one single reason that our gut health suffers while traveling. There are multiple environmental factors that can wreak havoc on gut health.
Many people eat very differently while traveling compared to their regular diet, which is understandable because you don’t have access to the same food that you have at home. However, eating junk food just because it’s accessible while traveling has its consequences.
It’s fine to eat out while traveling, but avoid sugary and fast food if you can. These foods can cause imbalances in the gut. Opt for the healthy choice whenever possible and your gut health will thank you for it.
Also, consider packing healthy food from home.
Unsafe Drinking Water
If you’re traveling to another country, the drinking water there may not be as safe as it is in your home country. Water that locals drink can have a completely different result than when you drink it, as they’ve adapted to it.
Water quality is something you should look into before traveling so that you don’t have any surprises after drinking tap water in a foreign country.
A little research into the country you’re traveling to should give you a good idea as to whether it’s safe to drink the tap water or if you should opt for bottled water instead.
With all the travel arrangements, packing, expenses, and the chaos of airports, it’s not uncommon to get stressed out when traveling. Stress can have negative impacts on gut health, so it’s important to try to keep your stress levels to a minimum while traveling.
Stress can result in various negative consequences, both physical and psychological. Perhaps the worst aspect of being stressed while traveling is the fact that stress has harmful effects on the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to getting sick, and of course, no one wants to get sick while traveling. (1)
The good news is that some studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement may help combat stress. (2)
You can also combat stress while traveling by doing things like planning and packing ahead and showing up to the airport early.
Coming in Contact With New Microorganisms
When you travel to a new place, you’re more likely to encounter pathogenic microorganisms that you haven’t come in contact with before. Your body is less likely to be able to effectively fight these off than the harmful microorganisms that you’re normally exposed to, which your body has adapted to better defend against.
Being in Confined Spaces Shared by Many People
When you’re in cars, airplanes, trains, and other modes of transportation where you’re sharing small amounts of space with other people, germs get passed around more easily. You’re frequently touching other surfaces that others have touched recently, such as armrests, tray tables, door handles, and more. You’re also breathing the same air as other people.
Being exposed to more pathogenic microorganisms makes it more likely that you’ll get sick from one of them.
A precaution you can take is to not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands after you’ve been in a shared space, as its where bad bacteria can get in your body and cause infection. Also, be sure to wash your hands frequently.
How Probiotics Can Help Keep You Healthy While Traveling
Probiotics promote health in multiple ways while traveling.
Good probiotic bacteria crowd out bad bacteria in the gut, so the bad stuff has less chance to cause infection. Probiotics also stimulate the immune system, so if you’re taking probiotics, your body is more likely to be able to fight off the harmful pathogens that you come in contact with. (3)
A common occurrence that many travelers experience is diarrhea. There’s even a term for it: traveler’s diarrhea. Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by consuming contaminated food or drink.
A 2018 meta-analysis concluded that probiotics are effective at preventing traveler’s diarrhea. Probiotics are also effective for acute infectious diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. (4)
The bottom line is that probiotics are great for travel because they protect you from nasty bacteria and viruses so you can focus on enjoying yourself.
When Should You Start Taking Probiotics for Travel?
To truly get the benefits of probiotics, it’s best to take them all year round. But if you’re taking them specifically for travel, it’s a good idea to start taking them at least a week before traveling.
What to Look for When Buying a Probiotic Supplement for Travel
A Probiotic With a Potent Dose
Probiotics are measured in CFUs, or colony-forming units. In order to get the benefits of probiotics, the supplement you choose needs to be potent enough.
Make sure the probiotics are alive.
Probiotics are living microorganisms and they won’t do you any good if they’re not alive. Probiotic supplement manufacturers print the expiration date on their bottles, so be sure to check and take a probiotic supplement that’s not expired. BlueBiotics Ultimate Care is valid for two years from the date of manufacture.
Take a probiotic supplement with multiple strains.
Probiotic strains each have their own unique health benefits and protect against certain pathogenic microorganisms that can make you sick. In general, the more strains, the better.
Choose a probiotic supplement that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
BlueBiotics Ultimate Care can be refrigerated to extend the life of the cultures, but it’s not necessary. BlueBiotics Ultimate Care is freeze-dried so you don’t need to refrigerate them, which makes them convenient for travel, as you’re not always going to have easy access to a refrigerator.
Taking probiotics is a great way to stay healthy and feel better while traveling — a time when you’re more vulnerable to getting sick and being stressed.
If you’re traveling soon, consider taking BlueBiotics Ultimate Care. It’s a potent 61 billion CFU and has 11 probiotic strains for a wide range of health benefits. It's great for your day to day life or when you’re on the road.