holistic nutrition nut logo-02

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling is not an excuse to let all your hard work go out the window. Here are some tips to help you stay on track while traveling. Having the right supplements with you can help to avoid common traveling pitfalls. The night before be sure to pack your vitamins/supplements so you have some accessible while on the plane. Take your good quality multivitamin or B vitamins the day of travel (with your first meal). I like PhytoMulti or Glycogenics by Metagenics. This will give you the energy to combat fatigue while traveling.
Have a good quality activated charcoal or MegaIGG 2000 by Microbiome Labs accessible. Activated charcoal can help to absorb intestinal gas or toxins. MegaIGG 2000 can also bind unwanted intestinal microbes or toxins produced and escort them out of your body into your feces. Meta Relax by Metagenics is a powdered magnesium glycinate that you add to water. Magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable and less likely to stimulate your bowels than magnesium citrate. It’s more likely to raise your blood magnesium levels so it can support muscles, relaxation/stress response, as well as over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. If you are sitting next to a wiggly or loud child then you will definitely need some stress support! If you get aches and pains from sitting on a plane, joint pain, or from your menstrual cycle, then having SPM Active by Metagenics is a must!! It can act as a healthy alternative to Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). In someone with lower total body inflammation, like myself, it can lower aches and pains in as little as an hour. If you have more inflammation you may need a higher dose to blunt pain. Be sure to take it with a meal or snack containing fat because it is fat-soluble. SPM Active may look like a small fish oil supplement but it contains the downstream metabolites of EPA and DHA. These metabolites are much harder to make as we get older. They are responsible for resolving inflammation in the body. First, we need to have enough EPA and DHA to make SPMs in the body, and next, we need to be able to make the metabolites, also called “resolvins.” If you are in a state of chronic inflammation then it may be a good idea to invest in SPM Active and take it for a good month to see if it helps you resolve your chronic inflammation.
Hydration is SO important while traveling!! It can help to prevent constipation that can come with sitting too long. Be sure to have your own water before you get on the plane so you don’t have to wait for the flight attendant every time you feel thirsty. Remember, our thirst mechanisms are behind so when you feel thirsty you are already at least 1% dehydrated. Purchase water after security and before boarding. Plastic bottles are not my favorite but you got to do what you got to do when in a rush and few options are available. Bring your own electrolyte powder to add to your water. I like Endura by Metagenics or LMNT. Avoid Gatorade, Prime, or similar sports drinks at all costs!! These have artificial colors, sweeteners, and other bad ingredients.
The key to not overindulging on all of those high-carb, low-nutrient snacks offered on the plane is blood sugar stability. That starts with a breakfast containing fiber, protein, and fat. If you don’t have time to make breakfast I would recommend a good quality protein powder shake that you can put in a shaker cup with water or a milk alternative and go! You can rinse this cup at the airport or on the plane and have it ready for another shake if needed. This is a great emergency food source and has saved me from making bad decisions when very hungry on the plane. I like UltraMeal Daily Support Chocolate flavor by Metagenics. This is a descent priced all-in-1 shake. It has a phytonutrient powder in it too so you get added plant superfoods. It’s great for children too. They don’t realize they are eating a greens powder because the chocolate covers it up. You can easily plan ahead and put some shake powder and the product scooper in a small bag to have it accessible on the plane.
If you are a coffee drinker, a great way to start your travel day is with a keto pod because it has fat and protein in it. I like to use Bulletproof keto pods. They taste delicious and get me through the morning travel rush. Then wait until you get hungry until you “break your fast.” Once hungry, be sure to not reach for the high-carb foods yet as you can be more sensitive to carbohydrates after fasting and it can result in higher glucose levels. Be sure to drink water while you are “fasting” as coffee can dehydrate you especially while traveling.
Having good quality snacks on the plane is SO important! Bars are nonperishable and easy to pack but not always healthy. My new favorite bar is The Only Bar by Truvani. It’s similar to a RxBar. There are a few other bars that meet the mark but try them beforehand because some may cause you unwanted gas and scare off your seat neighbor. This is when you want that activated charcoal handy.
As far as healthy food options at the airport, that’s tough to find. I found a yogurt parfait to bring on the plane. It looked healthier with plain yogurt, blueberries, chia, and granola but it contained 420 calories. I’m not super into counting calories but it is good to be aware that this yogurt parfait is similar to a meal and should keep you full for a few hours. The problem is that it probably won’t because the carbohydrate content is too high, hence my blood sugar will raise abruptly and then fall and trigger hunger cravings. Another good snacking option is nuts. I brought a nut mix that I purchased beforehand but they also have plenty of nuts for sale in the airport shops. Beware of snacking on stinky things like Doritos, Funions, sour cream and onion-flavored chips, or others. Not only are they horrible for your health but they smell awful!! Your breath radiates on planes whether you realize it or not.

I was happy to see that Koia vanilla vegan protein shakes were available at the airport now. Koia is my go-to brand at grocery stores for a quick, healthy protein option. These shakes taste good but are better when served cold so you may want to drink them early on the flight or bring a refrigerated cooler bag. If you are traveling with kids the cooler bags are a must anyway. You can cut some fruit or veggies to bring too. If you don’t have time to cut produce, I did find a veggie tray for purchase in the gift store that looked decent.

Movement is also extremely important when traveling!! When I sit next to someone that doesn’t move during a 5+ hour flight, I’m always concerned. It’s not good to sit so long and not move your body. You need the blood flowing to avoid not only soreness and leg swelling/edema but also to lower your risk of deep vein thrombosis. Try to get up and move around at least every 2 hours but once an hour is ideal. Yes, it’s annoying to continuously ask your neighbor to move if you aren’t in an aisle seat, but sometimes you have to be annoying to look out for your own needs.

To keep your blood flowing, here’s the perfect airplane bathroom workout: 1) 20 x standing mountain climbers (alternating arms raised above head and the opposite knees lifted); 2) 20 x over-the-toilet squats; and 3) 20 x calf raises. Repeat every hour ideally. For mountain climbers, your arms might hit the ceiling if you are tall so in that case just do the legs. If you work out the day before you travel and your muscles are sore, then your travel day is the perfect rest and recovery day. While sitting in your seat you can do an exercise to support your spine. It’s called a pelvic tilt. You suck in your belly button/stomach as your spine and hips go backward and your shoulders go forward. Then you move your stomach and hips forward as your shoulders go backward. This movement is great on a yoga ball but obviously, you can’t do that on a plane.
This might be TMI but I used to get constipated every time I traveled. Now I know how to avoid it. Staying hydrated is key as well as not eating a bunch of high-carb snacks, not forgetting your veggies or fruit, and moving your body regularly will all help you avoid constipation. If you need some extra support to relieve constipation, you can take a high dose of buffered vitamin C, which can cause the bowels to move, or consume a high-quality magnesium citrate supplement. 
Last but not least, is immune system support. Try not to overdo the hand sanitizer while traveling. Wash your hands instead, especially before eating. If you need an extra boost, use Immune Active by Metagenics in the days leading up to travel, during travel, and a few days after to be sure. It’s a great supplement to support your immune system as it has vitamin C, EGCG, Zinc, NAC, and quercetin.
Let me know which tips helped you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle while traveling!

Related article