Chances are if you already take supplements, you’re going to want to do so when you travel. Rest assured that even though they might take up a little extra space in your luggage, traveling with supplements is much easier than you might think.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to get all the nutrients we need from the food we eat. But this isn’t always possible, even at home with our hectic lifestyles and more so when we travel. We’re not always in control of what we eat and sometimes it just isn’t available. Travel can also be stressful on the body, think long-flights and long stop-overs, and it can leave our bodies exposed to different types of bacteria that we don’t see every day. Now more than ever, as the world deals with a global pandemic we really do need to take care of our bodies and immune systems to counteract the impacts of travel on our health.
Throughout my years as a health-focused travel blogger, I’ve been asked many questions regarding traveling with supplements particularly about flying with them and which ones are the best to take. In this post, I’ll answer all of your questions and outline which supplements I travel with and why you might also want to consider them.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is if you can bring supplements on a plane!?
The answer is yes, and it’s easy to do so.
US Customs and Border Protection states that over the counter medicines, vitamins, herbs and supplements all fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The FDA allows you to travel with supplements both in your checked bags or carry on bags and they recommend you to take only what you need for the time you will be abroad or an acceptable amount for personal use. You can check out the top tips for flying to the US with medication and supplements here.
BENEFITS OF TRAVELING WITH SUPPLEMENTS
↠ There are many benefits to taking supplements and even more when it comes to traveling with them. They maintain our state of health even if healthful foods and drinks aren’t available and they can also help us with the tolls of traveling.
↠ Supplements can stop you from getting sick when you travel. When traveling to a foreign place, our bodies often come into contact with foreign bacteria and germs that we don’t recognise. In order to keep our bodies natural defences high and able to function properly, we can take supplements to stay at the top of our game.
↠ You don’t always have access to what you normally eat so getting all your nutrition from food can be difficult. This is especially true for far-flung, remote destinations where local diets are limited in variety, so, just by bringing a few supplements with you can make sure your body is getting everything it needs.
↠ Supplements such as B-Complex Vitamins can give you an energy boost- perfect for those long-flights and overnight stopovers. Alternatively, if you have trouble getting to sleep on your travels you can also supplement with a natural sleep aid.
↠ One of the most common complains when traveling is digestive issues. Our stomachs aren’t always used to the nutritionally poor plane food or local food. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can really help with reducing bloat, constipation and sluggishness.
TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH SUPPLEMENTS
↠ Do your research! Not all supplements are made equal and I personally think nutrition from food is still the best way to go- supplements can never replace food, but if you are choosing a brand of supplements go for a high-quality product you can trust. The supplement industry is full of false claims and misinformation and there is little regulation when it comes to the quality of the product.
For this reason, I personally use Future Kind for all my supplement needs.
↠ Travel with what you need. You should only travel with an acceptable amount for personal use anyway, as per FDA guidelines, plus you probably want your supplements to take up minimal space in your luggage anyway.
↠ Not everyone needs to supplement and vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium etc can actually be more harmful than good when taken in excess. While taking probiotics is essential for the gut, in my opinion, and Vitamin B12 for those on a plant-based diet, make sure you see a medical professional before starting to supplement as you might not even need to.
5 ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
When it comes to traveling with supplements Vitamin C is one you should definitely consider. Vitamin C is vital for the body and it actually has a number of functions. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it helps to grow and repair tissue and it’s essential for maintaining a strong immune system which is vital for travel nowadays. Vitamin C has also been linked to managing high blood pressure, treating chronic disease and can help prevent iron deficiency. We can’t actually make Vitamin C on our own so it has to come from either food or supplements.
VITAMIN B12 (FOR PLANT-BASED EATERS)
If you’re plant-based, like me, then you’ll probably already have heard about B12. B12 is one of the only vitamins that’s essential to the human body that we can’t get from plants. It’s essential for energy production and maintaining and healthy nervous system, which if neglected can cause some serious damage over time. B12 is also essential for the proper functioning of your immune system together with many other vitamins and minerals, something that we want to keep strong when travelling. If you’re plant-based I highly recommend taking a daily supplement of B12 and not just when traveling.
I personally use Future Kind for all my B12 and plant-based vitamin needs, this vegan multivitamin in particular. They are science-backed, carbon-neutral, use recycled bottles and packaging and they also support animal sanctuaries. It’s a win-win.
Get 10% off your order with Future Kind! Click here and use code BEKIND10 at checkout.
PREBIOTICS + PROBIOTICS
You may have heard about all the recent buzz surrounding taking probiotics and now prebiotics. The truth is that gut health is vital to a strong immune system, feeling energetic, clear-minded and without any kind of bodily ailments. Probiotics are microscopic organisms that live in our gut, good bacteria if you will, that maintain a healthy digestive tract. Prebiotics on the other hand are types of fibre that encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut. They are both as important as each other and not having enough good bacteria can lead to a plethora of digestive, skin and immune issues. In particular, when travelling we might be eating different types of foods that our stomachs aren’t used to, so, it’s a great idea to keep up with your pre and probiotics to make sure no issues come up when you least want them to.
While I personally don’t take digestive enzymes when at home and consuming whole-food, plant-based meals, I always have this supplement close when traveling. Digestive enzymes help the body break down and digest food including carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Once the food is broken down, the nutrients are absorbed into the body. Your body does produce digestive enzymes naturally but when you’re traveling and coming into contact with heavy foods, bottomless brunches and boozy nights out you might want to consider taking some extra enzymes to support your gut and digestion.
I recommend this one.
Vitamin D comes primarily from the sun and is another vitamin that’s quite difficult to get an adequate amount of. It’s important to make sure your body has a good store of Vitamin D otherwise it can lead to changes in mood and even lead to symptoms of depression. As it’s fat-soluble it also aids the absorption of other nutrients into the system. While there are two types of Vitamin D, D2 and D3, it’s D3 that’s the closest to what our bodies make naturally when exposed to sunlight. If you’re not headed on a weekend in Tulum, Mexico, and instead somewhere like the UK or Copenhagen, it might be worth bringing some vitamin D3 with you to make sure your body is getting enough without exposure to sunlight.
I recommend this essential multivitamin from Future Kind, which I take regularly.
*This post contains affiliate links meaning I get a small commission on a sale at no extra cost to you. This goes towards the running of the blog and allows me to keep creating quality content like this for free.
Do you have any comments or questions about traveling with supplements? I’d love to answer them so leave them below.
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