The Top Three Supplements for Travel
I leave for South America next week.
I haven't packed yet, but I have visited the travel doctor. Many tiny plasters later, my vaccinations are complete and I have been given half my baggage allowance in medications. (On a side note, a visit to the travel doctor is best organised a few months in advance of your trip. Some vaccinations come in near weekly instalments). The combination of medications and supplements I had planned to take made my travel kit look like an integrated health unit, so I've narrowed my green pharmacy down to three supplements.
Heat Stable Probiotics
Recommended: Bioceuticals SB Floractive, 1 x day or as directed
Backpackers face many perils. Mosquitos, high altitudes, plane food and the repercussions of new foods introduced to a sheltered digestive system. Good quality heat stable probiotics will help maintain a healthy level of digestive flora. This gives the gut some much needed support during and after antibiotic use. It also helps with bloating, abdominal pain and the inevitable changes in bowel habits that accompany life on the road.
Probiotics also provide nutritional support to the immune system, which enables them to multi task and pull their weight in your backpack, pun intended. Airplanes, buses, hotels and street food all come with various fodder for the immune system, which gets put under pressure when we travel. If your aim is to travel light, heat stable probiotics will help cover both the immune and digestive system in one.
Recommended: Eagle Tresos-B, 1 x day or as directed
A good quality multi vitamin can help fill in the missing nutritional links that befall a travellers diet. Macro and trace minerals, vitamins and amino acids have many roles in the body, the effects of which can be summed up as the maintenance of general health and wellbeing. If we lack these in our diet, it's a challenge for the body to provide us with sufficient energy levels and the ammunition to cope with stress, both of which top the list for successful travel.
Multi vitamins that include antioxidants can also help counter the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that, in excess, can damage cells in the body. Substances that generate free radicals can be found in food, medications, the air and in water. Like the heat stable probiotic, a good multivitamin is worth its weight in nutritional gold when food options are limited.
Recommended: Natures Sunshine Activated Charcoal, take as per instructions or as directed by healthcare practitioner
To be clear, charcoal as a supplement is not the same as the remains of a fire. Don't be tempted to freedom camp to that level. Activated charcoal is best used as an aid for those times when you catch the bad kind of travel bug. Charcoal supports the body's cleansing efforts via it's porous surface, and has done so for a long time as a treatment for drug overdose and poisoning.
Charcoals porous surface has a negative electric charge that causes toxins with a positive charge to bind to it. This process is called adsorption as it pulls everything to its surface without absorbing it. Once bound, the digestive system is able to eliminate the invading agents, chemicals and harmful toxins in the customary manner - made easier if you take the probiotics mentioned above.
That's it. Three supplements to help keep you healthy on the road, so you can take on the world and all the adventures that travel entails.
Disclaimer: These are my personal choices for supplements and are intended only as a guide. Please visit your health care practitioner for a more thorough consultation before you travel.