• Jessica Pecush

Feeling Your Best While Traveling: 5 Supplements I Pack!


ANY travel adventure comes with both its fair share of excitement and the need to feel like you’re properly packed and 100% ready to go!


Part of being well-packed and adequately prepared (particularly if traveling to a foreign country wherein the water source and nature of the cuisine is far different than what your gut is used to!), involves having strategic natural supplementation at hand. There’s nothing worse than feeling terrible and being completely unprepared, when you know you could have done better for yourself!


So, in no particular order, here are my top 5 natural supplements of choice that ALWAYS make it into my suitcase when tackling the packing!


*Note: As with any natural supplement product, please do your due diligence researching any contraindications with the nature of the ingredients listed in the below-noted products, and any particular medications/health circumstances involved.



5. Melatonin


Who loves jet lag and adjusting their body to a new sleep-wake cycle in a new time zone? NOBODY! Am I right?!


A very important hormone is produced by the pea-sized pineal gland located in the middle aspect of the brain: melatonin, our “sleep hormone”! Melatonin helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock), otherwise referred to as your “sleep-wake cycle”.[i] The generation and secretion of this hormone from this gland occurs upon stimulation by darkness and is suppressed via the existence of light.[ii]


Therefore, melatonin can act as a natural remedy when navigating an altered sleep-wake cycle that inevitably becomes a factor when traveling between time zones.


By taking the manufacturer’s dosage printed on the bottle close to your target bedtime in your time zone of arrival, melatonin can help support the process of resetting your sleep-wake cycle in support of your destination’s local time. Continued use, until your body has adjusted to your new sleep-wake cycle, is recommended. Not intended to be used for dependency, and so as to negate any possibility of supplementation affecting the body’s normal production of this hormone, short-term use is recommended.


*Note: substances such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco will contribute to reduced levels of melatonin naturally produced by the body.[iii]


Furthermore, exposure to the blue light emitted from technological devices (particularly after sundown), will contribute to suppressed production of melatonin. The longer we stimulate the body with exposure to blue light after dusk, the more our body is stimulated to believe it is daytime, thereby suppressing its production of melatonin. Consequently, suppressed melatonin product will have an impact on your ability to effectively fall asleep when you desire to, resulting in that wired-but-tired feeling!


Happy sleeping!



4. Activated Charcoal


A stomach bug, with symptoms of nausea and vomiting (that may go hand-in-hand with food poisoning), means cue the activated charcoal!


A fine, black powder by appearance, activated charcoal may be synthesized from such sources as coconut shell, olive pits, bone char, peat, coal, sawdust or petroleum coke.[iv]

Its “activated" aspect pertains to the fact that it was processed at a very high temperature, in an attempt to alter its internal structure.[v] Such high-heat processing decreases the sizes of the pores (remaining porous,) but with increased surface area for coming into contact with toxins needing to be excreted from the body.[vi]


In comparison, the all-too-familiar charcoal used as part of the BBQing process relies charcoal that has not been activated in this manner; such charcoal does contain substances that are toxic for the human body.[vii]


Upon consuming activated charcoal, this substance helps bind toxins and chemicals found in the gut, so as to prevent them from being absorbed by the intestine and inevitably entering the bloodstream thereafter.[viii]


The fact that activated charcoal is unable to be absorbed by the body is where its invaluable benefits lie. By binding to the toxins needing to be excreted, activated charcoal becomes the carrier substance with which to get rid of them.[ix]



3. Traveler’s Probiotic


Transporting your gut to a new destination is not always an easy task! Your gut (and entire Digestive System for that matter!) seem to know when you’re not immersed in your typical day-to-day. Bowel movements tend to become less regular, and its not uncommon for long plane rides and lack of adequate water intake to leave you backed up and wanting to eliminate sooner than later!


While use of a day-to-day probiotic for digestive support has many beneficial effects when in your normal routine, a particular type of probiotic bacterial strain can support you when away from home. A travel-specific probiotic is a means of targeted support while in such a circumstance.


A particular type of (yeast) strain in this probiotic of choice is that of Saccharomyces Boulardii, supportive of traveler’s diarrhea.[x] This gut-friendly organism supports the killing off of disease-causing organisms in the gut, including both undesirable bacteria and yeast.[xi]


*Consult with a medical professional prior to using this yeast strain with children, and if pregnant or breastfeeding.


*Those with a yeast allergy are also advised to avoid such a product, as well as those taking medication that targets fungal infections in the body.


Probiotic bacteria, in general, are beneficial for the body in countless ways:


Such bacteria[xii]:


  • Help digest food, via the production of lactic acid

  • Bulk up stools when they die

  • Help reduce toxins in the colon

  • Keep pathogens in check

  • Produce B vitamins and vitamin K

  • Enhance mineral absorption

  • Reduce cholesterol, by breaking down bile so that it may be reabsorbed into the blood

  • Strengthen the Immune System

  • Protect the intestinal wall lining from damage due to cortisol (stress hormone), drugs and oral contraception (birth control)

  • Support liver detoxification


A traveler’s probiotic is certainly a preventive measure when traveling in foreign countries! Taking the probiotic for a few days prior to travel, throughout the duration of travel and for a few days upon returning home is recommended.


2. Greens Powder


When on the road, it’s hard to fully know just how much high-quality nutrition you’ll be able to fuel your body and mind with. Therefore, I find myself always looking for a fresh, cold-pressed, GREEN juice wherever I go! And, it’s not always easy to find! Cue the Greens Powder!


Genuine Health is one of my favourite (Canadian!) natural products companies. With the purchase of any of their products, I can look forward to a high-quality-sourced, research-based, health-promoting product!


While this brand produces a variety of different greens powders options, the Original Greens+ is a logical place to start!


This greens powder contains over “23 plant-based essential nutrients – highly alkaline-forming and rich in antioxidants”.[xiii]


You can expect to enjoy such health-supporting ingredients including, but not limited to:


  • Organic wheat grass

  • Atlantic dulse

  • Spirulina

  • Chlorella

  • Beetroot

  • Bilberry

  • Milk thistle

  • Licorice root (an adaptogenic herb - adaptogens support the body's ability to combat stress)

  • Siberian ginseng (an adaptogenic herb)


To view the full ingredient list, click here!


*Note: if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please abstain from using products that involve adaptogens. Please consult with your primary medical care provider as to whether these particular ingredients are suitable for you.


1. Oil of Oregano


If it hasn’t already, Oil of Oregano will soon become your lifesaver when it comes to that all-too-familiar phrase “I feel something coming on!”


A natural remedy extracted through steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves[xiv], this multi-impact essential oil is touted for its multiple health-supporting benefits.


Its beneficial properties include that of being[xv]:


  • Anti-allergenic

  • Antibacterial

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antimicrobial

  • Antioxidant

  • Antiparasitic

  • Antiviral


Oregano oil supports and enhances digestion (by supporting the secretion of digestive-based enzymes), the Respiratory System (by helping to loosen up/eliminate mucus and phlegm build-up) and the Immune System (by helping to rid the body of foreign invaders).[xvi]



I hope this round-up of my top 5 supplementation recommendations for your next travel adventure leaves you more informed and inspired to remain feeling your most vibrant self during your next worldly adventure!


Enjoy! I hope this post, these recommendations and this background information supports you in some way!


ENDNOTES


[i] Price, A. (2019, April 23). How Melatonin Can Benefit Sleep and Other Health Issues. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://draxe.com/melatonin-dosage/


[ii] Price, A. (2019, April 23). How Melatonin Can Benefit Sleep and Other Health Issues. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://draxe.com/melatonin-dosage/


[iii] Price, A. (2019, April 23). How Melatonin Can Benefit Sleep and Other Health Issues. Retrieved March 17, 2019 from https://draxe.com/melatonin-dosage/


[iv] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[v] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[vi] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[vii] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[viii] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[ix] Petre, A. (2017, June 29). What is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal


[x] Medline Plus: Trusted Health Information for You. (n.d.). Saccharomyces Boulardii. Retrieved March 23, 2019 from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/332.html


[xi] Medline Plus: Trusted Health Information for You. (n.d.). Saccharomyces Boulardii. Retrieved March 23, 2019 from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/332.html


[xii] Haas, E.M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, 21st century ed. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.


[xiii] Genuine Health: Greens+ ORIGINAL. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2019 from https://shop.genuinehealth.com/en-ca/greens-original?_ga=2.224075865.338584623.1553477340-1706962585.1553477340


[xiv] Nagdeve, M. (2019, December 13). 11 Amazing Benefits & Uses of Oregano Essential Oil. Retrieved December 15, 2019 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-oregano-essential-oil.html


[xv] Nagdeve, M. (2019, December 13). 11 Amazing Benefits & Uses of Oregano Essential Oil. Retrieved December 15, 2019 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-oregano-essential-oil.html


[xvi] Nagdeve, M. (2019, December 13). 11 Amazing Benefits & Uses of Oregano Essential Oil. Retrieved December 15, 2019 from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-oregano-essential-oil.html

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