Last Updated on March 24, 2020
7 Essential Vitamins for Travelers
Traveling can offer endless excitement, not to mention a break from the chaos—or monotony—of day-to-day life. But let’s face it; globetrotting can also leave you tired to the point that you return home just as exhausted as when you hit the road. As such, it’s beneficial to take vitamins while you travel. If you’re a frequent supplement user, it’s also good to switch up your typical vitamin routine with something more accommodating to your travel adventure.
Vitamins are good for us, especially when we are traveling and away from the routines of the real world. Dr. Jeffrey Gladd, a member of the scientific advisory board for Care/of, says that it’s worth cutting back or adding supplements to your vitamin regime when you go on a trip. He explains that, “If you are going to an area where unfamiliar foods may be introduced into your diet, adding a probiotic to your regimen before heading out and continuing for a few weeks upon your return can help support your digestion.” Besides digestion, probiotics are also said to protect against colds and respiratory infections—the last things you want when traveling.
It’s safe to say that everyone wants to travel and return home refreshed and in good health. We already know that probiotics are important to bring on a trip, but here are some other essential supplements that can help you stay in top shape during your next adventure.
Vitamin B: When you’re traveling, you’re not always taking care of your body. Especially when visiting somewhere new, your food and alcohol intake can quickly go up as your gym time dwindles. Vitamin B boosts your immune system and gives you more energy. If you plan on increasing your alcohol intake on vacation, it’s crucial to increase your Vitamin B intake and add a B complex or multivitamin to your daily routine.
Milk Thistle: Despite the name, milk thistle actually doesn’t contain any dairy. Milk thistle is a liver supporting herb. Much like vitamin B, it can support your body when your alcohol intake increases. It can also act as a supportive supplement when taking acetaminophen. So consider milk thistle after a long night partying rather than reaching for the Advil.
Adaptogens: The last thing you want on a trip is stress. After you’re finished taking Vitamin B for your immune system and energy levels, adaptogens should be next. Adaptogens such as rhodila or ashwagandha are great for reducing stress and helping you stay balanced, especially if you want to take a more natural route. If you’re anything like us, you find the end caps of your trip the most stressful. Consider taking adaptogens a few weeks before your trip to get you into relaxation mode, and again around the end of the trip to ensure a smooth transition back into your daily routine.
Melatonin: Speaking of winding down, melatonin is also a great vitamin to take when traveling. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland, but also comes in the form of a supplement. It can act as a sleep aid, help with jet lag after a long flight and assist with adjusting to different time zones. Jet lag affects 93% of travelers and can last for several days.
Magnesium: Sure, melatonin is a great sleep aid. But if you’re a person who needs a little bit of help getting to sleep and staying asleep—especially when you’re away from home—then consider adding magnesium to your vitamin routine. Aside from helping with sleep, magnesium can also regulate your digestion. Higher magnesium levels often lead to a deeper and more sound sleep, which is exactly what your body and mind needs on a vacation.
Licorice Root: No, not the candy—although it would be great if licorice could help keep us healthy. While melatonin and magnesium help with sleep, licorice root helps you feel more awake. Licorice root regulates the adrenal glands, or stress glands, in the body and releases two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. While these two hormones often make us feel stressed, the licorice root helps to slow them down—resulting in energy, not anxiety.
Vitamin D: It seems like Vitamin D would be the easiest vitamin to get while on a trip; after all, you’ll most likely be spending a lot of time in the sun. But even if you plan on basking in the sun while on vacation, it’s still important to get plenty of immune-boosting Vitamin D.
With traveling comes new places, new experiences and a potentially new set of stressors to keep your body from performing at its best. From melatonin to adaptogens, a variety of dietary supplements can help you enjoy your trip to the fullest. But if you’re leaving for a trip soon, be careful not to overload on new vitamins and minerals. Take them in advance and see how they react with your body to ensure you’ll be feeling your best once you arrive in your travel destination.