Now that we’ll start traveling again, jet lag isn’t the only problem we have to deal with. Gut lag is also something we’ve all experienced and it’s also more common, as it doesn’t occur only in transatlantic flights, but also when making short-distance trips by car and generally when we change the environment we’re used to, the water we drink, the foods we consume, the hours we sleep. Everything that happens during vacation, that is.
What exactly is gut lag? It’s probably something you’ve experienced a lot of times but you didn’t have a name for it. When we change environment after a trip, it’s common to experience constipation, gas, bloating, all of which are affecting our mood. What happens here is that our gut microbiome gets affected and needs support. It may get affected by the circadian rhythm that might change, by the water we drink, the hours we sleep, the difference in the time we eat our meals, the food choices we make. Gut lag usually occurs during traveling and trips, but it also happens to people working in shifts, as the circadian rhythm gets affected, which can be linked to greater risk of hypertension, obesity, diabetes type 2, hyperlipidaemia.
According to research, gut microbiome in mice was found to differ when mice were sleeping or were awake and what also played a great role was the punctuality in the time of eating. When this regularity is compromised (usually during traveling), dysbiosis occurs and this can lead to weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases etc.
Tips to avoid gut lag
Having a healthy gut, with no gas or discomfort is a… blessing during vacation, so why not give it a go with those healthy, natural tips?
Support your gut with prebiotics and probiotics. It’s always a good idea when traveling to get some support from probiotic and prebiotic supplements, which will help feed your gut’s good bacteria, restore balance and reverse the dysbiosis. Talk to a doctor or a dietitian so that you’ll get a good quality supplement with many strains.
Hydrate. Always have water with you, even during traveling, and make sure you consume the fluids you need daily, so that you keep things going –and working.
Eat lots of fiber. Fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, all these all good food choices filled with essential fiber that will keep feeding your gut and supporting the microbiome. Avoid all sorts of junk food and sugar and make plant-based nutrition a habit. This will absolutely help you get through vacation and traveling without gut problems.
Adjust your schedule. I know that relaxation during vacation automatically changes our everyday routine. If you can keep it close to your everyday routine, though, trying to sleep and have meals the time your system expects you to, everything will work as usual. If this is not possible, try to gradually adjust your system to the new routine, even before you travel, so that when you reach your destination, you’ ll be already “programmed”.
Get moving. You probably won’t do workouts during traveling, but you can try walking or swimming as much as possible. This will help your gut microbiome stay balanced along with all of the above, and keep you happy with no discomforts.
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