If you’re planning a trip, one of the smartest things you can pack is the best probiotics for travel.
Your body normally has good and bad bacteria, and you need to maintain a balance to stay healthy. Your diet, age, and genetics can influence the bacteria in your gut.
If the balance of bacteria leans in favor of bad bacteria, this has links to intestinal tract issues like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis. They can also help when you’re traveling.
Why Take Probiotics When You Travel?
If you’re healthy, you won’t be able to suppress the urge to move your bowels for a long period of time, regardless of the time zone or circumstances. Traveler’s constipation is just one issue associated with taking trips for business or pleasure.
Then there is the opposite problem, one which even more people experience – traveler’s diarrhea.
Why do travelers have these two complaints so often? There are multiple reasons:
- Constipation may begin with a sudden diet change, especially if you’re traveling to another country.
- When you have continental breakfast for a couple of days, instead of your user fiber-friendly cereal, fiber withdrawal can cause constipation. Your bowels won’t move without that extra bulk.
- Travel disrupts your typical daily routine. Your body is conditioned to void your bowels, and if nature catches you in a place where you can’t do that, you need to suppress the urge. “Holding it in” can cause the feces to dry up and impact your bowels. And they’ll be right at the narrowest part. This can seriously ruin your vacation.
- Jet lag can be a problem, too. If you cross many time zones in your travel, your body may want to move the bowels while you’re trying to sleep. It may refuse to allow you to relieve the log-jam during the day, as you suffer from jet lag.
Traveler’s diarrhea is every bit as common, and it can disrupt stools and lead to constipation. Traveler’s diarrhea is occasionally, but not always, caused by water or food that has been contaminated.
The most common reason is actually eating at the wrong time, according to your body clock. Acute cases of indigestion are also frequently a factor because they disrupt the entire system of digestive functions.
After you have overeaten, possibly at completely different times of day than you would normally, your stomach cannot digest all the protein quickly enough. When this occurs, proteins that have not been digested start to rot.
Rotting proteins leave behind poisonous byproducts, leading to violent ridding of body fluids literally from both ends. This will disrupt your normal BMs for three or four days, and it may feel then like you’re constipated. Don’t take a laxative if you feel constipated after a bout with this type of indigestion. That can start violent diarrhea once again.
Why the Best Probiotics for Travel Are Essential
Here are the exact ways probiotics will help make your travels better.
Cut down on stomach problems
One of the fun things about traveling, especially abroad, is having a chance to taste authentic dishes in the lands you visit. Unfortunately, your stomach does not appreciate these culinary forays. A severely upset stomach can be disruptive on a busy vacation.
Probiotics battle your bloating and help in reducing your chance of getting travelers diarrhea. Take your supplements with you. They will be most effective if you continue taking them as usual, even when you travel.
You can maintain or even increase your dosage of probiotics while you travel to keep your gut healthy, so you can relax and eat what you want.
Keep Traveler’s Diarrhea at bay
TD is a nasty condition! It can ruin a vacation in a snap. If you travel to developing nations, you have up to a 50% chance to develop TD unless you use probiotics. The problem leads to urgency, loose and frequent bowel movements, low-grade fever, bloating, nausea, and abdominal cramps.
Traveler’s diarrhea is sometimes acquired by ingesting water or food that has been contaminated by bacterial toxins or viruses. When you improve the health of your immune system, research shows that probiotics can both prevent and treat traveler’s diarrhea.
Reduce upper respiratory infections
Traveling may put you at a higher risk of catching a cold or an upper respiratory infection. You’re exposed to many people on planes, trains, and cruise ships, but getting sick is not inevitable.
If you take probiotics, they can help you prevent or fight the flu, the common cold, and gastroenteritis. Remember, much of your immunity is based on your digestive tract, and it can fight off illness better if you take regular probiotics.
What Are the Best Probiotics for Travelers?
L. acidophilus is found naturally in your intestines. It is well-suited to survive the acidic environment of your stomach and to travel all the way to the intestines. It aids in an effective balance of good and bad bacteria to fight off diseases, on and off-road.
If you’d prefer a natural option over OTC medications, supplementing with B. bifidum is a good choice. This probiotic supports your body’s ability to fight off bacterial infections. It also supports your immune system, which helps it adjust to new bacteria presence.
Research shows that S. boulardii is helpful when it makes contact with pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. It helps to prevent traveler’s diarrhea. It also provides a defense against parasitic infections.
When you travel, you change your eating habits, and your body goes through fatigue and stress over vacation schedules or business expectations. This type of situation affects your intestinal flora, which alters its balance. A recent study shows that L. casei probiotics help to keep your intestinal flora balanced.
B. lactis enhances your immune system’s ability to ward off travel-related health issues by increasing friendly bacteria in the gut. It speeds recovery and may even prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
This probiotic is an excellent solution, without side effects, for traveler’s sickness systems, including bloating, vomiting, cramps, nausea, and, of course, diarrhea. Like other probiotics, it helps maintain a proper balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract.
L. Plantarum lives within the gut and keeps disease-causing, pathogenic microorganisms from flourishing there. It creates a barrier in the colon, which keeps dangerous bacteria from penetrating your intestinal lining and entering the bloodstream.
Traveling with Probiotics
When you purchase probiotics for traveling, you want to make sure it is shelf stable and doesn’t require refrigeration. When you are home, you have access to the refrigerator where you can safely store your probiotics.
However, when traveling, this is much less common. Finding a shelf stable option helps ensure your probiotics remain effective and aren’t left at home due to the lack of refrigeration options as you travel.
Remember, don’t just grab any probiotic supplement and think you are good to go. Studies estimate that we have up to 100 trillion bacteria in our gut. So, if you only take a probiotic that has 250 million units, it really isn’t going to do much for your gut health as you travel.
When looking for the best probiotic for travel and gastrointestinal health, find one with a minimum of between 10 and 20 billion colony forming units per day, even more depending on where you plan to travel. In addition to finding the probiotic with the right amount, you also want to find the right type of probiotic.
With thousands of gut flora out there, some have not actually been proven to help with traveler’s diarrhea. The three most effective are Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Multi-strain probiotic products can help keep your gut in great shape as you travel.
Also, it is important to start taking your probiotics before you travel. Start your probiotic supplementation up to a month before your trip.
Now that you understand the importance of the right probiotic for your travels, let’s take a look at a few of our top recommendations for travel probiotics you can pack for your next trip.
Floratex is an advanced 25-strain probiotic supplement. It is also further enhanced with a prebiotic blend that helps your good bacteria thrive. Each serving of Floratex contains 75 billion CFUs, supporting digestion, nutrient absorption, strong immune health, mental wellness, and better gastrointestinal health.
Daily Probiotic Support
With this daily probiotic support, you will find 50 billion active probiotics for digestive balance. It is a multi-species formula with eight beneficial probiotic strains that support gut barrier function and better digestion.
It is dairy-free as well, making it suitable for even the most sensitive digestive system. Its top five ingredients include Lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus Plantarum, lactobacillus rhamanosus, lactobacillus gasseri, and bifidobacterium lactis.
If you prefer a liquid probiotic dietary supplement to support your immune system and digestion, then this is for you. It also comes in a convenient travel size, making it easy to pack and go. It is a raw, plant-based, and highly potent probiotic strain that contains lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, L. Plantarum, and Lactococcus lactis, among other probiotic strains.
Ready to travel and still on the hunt for the best probiotic? Read below for more information on probiotics and why you shouldn’t hesitate to pack them for your next trip.
How do probiotics help us when traveling?
Start taking your probiotic up to four weeks before you start traveling and continue taking it for at least two weeks after your travels. Taking a travel probiotic allows your body to better fight potential digestive issues and bad bacteria you may experience on your trip, such as traveler’s diarrhea.
Which probiotics are most suitable for travel?
When traveling, you want a probiotic with at least 30 billion colony-forming units (CFU). It is also best to find a shelf-stable probiotic rather than a refrigerated one since access to refrigeration may not always be possible.
Do labels on commercial kefir products report microbial levels correctly?
Kefir is a fermented milk drink similar to yogurt that people drink to help boost their immune system, help with digestive problems, and improve bone health. If you have access to kefir during your trip, it can be beneficial.
However, you want to make sure it is labeled accurately, and you need to research the accuracy of the microbial composition and density. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics declared that several probiotic bacteria strains have health benefits and fermented foods, like kefir, containing these good bacteria are also beneficial.