As relaxing as holidays and travelling can be, a common occurrence that is unspoken about is travel constipation. When we travel, our body’s routine is thrown off which can lead to digestive issues including constipation. Changes in what we regularly eat or drink can massively influence the frequency of our bowel movements and even small habit changes such as changing bathrooms. Here are a few tips to help you stay regular:
Drink Plenty of Water Daily
It is incredibly easy to get dehydrated while travelling. One of the main causes of constipation is dehydration as optimum hydration is integral to enabling a daily bowel movement (1). Make sure you are drinking more than 2 Litres of water daily. Push yourself to drink even more water than you usually do, especially if you are in a hotter climate.
Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during flights and when you’re out exploring.
The bowel is greatly influenced by the amount of general activity you take part in.
Even though a holiday is time to relax and recharge, try to move as much as you can and set aside time to exercise whether that be going for a swim, a long walk or a cycle.
Keeping active and moving will greatly reduce your risk of getting constipation (2).
Find a Good Eating Routine
A change in your eating routine can throw off your usual bowel movement schedule. For example, if you normally eat your breakfast at 6:30am but you’re not waking up until 10:30am.
Try to keep your body on a schedule as close to your home life to help maintain your circadian rhythm, which helps regulate the hormones that play a role in digestion (3). Maintain your regular meal schedule and bedtime to help prevent travel constipation.
Eat a Good Breakfast
For most people, bowel movements are more likely to occur in the morning. You can enhance this natural boost and fend off travel constipation (4) by choosing a high fibre breakfast (5) such as:
- High Fibre Cereal
- Fresh Fruit
- Wholemeal or granary bread
Fibre is an imperative component of maintaining your digestive health and preventing constipation. It is recommended to consume 30g of fibre per day (6) so having regular meals containing adequate fibre and a good fluid intake should be your daily aim.
Here are some tips:
- Go for wholemeal or granary breads
- Try to select meals which contain plenty of vegetables (even order as a side dish)
- Have some fresh or dried fruit or nuts and seeds as a snack
- Bring a packet of Linwoods Milled Flaxseed in your suitcase to add at breakfast time. Linwoods Milled Flaxseed with Vitamin D and Bio-Cultures provides 6g of fibre per 20g serving, making it an easy way to increase total fibre intake.
Be aware though, that if constipation is a result of Colitis or Crohns disease, increasing fibre intake could have a detrimental effect – if in doubt, speak to your GP before making any changes to your diet (7).
As exciting as travelling can be, it can be a stressful time for some people, especially since COVID-19 and the unpredictability of flights. Stress and anxiety can upset the delicate balance of digestion and in some cases, it can slow down digestion, causing constipation (8).
Click HERE to read advice on managing travel anxiety.
If you frequently suffer with constipation or it’s been going on longer than a few weeks, it would be recommended to see a doctor to find out the underlying cause in order to manage it effectively in the future.