Yep, travel bloat is a real thing. Whether it’s a car journey or a plane ride, after a few hours, it’s not just boredom that sets in. Bloating, gas, stomach pain and even indigestion can all rear their ugly head. And it’s not just because your waistband has been digging into you. In fact, there’s a reason travel bloat happens and we’ve got a few Ayurvedic-inspired tips to help you to combat it.
Why does travel bloat happen?
First things first, if you’re flying somewhere then the air pressure in the cabin can play all sorts of havoc on your digestive system and cause digestive issues. The excess air in the cabin enters your body as you breathe and this results in excess air in your stomach. While this doesn’t really happen if you’re driving somewhere, sitting for long periods of time can have an impact. And, both car and plane journeys can result in careless snacking as a result of the unhealthy, salty and processed foods on offer.
But don’t worry if you’ve got a long journey coming up, as we’ve taken inspiration from Ayurveda (which has been tried, tested and proven for thousands of years) to help you to stay healthy and get comfy.
Ways to combat travel bloat
Okay, so while you might be doing anything to avoid the communal toilet - especially after a few hours into the journey - it’s so important to keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water. Not only does this keep you alert and revitalised but it keeps things moving internally, which is essential for stopping gas and bloating. Don’t reach for a bottle of cold water though as Ayurveda says this can cool down your digestive fire too much and shock it, causing all manner of digestive health issues. Instead, room temperature or warm water with the likes of Ginger and Lemon are recommended.
Again, this might be easier said than done if you’re restricted by space. However, there are plenty of exercises you can do from your seat. If you are able to walk around, then great. But if not, set a timer on your phone and get your blood pumping regularly. Even standing up for a few minutes, if possible, can help to stretch out your body and relieve bloating and gas.
Avoid bad snacking
Snacks are an essential part of travelling and road trips, right? But unfortunately the quick succession of eating and chewing puts your digestive system under strain and can cause stomach concerns. The same goes for carbonated drinks (including sparkling water) and chewing gum. As well as being packed with artificial sweeteners, you’ll also be swallowing air when you consume these types of snacks and that extra air turns into, you guessed it, gas!
If you do know of any foods that cause you to feel bloated, it goes without saying that you should avoid them pre-travel. Instead, opt for a large meal and healthy snacks about an hour before. That way, you shouldn’t be tempted by the pretzels making their way down the aisle. Plus, there’s plenty of snack ideas that will help to balance your individual dosha:
- Vata - Naturally sweet and cooked snacks can help to combat Vata’s dry and rough nature. Think apricots, guacamole and stuffed dates.
- Pitta - Pitta’s fiery and hot nature can be cooled with refreshing snacks like cucumber sticks, fruit or a handful of soaked almonds.
- Kapha - Damp and dense Kapha typically requires snacks that will dry out and warm their characteristics. Think rice cakes and healthy alternatives of popcorn.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
A cocktail at the airport might look appealing but, in actual fact, it’ll dehydrate your body and can result in puffiness. Likewise, caffeine is a diuretic which means it will actually cause your body to lose water - again, leading to dehydration and bloating. While it might not be as Insta-worthy, a herbal tea or bottle of water will mean your journey goes much more smoothly.
Get it right pre-flight
Of course, there are a few things which you can do whether or not you’ve got a holiday booked. Certain digestive-boosting ingredients like Kefir, Yoghurt, Kimchi and Sauerkraut have all been proven to banish the bloat and stimulate good bacteria in the gut. Try to include some in your last meal before you fly.
Plus, at Deja, we have a few bloat-banishing products of our own. For starters, our best-selling Rest & Digest capsules contain a blend of Ayurvedic herbs to detoxify and cleanse where you need it the most. As a known carminative, Ginger is proven to relieve gas and bloating and Fennel has also been described as a digestive system saviour as it relaxes spasms and allows gas and bloating to pass. Ideal for healthy weight loss, Triphala helps with constipation, water retention and inflammation and is an effective treatment for bloating. Finally, another digestion wonder is Carom Seed which protects against acidity, indigestion, bloating and gas.
Combined into our Rest & Digest capsules, alongside a few others, they boost digestion, improve stomach health and balance the body - ensuring that you’re feeling your best every day. Plus, by kick starting each day with a simple tongue scraping ritual, you’ll be preventing any bacteria and toxins that have accumulated overnight from entering into your digestive tract.
Got any tips of your own on how to avoid bloating when travelling? We’d love to hear so join in the conversation over on Instagram and let us know how you’re combating the travel bloat this season.