Proper nutrition is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Well balanced meals provide essential nutrients and energy for growth, repair and body strength and immunity. Planning balanced meals is easy when you are at home, but it can be really tough when traveling. Many travelers often return home feeling sick, tired and even with a few extra pounds due topoor dietary intake. While eating healthy can be tough when you are on the road, it is possible if you plan well in advance.
You need to plan adequately for two reasons. One, just like any other day, your body requires an adequate supply of nutrients and energy for optimal functioning on travel days. Two, when you travel, you will be exposed to germs and communicable diseases and your body has to be strong enough to survive this. This article highlights eight key nutrition tips for travelers.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Packing some healthy snacks for your trip is the best way to ensure that you don’t consume empty calories while on the road. Examples of healthy snacks for travelers you can consider include nuts, nut butters, fresh fruits, dried fruits, low fat yogurt, pumpkin seeds and cereals among many others. Packing your own snacks also keeps you from missing your favorite homemade snack when you travel. You can research some healthy recipes online or order readymade snacks if you do not have time to prepare some. If you are going to be buying readymade, check what the local store at your travel destination has to offer.
Research Restaurants in Advance
While it is easy to pack snacks for an entire trip, the same is not possible for main meals unless you are traveling for one day only. Therefore, to ensure you get healthy meals, go online and search for hotels in your travel destination that serve healthy meals. Check the foods that are available in the restaurant and decide what you will eat when you travel. If you are planning to try out new menus, evaluate the menu ingredients in advance. When you don’t research hotels in advance, you will end up settling for foods you don’t like, some that are not healthy, or even snacking when you should be eating real food. Read reviews posted by locals or other travelers who have dined at the restaurants you would love to try out.
Staying hydrated when traveling is important for your health and wellbeing. Staying hydrated protects your body from harm and keeps you productive. Dehydration has the reverse effects on the body. Some signs of dehydration you can experience if you don’t drink enough water when traveling include low blood pressure, dizziness, dry skin and confusion. Therefore,ensure that you stay hydrated while on the plane or car and drink enough water each day throughout your trip. To avoid missing the required daily water intake, bring along a big water bottle and fill it up every morning.
Cook Your Own Food
If you have extra time that you could set aside for food prep, consider accommodation options that allow you to cook your own meals. You can go for a hotel or motel with a kitchenette or consider house sitting opportunities. The good thing about house sitting is that you not only get kitchen amenities, but also free accommodation. Cooking your own food while traveling allows you to choose healthy ingredients for every meal.
Keep Your Meals Balanced
For each meal, ensure that you get some carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and healthy fats. Avoid skipping meals as this can stress your body and may lead to weight gain. Skipping meals is teaching your body to anticipate hunger and thus the body will work hard to store as much food as possible when you next eat. Skipping meals can also slow down your metabolism and this leads to weight gain. Also, watch your calorie intake. Instead of eating one large meal per day, eat small frequents ones with snacks in between.
Avoid Eating Late at Night
Even when your travel days are super busy, avoid having your dinner just before bedtime. If you have some night time events, have your dinner first and then go for the event. Eating right before bedtime can have some negative effects. Some of them include increased risks for chronic diseases, acid reflux and poor sleep.
Build Your Immunity Before and After Travel
Travelers are exposed to germs and communicable diseases, and thus you should ensure your immunity is strong before, during, and after you travel. Your immunity is usually strengthened by a good diet intake. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables every day to ensure that your immunity is strong for travel days. For supplements, consider probiotics that not only boost immunity but also help in balancing the friendly bacteria in your digestive system. Read more here on the benefits of probiotics for travelers. In addition to diet, exercise, adequate sleep and mental health are essential for a strong immunity.
Consider Food and Water Safety
Be cautious of tap water, especially when traveling to a new location. Drink water only when you are sure that it is safe to drink. Drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food can lead to illnesses and cut your trip short. For food, eat at restaurants with high levels of hygiene, wash fruits well with clean water, avoid raw food, insist that your food be served hot, and clean your hands well before meals.
By eating healthy, you will enjoy your trip without feeling sick, fatigued or tired. Exercise can also help in maintaining good health while traveling. Thus, consider taking a few minutes to work out while on your trip. If you can’t find a gym in your travel destination, or if you have no time to go to one, do some simple exercises in your hotel room. Make use of workout apps and YouTube channels to get some ideas of simple exercises you can do onyour travel days. Finally, it is important to get sleep every day. As an adult, you should get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted rest.