Travel is a hallmark of summer, with so many of us hitting the open road or the friendly skies, heading to the beach, visiting friends and family.
It’s fun, it’s energizing, and… it can be hard on your hormones.
What makes travel such a quagmire for your endocrine system? It’s the way that travel interrupts your normal routine. For one thing, your sleep schedule tends to go sideways, and that disruption in your sleep-wake cycle interferes with endocrine signaling and downstream processes, like metabolic function. The scientific literature overwhelmingly shows a link between disrupted sleep and hormone-fuelled weight gain.
Drinking enough water is another challenge when traveling. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health, endocrine health, and, in particular, skin health. Being properly hydrated supports your liver as it detoxes your body from the environmental toxins and excess hormones that fuel skin (and other hormone) problems.
Then there’s trick of finding healthy, hormone-supportive food when you travel. Airports and highway rest stops are hardly known for their healthy fare. And if you’ve followed FLO Living at all, you know that what you eat and when you eat it is the cornerstone of optimal hormone health.
Add to this the fact that supplements often get left at home when you hit the road. Supplements are the scaffolding that support your hormones every day, buffering them against stress, micronutrient deficiencies, and environmental toxins.
All these small, less-than-ideal shifts in your routine can add up to unpleasant symptoms — like acne, bloating, PMS, heavy periods, severe cramps, hormonal migraines, and feeling tired and moody. None of these symptoms is ever fun, but all of them are especially rotten when you’re at the beach or exploring a foreign country.
So what’s a traveller to do? The answer isn’t to lock yourself up at home. You can protect your hormones when you’re on the move. Here’s how:
Your Summer Travel Hormone Survival Guide
Follow these steps and your hormone health doesn’t have to go out the window when you go on vacation.
Step 1: Drink water. Travel is dehydrating, especially plane travel. No matter how you get around this summer, make sure you are drinking enough water or herbal tea. (Skip caffeinated tea, though. Say no to coffee, too. Caffeine is devastating for hormone health.)
One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to bring a stainless steel water bottle with you on the road. Empty bottles will get through security at the airport and once you’re at your gate you can fill your bottle from a water fountain or with bottled water. A good guide for how much water to drink in any given day is half your bodyweight in ounces. So if you are 120 pounds, you’d want to drink 60 oz of water that day. You’ll want to aim for a bit more when you’re traveling.
Step 2. Proactively protect your digestive system. One of the biggest things I hear women complain about when they travel is how their normally regular GI system comes to a screeching halt.
Take action before you hit the road! I suggest starting a fiber supplement a few days before you leave and continuing it while you travel. You can find many healthy fiber supplements in single-serving packs that are easy to take on the go.
The other must-have supplement when you travel is a probiotic. This will help with constipation and it will also keep your gut healthy as you encounter new foods.
Even if your packing space is at a premium and you opt to leave some of your normal supplements at home, don’t skip these two. They are a travelers best friend when it comes to preventing symptoms and it is worth making room for them in your bags.
Step 3: If you plan to engage in “vacation eating,” bring along digestive enzymes. Sometimes when you go to a new place, you want to engage in the local customs and eat foods you normally wouldn’t.
Let’s say you avoid dairy religiously back home because of its negative effects on hormone health, but you are headed to Italy and want to try some of the country’s famed pizza. These one-time splurges are a treat emotionally and socially… but not so much physically. Your body is likely to have a negative reaction to foods you typically avoid. Digestive enzymes can help temper those negative effects.
Step 4: Pack smart snacks. Airport and train station food is notoriously unhealthy. (So is most of the food available to you on road trips.) Avoid getting hungry on the move by packing snacks that keep blood sugar balanced. I like to pack hard-boiled eggs, dark chocolate (70-percent or higher), almonds (or other healthy nuts) and pumpkin seeds.
Step 5: Safeguard your sleep. Travel messes with your internal clock. Even going short distances can leave you feeling wide awake at 11:00pm and dead tired at 11:00am. Bring magnesium with you to relax before night; an eye mask and ear plugs to block out distractions on planes and trains; and if you’re really worried about a disrupted internal clock (international travel), bring valerian root or melatonin to help with sleep in your new time zone.
Step 6: Pack a “Just in Case” Case. It stinks to get sick on vacation. So it is worth making room in your luggage for some rescue remedies if you start feeling crummy.
First, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, which is why I always bring along all-natural hand sanitizing wipes. They are good for hands and for wiping down oft-touched surfaces (like the touch screen TVs on planes).
If you do start to feel a little off, make sure you have vitamin C and zinc. I recommend being liberal with the Vitamin C: 2,000 mg per day is ideal. Take 50 mgs of zinc each day to keep your immune system strong.
Now, here’s to a healthy, happy summer filled with amazing adventures!
Always remember: once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side.
BALANCE by FLO Living Hormone Supplement Kit
Because you’ve asked for hormone-friendly supplement recommendations, I created a solution that I am so thrilled to be able to offer to you on your hormonal balancing journey:
Balance by FLO Living Supplements are a complete package that work together to keep your hormone levels healthy. They include a 2 month(2 cycle) supply of the following formulations so you’re never caught short in any phase of your cycle.
When you take these 5 supplements daily, you’ll be giving your body excellent micronutrients to support healthier hormone levels. Which means that you’ll start to see your worst period symptoms get better… and even disappear after a while.