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What To Pack: Editor's Pick

The Citizen Femme Guide to Travel Supplements

We’re all in a need of a holiday every now and again and holidays usually mean travel, shared spaces, crossing time zones, jet lag and often times either a cold or an upset stomach. But whether it’s a holiday you’ve booked, or an upcoming work trip, one’s immune system, digestion, sleep patterns and skin can be severely disrupted when we travel, so it’s always good to go in with a plan to avoid feeling poorly.

Recently I travelled to Toronto for a hometown visit. I love spending time with family and friends, but it always includes over-indulging on food and alcohol. My sleep patterns become erratic due to late nights and my need to try every new hip restaurant means I end up eating foods my body isn’t used to. All of which ends up wreaking havoc on my body and skin.

The right supplements can help maintain a healthy balance and prevent the unwanted symptoms that can rear their nasty head whilst away. Check out my go-to’s below and whether you’re headed to a wellness retreat in Bali or seeking out a beach party in Bodrum don’t let anything ruin your vacation goals.

(Hero image credit: Najla Gun)

Ease Digestive Issues

Food is a way of life for me and one of the many things I look forward to when I travel is trying new foods and restaurants. Sadly, introducing things your system is not familiar with can sometimes cause an upset stomach and other digestive issues that aren’t ideal for days lounging in that Hunza G one piece. Avoid those feelings of discomfort by keeping the following close by.

PROBIOTICS

Essential for gut and immunity health (the bulk of our immune system is in our gut), if you’re not already taking these daily start ASAP to put those digestive concerns at ease and order that 2nd round of tacos – you earned it!

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

Taken right before or after a meal, Activated Charcoal can reduce gas, bloating and discomfort. It’s also great for easing a hangover – bonus points.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES 

Travelling exposes us to a variety of microbes we don’t normally encounter causing our digestive system to underperform. Taking two of these with every meal will ensure you’re ripe for that après dinner cocktail.

Boost Your Immune System

Getting sick is the ultimate way to ruin a dream vacation. Between airplanes, jet lag and the natural stress of travelling, the unavoidable wreaks havoc on our immune system. Keep your defenses strong with these readily available supplements to make the most of your next holiday.

VITAMIN B-COMPLEX

Give your immune system a boost and increase your energy levels with a B-complex vitamin. This all around, good for your body supplement is ideal for travelling and moments that we might have had one too many margaritas. No one’s judging.

VITAMIN C & ZINC

This dual action immunity booster supports a surprisingly large number of functions for your body. Fun fact: your body doesn’t produce its own Vitamin C which makes it vital to take on a daily basis. Together with Zinc, your defences will never be stronger – no pre-holiday squats required.

VITAMIN D

Bet you’re surprised to see this one on here? Despite the additional rays your sun-soaked holiday might give you, there are various factors that can impact your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D from sun – the religious application of SPF being one of them. And whilst this may feel like a redundant addition to the list, the reality is that the majority of people are deficient in this critical vitamin, which also just happens to be incredibly essential for your body’s immune function. Thank me later.

ELDERBERRY

Packed with powerful immune-boosting anti-oxidants, Elderberry might just be the travel companion you never thought you needed. Proven to reduce inflammation and attack viruses, this potent warrior has your back, so you can feel slightly less anxious about the cough monster sat across the aisle from you.

EASE STRESS

Let’s be honest, travelling is stressful. From making sure you catch your plane on time, to a jam-packed itinerary, making the most of your travels requires a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy. Add to that a fear of flying or terrible jet lag and in an instant a relaxing holiday can become incredibly frustrating and not at all the insta-worthy trip you had planned. Think about packing these life savers and spend more time exploring and less time feeling miserable.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in your body that is used for over 300 biochemical reactions. If you’re suffering from jet-lag, or simply have trouble sleeping anywhere else but your own bed, Magnesium is well-known for its ability to improve sleep quality and relax muscles. What’s more, it’s a great digestive aid and helps balance your body from increased caffeine and alcohol consumption. Hello new holiday-you!

ADAPTOGENS

Adaptogens work to provide a sense of calmness by regulating the stress hormones released by your adrenal glands. I recently discovered the amazing benefits of Adaptogens on my trip home to Toronto (thanks Robbie for the recommendation)! Whether you suffer from anxiety due to a fear of flying or simply need to maintain a bit of balance when things get hectic, consider packing some of your preferred Adaptogens to allow yourself to fully unwind and relax.

SKIN

Our skin is exposed to some pretty harsh conditions when we travel, especially on a flight where the air circulating has zero humidity. And if you’re headed on a city break there’s no counting the amount of pollutants and bacteria your skin will encounter on that tour of the Coliseum. A good sheet mask, face mist and some HA drops can help with dry plane air and a quality, antioxidant rich SPF can provide a solid barrier for pollution, but both are temporary solutions that require consistent application – and who really wants to keep a schedule while on holiday?

Many of the supplements already mentioned, including the likes of probiotics, will help manage your skin’s bacteria, but besides increasing water intake to keep skin hydrated, I like to give mine an extra boost with these daily skin warriors. We spend all year taking care of our skin, these well-built habits shouldn’t take a holiday just because you are. Call it skin food for thought.

Adding vitamins and supplements to your travels are a minor way to feel a major impact. The key to choosing what works for you is about understanding what your individual needs and wants are. Think of your supplements bag like your make up bag – no two are the same and each person’s is full of the products that look and work best for them. Personally, I love any excuse to purchase a new wash bag.

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