Why Do I Bloat When I Travel? How to stop bloating on a plane

Why Do I Bloat When I Travel?

Why Do I Bloat When I Travel?

Travel bloat is a real thing! We’re sure many of you can resonate with it, and it is never enjoyable to experience. Whether you’re traveling on a plane, in a car, or on a boat, you might start to feel distension and discomfort in your lower abdomen during your journey.

There are several different factors that can contribute to travel and holiday bloat, and we’re going to discuss each of these in today’s article. We will also give some top tips on how you can reduce bloating while you’re traveling on different modes of transport.

What is Bloating?

Bloating refers to the feeling of fullness and distension in the stomach and intestinal area. It’s caused by excess gas in the digestive tract, which can result from many different things.

Some of the most common causes of general bloating include eating too much food (particularly gas-producing foods), swallowing too much air (usually from eating too quickly), and underlying digestive disorders. Wearing poorly fitting dentures and chewing gum can also increase your chances of bloating.

Digestive disorders that are associated with bloating and indigestion include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) 
  • Giardiasis
  • Eating disorders

Why Do We Bloat While Traveling?

Even if you’re somebody who doesn’t usually bloat, no matter how much you’ve eaten, you might be unable to avoid travel bloat. 

You may experience bloating while traveling for several reasons, including the following.

1. Changes in your diet

When on holiday, it’s often challenging to maintain your usual diet. You don’t have access to the same grocery stores and cooking tools as you do at home, forcing you to make drastic adjustments in your food intake.

It’s not just the journey itself that can cause havoc on your digestion. If you’re away on holiday, your diet will change for an extended period of time. You might be eating out at restaurants or eating foods that you don’t usually consume for a week or two.

A lot of the time, the foods that are available on holiday are high in calories, saturated fat, sugar, and salt. Consuming traditionally unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on your stomach and cause holiday bloat

2. Dehydration

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re traveling. Dehydration can increase your chances of experiencing travel bloat and indigestion because it causes food to move more slowly through your digestive tract.

Similarly, drinking a lot of diuretic drinks, such as coffee, tea, or alcohol, while you’re away on holiday causes you to go to the toilet more often and increases your risk of becoming dehydrated.

3. Decreased physical activity

Beach holidays often involve lounging around, with very little physical activity involved. Regular movement is important to keep your digestive tract active and prevent stagnation of food in the colon. 

Sitting down for long periods of time while traveling to a new destination can lead to car bloat or plane bloat, which can be uncomfortable and potentially painful.

4. Air Pressure

Ever seen a bag of crisps inflate when you're on a plane? The same can happen to you! Gas expands when you go up in altitude, meaning the gas in your tum inflates too. This can cause a distended tum and a pretty uncomfortable bloat. Pairing that with the lack of movement, dehydration and seating position, it can be pretty uncomfortable! The best thing to do is to get the gas out pre flight (with Wild Dose of course!).

Types of Traveling That Worsen Bloating? 

Certain types of traveling can make bloating worse, particularly if you’re long-haul traveling. So, which types of traveling worsen bloating the most?

Most people experience travel bloat when they’re journeying in a car, plane, or train. This is because it involves sitting down in the same position for several hours. 

When you’re sedentary for extended periods of time, it decreases blood circulation around your body, causing the build-up of fluids and resulting in travel bloat.

Changes in air pressure during air travel or changes in altitude during road trips through the mountains can also contribute to bloating. Pressure changes can disrupt the gases in the digestive system and cause them to expand, leading to discomfort, bloating, and sometimes nausea.

There’s also the fact that when you’re traveling via plane, car, or train, your usual diet has to change. You can’t access a microwave, oven, or hob when you’re traveling, so you have to rely on pre-packaged snacks. Since most ready-made foods are high in fats, sugars, and salts, they can contribute to travel bloat.

The combination of all of the above factors means you’re likely to experience some level of car, train, or plane bloat, even if you’re not prone to bloating in your day-to-day life.

How to Beat Travel Bloating

Thankfully, there are lots of easy things that you can do to reduce the dreaded travel bloat and enjoy your long journeys in comfort.

Here are the best bloating remedies to tackle travel bloat.

1. Consume probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for your digestive health. You have probiotic bacteria naturally in your colon, including abundant amounts of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria aid the breakdown of ingested food and produce beneficial molecules, such as vitamins and short-chain fatty acids.

Although you have probiotic bacterial species in your gut already, it’s best to consume probiotic-rich foods or take a probiotic supplement to support your gut in every way possible. Doing so reduces the risk of bloating and indigestion, and relieves constipation.

Probiotic-containing foods include yoghurt, tempeh, tofu, kimchi, miso, and kefir. If you decide to get a probiotic supplement, make sure it’s of high quality. 

Ideally, your probiotic supplement should contain at least 1,000,000 viable CFUs (colony forming units) per gram of product, as this is the optimal amount recommended by scientific research.

You can pack your probiotic supplement into your travel bag for immediate relief. With our A Dose For Bloating probiotic supplement, all you need is two capsules daily to quickly reduce bloating. It contains one billion probiotic bacteria, six digestive enzymes, and seven beneficial plant extracts, including peppermint and liquorice.

2. Take digestive enzymes

We mentioned above that our A Dose For Bloating supplement contains six digestive enzymes, but why are they helpful in tackling travel bloat?

Digestive enzyme supplements emulate your body’s natural digestive enzymes to help break down foods in your digestive tract. They can speed up digestion and metabolism to prevent food from building up in your colon (which would normally cause you to feel full and bloated).

Taking a digestive enzyme supplement throughout your travels is the perfect way to reduce holiday bloating, especially if you have a condition that impacts your body’s ability to produce its own digestive enzymes (such as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)).

3. Drink herbal teas

Get yourself a flask and make an herbal tea to take with you on long journeys. Doing so can help to relieve car, train, or plane bloat, as herbal tea has natural bloat-relieving effects.

Herbal tea, such as peppermint or lemon tea, can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can ease tension in your digestive tract and support your natural digestive processes to keep bloating at bay. 

You can find herbal tea in most places, so no matter where you’re traveling to, you’ll be able to enjoy this natural bloating remedy for the duration of your holiday.

4. Choose high-fibre foods if possible

Eating nutritious foods isn’t always easy when you’re on holiday. Often, healthy foods aren’t as accessible as junk foods, and this can have negative effects on your digestion, leading to bloating and indigestion.

Where possible, choose high-fibre foods that will release energy slowly into your bloodstream and support your digestive health. The probiotic bacteria in your gut feed off complex fibres, enabling them to thrive in your gut and keep you healthy.

Fibre-rich foods include wholewheat pasta, brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, legumes, beans, vegetables, and fruits.

5. Get moving

Increasing your physical activity is one of the most effective lifestyle changes that you can make to tackle bloating. While exercise is almost impossible while you’re traveling in a car or on a train or plane, you’ll have ample opportunities to get moving during the holiday itself.

Whether you take long walks down the beach, go to the hotel gym, try out a new outdoor sport, or head to a local skiing resort, you can always find a way to increase your physical activity on holiday. When you exercise regularly during your travels, you can encourage the movement of food through your colon and prevent it from building up and causing excessive bloating.

6. Stay hydrated

Water is necessary for efficient and healthy digestion, and it also fuels your gut bugs and enables them to continue supporting your metabolism. When you’re on holiday and you’re busy doing various activities, you might forget to drink water. However, it’s essential to drink adequate amounts of fluid to prevent bloating, especially if you’re holidaying in a hot country.

On average, you’ll need around eight glasses of water to keep your body functioning optimally, but bear in mind that you’ll need much more than this if the weather is hot and humid or if you’re exercising during your holiday. Get yourself a water bottle to carry in your bag while you’re out of the hotel so you never get thirsty and dehydrated.

7. Release the gas pre-travel!

The best way to beat bloating is to get ahead of it - taking something like Wild Dose pre-travel can really help get your digestion firing ahead of travelling. It means less gas in the air, which means when you land you're already not bloated. From there, keeping on top of your diet and hydration is key!