Why Do We Bloat While Traveling & How To Combat Travel Bloat?

Traveling is one of the best ways to keep life’s journey smooth and entertaining. However, falling sick during travel is not something anyone would ever like. Traveling to new environments, sometimes to new time zones, and eating new foods can cause various issues, including feeling bloated. Traveling affects our bodies in multiple ways and it can commonly take the form of bloating and gas. Sometimes many people feel bloated while traveling and this could not only be painful and irritating but also a bit embarrassing and uncomfortable.

To know why we bloat while traveling and discover the secrets to combat travel bloat, we need to take a further deeper look into the article.

Why Do We Bloat While Traveling?

Cabin Pressure Could Cause Travel Bloat 

One of the most important reasons why we bloat while traveling could be cabin pressure. To understand this, let us think of a balloon that is filled with air. The balloon shrinks when the pressure around it increases, while it expands when the pressure around it decreases. While flying in a plane, the same thing happens to our stomachs. As we gain elevation, the cabin pressure decreases, and the gas in our stomach expands. This makes us feel bloated.

Foods That We Eat Can Be A Reason For Travel Bloat

Food that we eat can also be a reason for travel bloat. In general, we grab whatever quick meal we find at the airport, without even considering the fact that it can be unhealthy. Unhealthy processed foods can also make us feel bloated.

Sitting For A Long Time Can Make Us Bloat While Traveling

Sitting for a long time while traveling can also be a reason for experiencing travel bloat. Many people experience bloating from different forms of travel including airway trips, road, and railway trips too.

Dehydration Is One Cause Behind Travel Bloat

Mostly, we do not drink much when we are on vacation. This can make us dehydrated. Dehydration can cause bloating and also constipation. So, it is essential to remind yourself and drink enough water when you are on a trip.

How To Combat Travel Bloat?

Go For Magnesium Intake Through Green Leafy Vegetables

Taking foods like green leafy vegetables, which contain magnesium can be a great way to fight fluid retention and expel gas from your body. Intake of magnesium works by relaxing the muscles of your intestinal walls and thus easing bloating and constipation. Chard, spinach and kale are some of the green leafy vegetables that are rich in magnesium content. So, taking these magnesium-rich foods can help to combat travel bloat.

Have Ginger To Combat Travel Bloat

Did you know that ginger is a great food that is great for your digestive health? If you are experiencing bloating while traveling, you can count on ginger tablets. Ginger helps in eliminating intestinal gas, relaxes your intestinal walls, inhibits any possible inflammatory compounds, and stimulates digestion.

Try Peppermint Oil To Find Relief From Bloating While Traveling

If you are experiencing travel bloat then try out peppermint oil capsules that can help ease bloating. However, keep it noted that sometimes peppermint oil can cause heartburn. You should always check with your doctor before trying peppermint oil or any other essential oil or supplements.

NOTE: Do not ingest the oil straightly. Only take the peppermint oil capsules.

Avoid Sugar-free Foods and Gums When You Are On Travel

If you are on a travel trip, avoid sugar-free foods to prevent travel bloat. These sugar-free foods are made of non-absorbable sugar, and thus your gut bacteria try to break it down, which ultimately results in excessive gas and bloating.

Apart from this, you should also avoid chewing any type of gum while traveling. Chewing gums can cause you to swallow a lot of air, which can make you feel bloated.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it has been mentioned that the artificial sweeteners that are present in most sugar-free gums can also contribute to bloating.(1)

Certain Other Foods That Must Be Avoided While Traveling

Sometimes, certain foods can also result in bloating. So, you should avoid these foods while you are traveling. Some of these foods include dairy, beans, cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables.

Moreover, drinking carbonated drinks when you travel and also result in bloating. A study that was published in 2011 in the journal “Gastroenterology & Hepatology”, explains that as these carbonated drinks release more carbon dioxide gas into our stomach, it causes bloating.(2)

Apart from carbonated drinks, you should also avoid tomato juice and anything that has caffeine when you are traveling, as they can also cause bloating.

Take Probiotics That Could Combat Travel Bloat

Some evidence has suggested that probiotics could help to provide relief from bloating and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. So, you can consider having probiotic-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt or kefir.(3)

Remain Hydrated To Get Relief From Travel Bloat

One of the most essential things that you should follow is to remain hydrated. Drink more water when you are traveling. This will keep you hydrated and prevent travel bloat.

Do Not Over Eat If You Want To Stay Away From Bloating While Traveling

If you are traveling, you should remember not to overeat. This does not mean you should not try the local delicacies, just make sure not to eat too much.

Massage Your Abdomen To Get Relief From Travel Bloat

One of the best ways to combat travel bloat is to massage your abdomen gently. A gentle, circular massage can aid in stimulating your bowels and offer enough relief from bloating. Start massaging from your right hip bone up toward the ribcage and down toward the left hip bone.

Keep Moving And Do Not Remain Seated For Too Long

While traveling on plane or train, you might not be moving and sitting at your place for too long. This could increase your risk of travel bloat. You can combat travel bloat by getting up and walking every two hours, particularly when you are on longer trips. This would help in activating your digestive system.

Adjust To Your New Time Zone And Help Yourself Feel Relaxed From Travel Bloat

If you are traveling to a different time zone from your usual time zone then it could disrupt everything, including your sleep patterns, eating, and many more. This could impact your digestive health.

To help you combat travel bloat, you should try forcing yourself to remain awake when you reach your destination, have some local meal( if it is dinner time locally), and stay  up until it is time to sleep as per the new time zone.

NOTE: Make sure that your first few meals in the new time zone are packed with fiber.

Final Words

Traveling could be more fun if you remain healthy and do not fall sick or feel bloated. If you are planning for a travel trip then keep a note about various ways to combat travel bloat and also try to prevent yourself from feeling bloated.

Have a happy travel time!