Top 3 Ways to Survive Travel

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

Today we’re coming to you live from Las Vegas!

Your fellow Living Well Daily contributor Nate Rifkin and I have travelled to Sin City to explore the biggest health products ingredient expo in the U.S.: SupplySide West.

The expo hall opens up today and we’re scouting for ingredients for future Living Well products. There are thousands of exhibitors at this expo, but it’s easy to narrow down our potential ingredients lists via two questions:

  1. Is it non-GMO?
  2. Do you have quality human studies on this ingredient?

Anything less simply won’t make the cut.

We’ll be back in a few weeks to let you know if we found anything good, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share the tips and tricks I’ve learned to not only survive but thrive during travel.

Between recycled, germ-laden airplane air, jet lag, and straying from your typical diet, travel takes its toll. Even worse than having to suffer through a work travel trip with a cold would be catching one on a vacation trip.

No thanks.

I’m extremely attentive to prepping and maintaining optimal immune function during travel, and so far it has served me well. I’ve yet to get sick on a trip (knock on wood).

Here are my top three ways to survive air travel and rock your trip.

1. Hydration

This is the most obvious yet often overlooked aspect to maintaining energy and a well-functioning immune system.

Dry mucous membranes make it easier for bacteria and viruses to enter your system, and even just mild dehydration suppresses your immune system and decreases white blood cell function.

Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated starting a few days before your trip. Airplane cabin humidity is as low as 20 percent (40-70 percent humidity is the most comfortable) and alcohol and  salty snacks on the plane can also worsen dehydration.

Dehydration also causes your blood to thicken and inhibits regular blood flow, which can lead to swollen feet or worse — blood clots.

Aim for sipping water the whole time or drinking about four ounces every half hour. That’s about as much as the body can absorb at once. Any more than that and it will just flow right through you.

Don’t worry about getting up to pee during your flight — moving your legs is actually really good for your circulation and can help prevent blood clots.

And if you’re travelling to a dry place like the desert (ahem, Vegas), be sure to keeping sucking down the fluids the whole trip.

Do these count toward fluid intake?

2. Immune Support: Vitamin C and AHCC

Vitamin C is absolutely crucial for the immune system. It stimulates white blood cells to attack viruses and bacteria in your system. Though studies on vitamin C and cold prevention have been mixed, its role in the immune system cannot be denied. I like to use Emergen-C or Airborne packets for the convenience.

AHCC is my secret weapon for boosting my immune system during travel. Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a compound derived from mushrooms and has been shown in in vitro and human studies to increase the activity of immune cells. It is so potent, in fact, that it’s regularly used in Japan as an adjuvant treatment for cancer and is given to patients before hospital stays to reduce the risk of acquiring an infection.

It is really strong. When both my sister and my mother had the flu last winter, I gave them AHCC. With just one dose, their fevers broke and my mom was up off the couch feeling energized.

AHCC is an absolutely incredible compound I hope to write more about in the future, but for now, you can find more information on this website.

(Note: If you have an autoimmune condition, you must use caution and speak with a medical professional before using immune-stimulating compounds like AHCC.)

3. Sleep Aids

Jet lag is the worst.

Not only does it make you tired, but messing with your circadian rhythm has some pretty significant health consequences impacting cortisol, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and reproductive function. And of course, your immune system.

For each hour that you move forward or back, it takes about a day for your body to adjust. So that means by the end of my five day trip, I will finally be adjusted. And then ready to head back to the east coast, four hours forward in time and need another four days of recovery.

Supplemental melatonin is my first choice for dealing with jet lag. Just 3 grams is enough to help prompt the body to sleep. I typically use a formula like our very own Nature’s Sleep Solution that also includes other calming herbs like chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm.

And eye mask and ear plugs can work wonders as well.

So there you have it.

Hopefully with these tips you can hack your next trip and come home feeling awesome.

To travelling well,

Jasmine LeMaster
Underground Health Researcher

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