Going on a trip and packing your suitcase can be a daunting task.
One struggles to find the balance between comfort (by reducing the weight of your suitcase) and necessity (packing everything that’s needed).
However, in addition to clothing and hygiene products, and digital accessories, you should include vitamins and supplements in your luggage. This is regardless of the weight of your luggage.
Why should you travel with vitamins and supplements?
Travel can stretch your body system to great extent. Jet lag, exposure to disease-causing organisms (both in the plane and at your destination), are some of the many problems.
As if that’s not enough, your diet on the plane and even at your destination is most likely to be deficient in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as you travel. Hence, you become immunosuppressed.
So what’s happening to your body?
Your body’s metabolism begins a race against time, to adapt to the new weather and survive exposure to disease pathogens. At the end of the day, your holiday experience may be tainted by a health challenge like the flu, stomach issues, fatigue, etc.
However, there’s good news: Vitamins and supplements can save the day!
Can you travel with them all?
Well, yes: if you wish to fill your suitcase with assorted drugs instead of beachwear, corporate clothing, and the likes. I’m sure you wouldn’t like that.
Vitamins and supplements to travel with
Vitamin D: Sunlight Vitamin
We have strong bones, a healthy circulatory system, and a robust immune system, all thanks to vitamin D.
Come to think of it: a robust immune system is really important, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Your body – and mine too – is unable to produce vitamin D.
Hence, our daily supply of vitamin D comes from our diet and most especially, sunlight (it’s referred to as the “sunlight vitamin”).
However, you don’t get exposed to sunlight in the plane. And the food you eat on the plane will most likely be deficient in vital nutrients: including vitamin D.
You should take vitamin D supplements when you travel to give your body the necessary supply of vitamin D.
Vitamin B12: the key to a healthy circulatory and nervous system
Vitamin B12 is important for a healthy circulatory and nervous system. It also plays a vital role in the production of DNA.
Aside from being physically tired, mental exhaustion is common after a long flight.
If you would love to have a sharp mind after such a long journey, a vitamin B supplement can come in handy.
Similarly, Vitamin B12 is a major component of various energy-releasing reactions that take place in the body. If you need to boost your energy levels either within or after your trip, vitamin B12 is your sure bet.
Spending long hours stuck in the same cramped, middle seat, can put a strain on your muscles. After just a few hours, your muscles may start to bite and feel sore.
Magnesium supplements relieve your muscles of tension and ease soreness.
It can be difficult to sleep in new surroundings or have a sound night’s rest on a plane. If you’re switching into work mode immediately after landing, having a short nap on the plane would be necessary.
If that sounds like you, then good news: taking a magnesium tablet could help.
Based on a study by the National Institute of Health, the consumption of magnesium relieves insomnia and facilitates a deeper sleep. Therefore, you’ll wake up packed with energy, ready to undertake the day’s activities.
Just imagine for a moment that you had a microscopic eye.
You will be surprised at the number of germs that fill the airport, plane, and your destination. Whether it’s the door handle to the toilet, your luggage, the seat on the plane: they are everywhere!
Even having a bag full of hand sanitizer, can’t be enough. Your immune system will still have a huge work to do.
Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant, it is also essential for our innate immune systems. For example, it reduces the duration and severity of a common cold.
Specifically, vitamin C promotes the function of neutrophils, the white blood cells that help heal damaged tissues and fight infection. In turn, this helps provide greater protection by speeding up the response of our immune cells.
If you have a vitamin C supplement, you can win the battle against germs.
Due to the sudden change in timezone and environment, you find it difficult to fall asleep.
Instead, you can keep tossing and rolling on the bed. Adjusting to the new timezone and environment can take days of staying awake through the night.
For you to revert to your normal circadian rhythm faster, you should travel along with a melatonin supplement. Melatonin makes the brain revert to the normal circadian rhythm faster.
Probiotics are the normal microflora, of the intestinal tract. They facilitate digestion, absorption of nutrients, and strengthen the immune system.
Stress and change of diet can deplete the population of these organisms. You could end up frequenting the toilet, due to travelers’ diarrhea and the likes.
To counteract this effect, you can either go for probiotic supplements or take natural foods such as yogurts.
Spending long hours in the air can expose the body to cosmic rays and free radicals. They can cause DNA damage, mitochondria dysregulation, and so on to your body’s cells.
When you take Vitamin E supplements, they counteract the effects, exposure to free radicals and cosmic rays may cause.
Rules to pay attention to when traveling with vitamins and supplements
The TSA (Transport Security Administration) has certain rules when it comes to traveling with vitamins and supplements.
They are pretty straightforward and easy to follow.
TSA rules for carrying vitamins in carry-on-luggage
It’s good practice to keep your pills in your carry-on luggage. Your luggage may not make it to the flight or you might need to take some pills on the plane.
Furthermore, you’ll agree with me that no one loves to be delayed at the security checkpoint.
To avoid that, lay out your pills before the X-ray scan at the airport. That way, no one will suspect foul play.
The TSA rules for carrying pills in your carry-on-luggage includes:
- You must notify the security officer if your pills are in liquid form. It shouldn’t exceed 3.4 ounces.
- You are permitted to carry an unlimited amount of pills – either in solid or powdered form: in your carry-on.
Although the TSA has no problem with the number of pills you carry, you should carry only pills to last the duration of your travel to avoid delays.
If you must carry many pills, you can get a prescription from a doctor.
- You are not mandated to label your pill bottles. But labeling the bottles would speed up security checks. If it’s already in a prescription bottle, it’s best to leave the label on it.
TSA rules for carrying pills in your checked luggage
When it comes to checked luggage, there are no restrictions on the number of pills you can carry.
However, package them properly. Pad glass bottles so that they wouldn’t break.
In conclusion, you should consult with a medical professional before choosing to take any supplement. They would tell you which pills to take, and the required dosage.
Make sure to adhere to the dosage and buy a pill case to avoid getting confused.
Are there vitamins and supplements you think I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments.
Meanwhile, wishing you a safe and healthy travel.