Maintaining Gut Health on Vacation: How to Pull it Off!

Traveling and gut health doesn’t seem to jive. Fruity drinks must be in your hands at all times, and dessert is always part of the meal. How on earth can you upkeep your gut health on vacation? Well, the seemingly impossible can be pulled off. Here are some tips for maintaining gut health on vacation.

 

Why Maintaining Gut Health on Vacation is Important

 

Going on a vacation is a growing necessity for the overworked. This time granted to us may be the only semblance of work-life balance that we will ever achieve. It’s a rare moment to unplug from the monotony of life, live in the moment, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
 
The American Psychological Association (APA) looked at the attitude surrounding vacation time for United States employees [1]. They conducted a Work and Well-Being Survey to get a snapshot of the emotional benefits holidays have on employees and their productivity.
 
After a vacation, the American workforce experiences:
Vacation enriches your life

• More Positivity When Returning to Work (68%)
• Increased Energy Levels (66%)
• Boost in Productivity (58%)
• More Motivation (57%)
Less Stress (57%)
• Better Work Quality (55%)
 
This report overwhelmingly suggests that vacation can have a positive impact on your mental state. Seeing as the mind and gut are closely connected via the gut-brain-axis, you can make an argument that going on a holiday may improve your gut health.
 
In the same breath, experiencing gastrointestinal distress during your siesta can put a real damper on festivities. There are many reasons that your gut biome can become compromised during travel. Let’s take a closer look as to why your gut health on vacation can become endangered.

 

How Gut Health on Vacation Can Be Compromised

 
Our microbiome is such an intricate system. Several factors may cause harmful intestinal flora to spark up, the immune system to become stressed, or GI problems to occur. Here are some of the reasons why you can experience lousy gut health on vacation.

 

Stress

gut health on vacation
Hey, stress happens!
From TSA pat-downs to crowds at tourist attractions to getting lost in unfamiliar places, there are many reasons to experience bursts of stress during vacation.
 
For the overly anxious, stress might be a reason to avoid holiday altogether.
 
Studies show that stress can trigger inflammation that hurts beneficial stomach bacteria [2].
 
Experiencing stress throughout your sabbatical can cause disruption to your gut health on vacation.

 

Immune System

 
Germs can be anywhere!
Traveling introduces your body to tons of germs. They’re crawling on the tray table on your plane, the poles on the subway, and Lyft driver’s backseat. Through the gut-immune-axis, this may cause your gut health on vacation can become compromised.
 
Vacationing may cause those with a weakened immune system to feel sick. In turn, you might have fewer immune cells to fight off pathogenic stomach bacteria. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel outside of your bubble.
 
An analysis by Yale found,
 

“Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly. Antibodies are the little proteins that shield your immune system from deadly pathogens, and multiple research studies imply that being exposed to dirty or minor illnesses really keeps your body and gut more grounded [3]. “

Yale Tribune
To reap the benefits of optimal gut health on travel, you’ll need to take care of your immune system. We’ll discuss a little more of that in a bit.

 

Food Choices

 
food choices
Just don’t do this EVERY meal
The number one disruptor of gut health on vacation is our dietary decisions. In fact, some of the food choices we make on holiday can last with us for a while. One study found that “vacations resulted in significant weight gain” that lasted up to six weeks after the siesta ended [4].
 
As explained in our Ultimate Guide to Gut-Weight Axis, excess weight can trigger GI problems. Inevitably, you may bring these GI issues home with you. Then, it’s not just your gut health on vacation that’s compromised. It’s your health, in general, that’s in jeopardy.

 

How to Improve Gut Health on Vacation

 
Nothing worth having is going to come without a set of drawbacks. The potential of having a compromised immune system, experiencing stress, or gaining weight shouldn’t turn you off from travel. You need (and deserve) this mental clarity. If done right, you can improve your gut health on vacation. Here’s how.

 

Research Restaurants Ahead of Time

 
Know what you’re getting into before you go!
A big reason we hurt our gut health on vacation is due to the poor choices we make. It’s easy to overindulge on eats. This sentiment is especially true when you go into things without a game plan.
 
Before you go on your vacay, Google “healthy food choices in (city).” Scope out some menus. See where you can find some unique (and healthy) dishes you can’t get around the corner from your home.
 
By researching first, not only will you eat healthier on your holiday, but you’ll look forward to it.

 

Cut Down on the Desserts

 
Fight temptation and split dessert with your travel companions
One of the most vital aspects of a vacation is partaking in the culture’s food. However, this pastime can lend us to going overboard. Prior to travel, look up the most popular desserts of the area. Chances are, there are only a couple of treats that really unique to the region.
 
Try them once or twice. Having a beignet in New Orleans or a strudel in Vienna is great. However, you don’t need to get one with every meal. That’s no longer experiencing a culture, that’s being greedy.
 
Of course, some places will have a few more desserts you need to try. Split a couple with a friend. Don’t eat it all on your own. Making a conscious decision to not overload on sugar will maintain your gut health on vacation.

 

Bring Essential Oils

 
Bring essential oils with you on your holiday. These are all-natural immune boosters that may also exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They are less abrasive than hand sanitizer and don’t promote antibiotic resistance. Therefore, essential oils can be used in a multitude of way to improve gut health vacation.

 

Sanitize Hotel Rooms

 
essential oils gut health on vacation
Clear out your hotel room!
81% of surfaces sampled in hotels contain fecal matter [5]. That alarming statistic can easily compromise your immune system.
 
With fewer immune system cells to support your intestinal flora, you may be more susceptible to poor gut health on vacation. That’s why you might want to bring some antibacterial products with you.
 
Pack a diffuser with you and run it in different areas of your hotel room. Get a 2-for-1 and inhale these essential oils as you mediate. This practice will naturally lower stress levels!

 

 

Airplane Support

 
Naturally sanitize the tray table
Also, create a mixture of essential oils and carrier oils. Put your concoction into a glass bottle that’s less than three ounces. Pour a little on a wipe and use to clean your tray table, bathroom handle, or toilet seat.
 
Not to mention, essential oils can also help with stress-related travel woes. Bring a bottle of lavender essential oil and inhale straight from the bottle whenever you feel overwhelmed.
 

Find Time to Exercise

 
When our body feels bogged down by gluten-heavy apps, fatty dinners, and sugary treats, it needs help breaking things down. Exercise is the perfect way to assist in helping the body digest our overindulgences.
 
Get to know the beauty of the area you’re visiting
Physical activity shakes our stomach bacteria up. As a result, they have more chemical reactions. In the end, exercise helps beneficial microbes grow in numbers. Then, they can fight off other pathogens that upset your immune system and compromise your gut health on vacation.
 
You don’t need to go to the hotel gym to get your sweat-on.
 
Go for a hike at a local National park. Rent a bike and hit some scenic trails. Try a yoga on the beach session. There are many ways to maintain your gut health on vacation through exercise!

 

Less Alcohol

 
We tend to go a little hard on the booze during a vacation. While it’s okay to let loose, you shouldn’t confuse your vacation with a bender. If you are feeling some GI problems, lay off the alcohol.
 
gut health on vacation
Maybe don’t be him?
While a glass of red wine provides great prebiotics for probiotics, most alcohol just destroys bacteria. After all, it’s used to sterilize wounds!
 
Also, many alcohol-based beverages are overloaded with sugar. So, don’t go too crazy with the fruity cocktails by the pool. If you want an alcoholic beverage, try to make sure your mixers are as clean as possible.
 
Want to feel like you’re on vacation? Try a mocktail or get some club soda. Maybe even get a CBD-infused drink? Either way, just cut back on the booze and give your intestinal flora a break.

 

Go to a Kombucha Brewery

 
kombucha breweries
Get your booch on
Want good gut health on vacation? Drink some probiotics. A growing sector in travel is visiting craft breweries. Now, kombucha breweries are popping up, too! In fact, we compiled a list of some of the best kombucha breweries in the United States.
 
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. It can be flavored with anything from star anise to turmeric to lemons. Be sure to try out what the locals are brewing. Get a flight, fill a growler, or grab a pint. Either way, you will supply your gut with beneficial stomach bacteria that can help break down the foods causing you gastrointestinal distress.

 

Take Probiotics

 
While kombucha breweries are not in every market, probiotics are. In fact, you can have custom probiotics that you can bring with you anywhere. Weeks before you travel, take a Thryve Inside Gut Test.
 
Thryve Gut Health Test Kit and Probotics Foods
Let’s set you up for a gut healthy vacation
That way, we know what your gut biome should look like. With that information, we can tailor a probiotic supplement to help get your gut health on track. Then, you can keep your gut biome on the right path during your holiday.
 
By choosing to Thryve Inside, we give your immune cells, mental health, and metabolism the backup it needs to have a healthy vacation. That way, you can reap the true benefits of your siesta.
 
You no longer need to worry about your gut health on vacation. Instead, focus on the things that matter most–creating memories. Safe travels!

 

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Resources

 

[1] “Vacation Time Recharges US Workers, but Positive Effects Vanish Within Days, New Survey Finds.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 27 June 2018, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/06/vacation-recharges-workers.
 
[2] Karl, J. P., Hatch, A. M., Arcidiacono, S. M., Pearce, S. C., Pantoja-Feliciano, I. G., Doherty, L. A., & Soares, J. W. (2018). Effects of Psychological, Environmental and Physical Stressors on the Gut Microbiota. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 2013. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.02013.
 
[3] “Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad.” The Yale Tribune, 6 July 2018, campuspress.yale.edu/tribune/scientifically-proven-health-benefits-of-traveling-abroad/.
 
[4] Cooper, Jamie A, and Theresa Tokar. “A Prospective Study on Vacation Weight Gain in Adults.” Physiology & Behavior, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26768234.
 
[5] Harmon, Katherine. “Hotel Rooms’ Most Bacteria-Laden Surfaces? Don’t Touch That Dial.” Scientific American Blog Network, Scientific American, 20 June 2012, blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/hotel-rooms-most-bacteria-laden-surfaces-dont-touch-that-dial/.
 

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Kombucha Cross Country: The Best Kombucha Breweries

Kombucha is growing in popularity across the nation. Entire sections are dedicated to this fermented beverage in grocery stores. Now, kombucha is popping up at breweries that ferment other beverages. Cheers to beer lovers out there! Kombucha breweries aren’t just a boujee tourist trap. They’re the real deal. Here are some of the best kombucha breweries across the nation.

 

Why Visit Kombucha Breweries?

 
Many of us maintain that it’s difficult to stay healthy while on the road. There are temptations everywhere. From sugary desserts to excessive alcohol, travel can do a number on our system. Not to mention, the flights can increases chances of catching an illness by up to 80% [1].
 
plane ride kombucha breweries
Trapped in germs? Be sure to boost your gut health during your holiday!
Don’t let this turn you off from traveling. You should. Travel enriches your mind. Plus, it breaks up the monotony of the rat race.
 
There are plenty of reasons to travel and many opportunities to have a healthy holiday. One of the best ways to improve your immune system during traveling is to make decisions with gut health in mind. A fun, interactive way to accomplish this goal is by visiting kombucha breweries.

 

Best Kombucha Breweries in USA

 

kombucha breweriesKombucha on-tap? Yes, please!

We looked far and wide for some of the best kombucha breweries close to popular areas to vacation. No matter where you go, there’s probably a kombucha brewery nearby. Otherwise, let us map out your trip cross country. Here are some of the best kombucha breweries in the United States.

 

Lenny Boy

 
Lenny Boy has been popping up in many markets. They’re known for their clean, crisp beverages. These brews come in a variety of flavors.
 
Try delicious teas, such as:
• Mint Condition
• Strawberry
• Lavenderade
• Wake Up Call
• Good Ol’ Ginger
• Elite Beet
• Lost Rose
 
The Lenny Boy Tap Room is in Charlotte, North Carolina. This dog-friendly spot is open seven days per week. They also have beer on tap for the hops lover in your life.

 

Maui Kombucha

 
Eat some delicious raw vegan food and drink some kombucha at the first kombucha brewery in Hawaii. This Haiku Maui spot’s tap is always changing, so you never know what you might end up trying.
 
If you enjoy the new Maui Kombucha brew, be sure to get bottles to go. These homemade fermented beverages are $3.00. That’s the same price as a grocery store brand, but far fresher!
 
For those who are fans of kombucha breweries but are traveling with someone less likely to visit, there’s options for them, too. This place serves up delicious cold-pressed coffee and fresh coconut water from local produce. You can’t beat these gut healthy options!

 

Glory Boucha

 
Going to Seattle, Washington anytime soon? Be sure to check out its neighbor, Arlington. It’s to one of the state’s top kombucha breweries, Glory Boucha.
 
Glory Boucha uses a proprietary system to ferment the kombucha. Their technology allows more control over the final product. That way, you get a more consistent pour from the tap.
 
Also, Glory Boucha’s unique method allows for less sugar and yeast in the final product. This technology might make it easier for someone with Candida overgrowth to enjoy a glass of boucha.

 

Big Easy Boucha

 
Who dat kombucha brewery you gotta try in New Orleans? It’s none other than Big Easy Boucha. This beverage company has a Tasting Room in New Orleans that is just bursting with flavor.
 
Some of the options at Big Easy Boucha include:
• Front Porch Peach
• Melon Magic
• Geaux Green
• Cajun Kick
• Bayou Berry
• Parade Punch
• Basin Street Blues
• Streetcar Sipper
• Jammin’ Ginger
• Jazz Juice Tea
 
Just by the names alone, you can tell Big Easy Boucha isn’t just a brand. It’s a vibe. They use all local and organic ingredients. So, be sure to stop by and enjoy what they describe as, “uniquely southern kombucha.”

 

The Brewkery

 
Trucking through North Kansas City, Missouri? Be sure to swing by The Brewkery. The Tap Room is an excellent area to sit around with friends, playing games.
 
They brew many delicious flavors in house, including:
• Stone Fruit
• Hop’d
• Grape Limeade
• Hibiscus Rooibos
 
The Brewkery also has a revolving tap. So, be sure to keep an eye out for unique flavors, such as Vanilla Pear Cinnamon and Blackberry Cream.

 

Nessalla

 
Going to the state capital of Wisconsin? Make a pit stop at Nessalla. This Madison-based kombucha brewery creates batches of fermented tea using a unique blend of Rishi teas. In the interest of purity, they use reverse osmosis water to brew their kombucha. This practice lessens the chance of impurities in the brew.
 
Of the kombucha breweries in the United States, Nessalla might have the most on tap.
 
Some of the options include:
• Cantaloupe Lavender
• Turmeric Black Pepper Ginger
• Prickly Pear with Sage
• Lavender Mint
• Sumac Watermelon
 
They can have up to 27 different beverages for sale. A lot of them also might include CBD for added wellness.

 

Elite Tea

 
Going to Detroit, Michigan in the near future? Make a pit stop to Birmingham and have a tea tasting at Elite Tea. They use the highest quality ingredients grown through organic practices on a family farm.
 
Elite Tea offers over 50 beverages that go beyond kombucha. You can get chai tea lattes, Matcha tea, and bubble teas, as well.
 
For kombucha brewery enthusiasts, you can get shots of kombucha, full drinks, or fill a growler. All of the kombucha are fresh ferments from local Detroit Kombucha Brewing Company. Be sure to stop by and see what Elite Tea has on tap.

 

Urban Farm Fermentory

 
There are many reasons to go Portland, Maine. The Urban Farm Fermentory is one of them. Their Tasting Room is open seven days per week. With a slogan like “Drink together,” you’ll feel more than welcomed!
 
Their tap list is always evolving with the seasons. They use fresh and organic ingredients during the fermentation process. So, you can always be ensured a fresh, crisp beverage.
 
Some examples of flavors on tap may include:
• Basil
• Chaga Chai
• Blueberry
• Sweet Fern
 
In addition, this location makes jun, a cousin of kombucha. Plus they ferement beer and meads. So, there’s plenty of unique options for all types of travelers.

 

Coastal Craft

 
Love New York? Swing by Oceanside to take in some views and visit of New York’s top kombucha breweries. Check out Coastal Craft.
 
You can get the following year-round brews:
• Ginger
• Calm Seas
• Berry Hibiscus
• Lemon Earl Grey
• Hawaiian Fire
• Ahoy Maté
 
Each season brings forth new brews and returning favorites. You can get a hefty helping of fall during autumn with Stoked on Pumpkin! While the summer months brings the bright notes of Sut’fs Hop–Lemon Orange.

 

Kickin’ Kombucha

 
Everything’s bigger in Texas. Kombucha breweries are becoming the next big thing in the Lone Star State. Be sure to stop by this Houston, Texas staple as they celebrate their tenth year in business.
 
Their taps are always changing, but swing by for options, such as:
• Blackberry Coolcumber
• Blueberry Mojito
• Butterfly Lavender
• Dragon Blossoms
• Everybody Hibiscus
• Passionate Pineapple
• Pink Tropics
• Snappy Beets
 
You can also get bottles to go. Even more unique, they have keg options, too. So, if you’re a Houston resident and throwing a kombucha party, let Kickin’ Kombucha be your hookup!

 

Boochcraft

 
Want to get a little buzz from your bouch? Then you must check out Boochcraft on your next trip to California. Boochcraft specializes in hard kombucha.
 
Their 7% brews include:
• Apple Lime Jasmine
• Grape Coriander Anise
• Turmeric Tangerine Ginger
• Grapefruit Hibiscus Heather
• Watermelon Mint Chili
• Ginger Lime Rosehips
 
While not open yet, they will have a Tap Room in March 2020. So, make this visit a part of your 2020 wellness goals.
 

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Resources

 

[1] Brueck, Hilary. “Airplane Passengers Have an 80% Chance of Getting Sick on a Flight If They Sit in the Wrong Spot, Scientists Have Found.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 21 Mar. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/getting-sick-on-an-airplane-flight-2018-3.
 

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