If you travel for a living, nobody knows the woes of a grumpy gut like you do. You got that right: We are talking specifically about truck drivers’ health issues today.
So, what should you do when you’re bothered by an upset stomach while you’re en route to a new destination? Better yet, how can you avoid tummy troubles while travelling?
Here are six tips that can help you enjoy the journey and travel tummy-trouble free.
- Don’t overeat.
It can be hard to resist all any new restaurants and cuisines you could be trying out, but that’s a fatal mistake. Overeating can cause painful cramps, gas and bloating, making it difficult to drive. Next time, try drinking water 30 minutes before you eat. You’ll hydrate yourself and feel less full. Second, set your fork or food down between bites, and try to chew it completely. Don’t swallow your food whole.
- Eat a high-fiber diet.
Fiber regulates your bowel movements, so enrich your diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Wheat products are a good example of high-fiber foods. Also, make sure to wash your food and eat safe meals to avoid getting sick easily. Fiber will save you from uncomfortable constipation, so don’t underestimate the importance of a fiber-enriched diet in truck driver health.
- Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate!
Dehydration causes constipation, muscle spasms and unnecessary tummy troubles. Try to limit your intake of beverages with alcohol, caffeine and high sugar content Some of these can actually dehydrate you, and others can cause blood-sugar spikes that make you want to grab for unhealthy food choices. In addition, these beverages can easily upset your stomach, even though they taste great on the drive.
- Use the bathroom when you have to.
All of us know the discomfort of using a public restroom or a bathroom in a shared hotel room. But research showed that not using the restroom when you need to can cause bowel discomfort and possibly constipation amongst many other truck driver health issues. Not only that, but it can also lead to diarrhea. You should go whenever you have to.
- Take a daily probiotic.
In today’s fast-paced world, filled with fast foods and processed meals, gut disorders are common — and sadly almost becoming the norm. But not all probiotics are created equal. The next time you stop to shop for a probiotic, look for spore-based probiotics, why? Spores are a great choice because of their colonizing habits, resilience to stomach acid and resistance to heat and light. Most over-the-counter probiotics never make it past the gut (or even TO the gut) before they break down and lose their potency. Spore-based probiotics, on the other hand, stay in the gut 21 to 28 days and then exit through your feces, helping you at every stop when it comes to gut health. Plus, with spore-based probiotics, you get the support you need for your stomach lining. This helps you reduce inflammation that can cause “leaky gut.”
- Stay clean.
Stomach bugs can be easily transmitted through unclean surfaces. The only way to truly solve this issue is to ensure you keep your hands and utensils free from as much contamination as possible. Wash your hands as per the recommended method, keep your utensils in a safe place, and wash your fruits and vegetables. Ditch the chemical cleaners; consider making your own using water, vinegar and lemon essential oil. Try this: Fill a spray bottle with water and then add a few tablespoons vinegar and one to four drops of lemon essential oil. Keep it packed in your truck for easy cleaning.
Traveling is not fun if your tummy has other plans. But with a little preparation and willingness to try something new, you can be on your way being tummy trouble free the next time you hit the road.
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again. Find out more at www.mothertruckeryoga.com.
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again.