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AdultDigestive

Gas and Bloating When Traveling

The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements.

Whether traveling for business or fun, you probably put a decent amount of thought into planning your trip. Though you may have planned your wardrobe or itinerary beforehand, you haven’t fully planned until you consider your digestive health.

Traveling affects our bodies in different ways and can commonly take the form of occasional digestive system woes like gas and bloating. Not only can that be a bit embarrassing in tight, crowded spaces like a plane, but it’s also just uncomfortable. Read on to learn more about how to keep your digestive health managed, from hotel check-in to checkout and all the travel in between.*

About That Travel Gas and Bloating

Often the best way to solve a problem is to figure out why it happens in the first place. Gas and bloating while traveling is no different, and the reasons that it occurs may surprise you. Sure, food and beverage choice may contribute to some travel-related gas and bloating (more on that later), but a key factor may be your form of transportation.

Gas and Bloating at 33,000 Feet

Flying is almost a surefire way to get a case of bloating. The higher you fly, the lower the air pressure; this causes your body to react in all sorts of ways, one of which might be obvious to you and those sitting next to you: gas and bloating.The change in ambient pressure increases bowel air volume, and though the polite thing to do may be to hold it all in, the best thing is to let it all out.2

Dr. Jacob Rosenberg, professor of surgery at the University of Copenhagen, states, “There’s a clear medical rationale for releasing the gas. Holding back flatulence can lead to discomfort and even pain and bloating.”

The best course of action to ease the pain in these instances would be to find your way to a restroom and release the pressure; if this isn’t an option and you need to stay seated, you should try to be as discreet as possible. 

Beat Gas and Bloating with What You Eat

You may not have as much control of your gas and bloating up in the air, but on the ground you have options, and what you eat can have a lasting effect on the state of your digestive system during your entire trip.

If you think just staying away from fried foods and saturated fats to prevent gas and bloating is enough, then you may be surprised by what you’ll read next: Some healthy foods like onions, cauliflower and cabbage can be culprits too. They contain sugars and starches that are more complicated for the body to break down, which may cause intestinal expansion.3Another way you can inadvertently make yourself gassy or cause bloating is by drinking carbonated beverages like soda. Carbonated beverages are known to cause cramping and bloating, so try to avoid them before and during travel. 3

Some food and beverages, however, can make things a bit easier for you while traveling. When it comes to what you drink, water is your best beverage choice, especially because certain travel situations can increase dehydration.3 As for food on the go, try to eat as many fresh and raw foods as possible. Bananas, eggs and unsalted nuts are three great healthy options,because the fiber in these foods will help flush your digestive tract and ease bloating. 6

Culturelle® Digestive Daily Probiotic

In addition to watching what you eat to minimize occasional digestive upset while traveling, consider taking a daily probiotic.

The strain of good bacteria found in Culturelle® Probiotics, Lactobacillus GG, helps restore the natural balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.* When taken daily it can help your digestive system work better by:

  • Reducing occasional digestive upset*
  • Managing gas and bloating*
  • Reducing occasional diarrhea*

Don’t forget to consider your digestive system the next time you’re planning a trip, and remember to pack some fresh food snacks and a box of Culturelle® Digestive Daily Probiotic.