A product of my chosen lifestyle is that I travel on planes. A lot! Airplanes are a hotbed for germs and I do everything in my power to make sure when I arrive to my destination, usually an important competition, I’m my healthiest self…meaning limiting the chance that I catch something on a plane. These are my tricks on how to stay healthy while travelling.
(Note: diet should always come first, and these supplements do exactly that… they supplement a solid foundation.).
And without getting too scientific… here are my 5 go-to immunity/travel supplements:
1. Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D plays an important role in immune support.
- As a beach volleyball player, vitamin D is a staple supplement we naturally get as a result of my sporting environment (beaches, I know I’m super fortunate!). So when our season ends and winter comes around, I need to take a vitamin D supplement to make up for the lack of sun exposure I’m used to getting.
Did you know? Low levels of vitamin D are associated with higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections! And up to 80% of North Americans are deficient in vitamin D!
2. Probiotics & 3. Prebiotics
- About 70% of your immune tissues live in your gut!
- Before I knew about the effects of probiotics on the immune system, I took supplements to help reduce the risk of digestive issues (a common problem when travelling to unknown places).
- I love Genuine Health’s advanced gut health probiotic line because they are crafted with multiple strains of friendly bacteria AND are shelf-stable! A traveller’s dream is to not have to worry about refrigeration. Another multi-tasking product that gets a gold star from me.
- Best to complement the probiotics in your gut with a prebiotic – essentially it’s food for your good bacteria. Genuine Health has created the ultimate prebiotic superfood product made with 22 fully fermented organic superfoods and prebiotics that nourish the gut.
Did you know? Taking a daily probiotic supplement has been shown to reduce sick days! And if you get sick, taking a probiotic can shorten the duration by up to 2 days!
- Propolis is a natural bodyguard with powerful germ-fighting properties. Initially used by the bees to line the hive walls, protecting everyone inside from the outside germs. Loaded with antioxidants, it contains over 300 beneficial vitamins & minerals! I carry this everywhere I go.
- My favourite is the Beekeeper’s Naturals spray. I use this before I hop on flights and multiple times during for preventative measures. And if I feel a tickle coming on, I’ll reach for it immediately.
- Bee products in general are antiviral and antimicrobial, plus they stimulate anti-inflammatory properties. Don’t underestimate the power of raw honey and bee pollen!
Fun Fact: Melissa has Ancient Greek origins and means honeybee in Greek! So I’m obsessed with all things bees and convinced I have a special bond with them.
5. Melatonin & passionflower
- Passionflower is a herb that helps relax the mind, which helps you fall asleep faster!
- Melatonin helps me fight jet lag and all the time zones efficiently (I once travelled 11 different time zones in 43 hours), but also helps me fall & stay asleep! Why does this matter? Because…
- Bonus supplement: SLEEP!
It’s the best medicine of all. A strong immune system starts with sleep. Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs from the day’s activities & stressors. Importantly, infection-fighting antibodies are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. Speaking of, I should head to bed before a long day of training tomorrow. Thanks for reading and keep your immune systems strong!