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Nervous to Travel? Top Tips to Calm Your Nerves & Stomach

Motion Aid Supplements for Travel - A man reading a map on a transit bench.

Do you feel nauseous or dizzy when traveling? That can happen when motion causes your eyes, sensory nerves and part of the ears to send conflicting signals to the brain. Put simply, when you feel nauseous from motion, it's usually because the movement your eyes perceive is different from what your inner ear senses, and that can lead to some unpleasant sensations.1 The good news is that the physical effects of motion may be prevented or minimized if you take the right supplements before your next trip.

Here are some of our favorite motion aid supplements to help calm your stomach, steady your nerves, and help with the effects of motion while traveling:

Activated Charcoal Tablets to Ease Stomach Upset

Activated charcoal tablets are one of our not-so-secret weapons against mild stomach disturbances. The absorbing properties of activated charcoal may help calm an upset stomach and combat mild gas and related bloating.2

Take two to three capsules an hour before departure to soak up acids that may cause stomach upset. Because of activated charcoal’s neutralizing and absorbing effects, be sure to take it separately from your other medications and supplements.

Ginger to Sooth Your Stomach & Digestive System

Ginger root is a well-known stomach soother. It contains chemicals that may help calm the gastrointestinal system, and they may also work in the brain and nervous system to help when you feel nauseous.3 Several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have found that 1 gram of ginger is very effective at soothing the stomach.4

Try it for yourself by taking 2, 540 mg capsules of ginger every three hours while you travel, beginning an hour before traveling.

Magnesium for Stress Reduction & Calming Nerves

Does traveling stress you out? Taking magnesium may help calm your nerves and provide mood support. During times of stress, your body uses more magnesium. And if your magnesium levels run low, it may cause even more stress because your body needs magnesium for hundreds of natural processes.5

Take 500 mg of a highly bioavailable form of magnesium to help steady your nerves before a trip, but you may want to add magnesium supplements to your daily nutritional regimen. Read Magnesium Benefits and Uses to learn more.

Peppermint to Promote Relaxation

Peppermint leaf is a folk remedy for stomach health, and its use for supporting wellness dates as far back as the 1700s.6 Modern science tells us the cool and soothing effects of peppermint leaf are due to volatile oils within the leaf.

Concentrated peppermint oils are available, but many people find them to be too strong or fragrant for internal use. Pure, whole peppermint leaf supplements may be a better option, providing the same benefits in a gentle and comfortable way. But putting a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue or eating a peppermint candy may also have a similar effect. Make sure you read the label on your peppermint oil closely though, because not all peppermint oils are meant for internal use.

Vitamin B-6 for Help with Mental & Physical Stress

The B-complex vitamins have a well-deserved reputation as “anti-stress” nutrients because they are in increased demand during times of heightened mental and physical stress, with their essential roles in energy production and nervous system function. Vitamin B-6 supplements may help calm and soothe your stomach and nerves while supporting production of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin.7

The daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B-6 for healthy men and women between 19–50 years old is 1.3 mg. For adults over 50, the RDA is 1.7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women.7

Homeopathic Formula for Motion

Hyland’s traditional homeopathic remedy is a combination formula that works as a motion aid to help relieve symptoms of nausea and dizziness when traveling. It stimulates your body’s natural healing response to relieve symptoms, and is a safe motion aid for both adults and children.

Dissolve 2–3 tablets by mouth every four hours as needed for a homeopathic solution for nausea, dizziness and other symptoms associated with motion.

Quick Tips for Reducing Travel Stress & Anxiousness

If you don’t have any supplements on hand and you start to feel nauseous when traveling, try some of these tips:

  • Get fresh air as quickly as possible. Roll down the window in the car or open the overhead air vent on a plane.
  • Loosen any tight-fitting clothing to help you feel more at ease.
  • Sit still and breathe deeply for one minute. Lie down and close your eyes if possible.
  • Massage the underside of the ring finger from the tip of the finger to the second knuckle.
  • Suck on a lemon or lime whenever queasiness strikes.
  • Snack on whole grain crackers to soak up stomach acid, and drink sugar-free, carbonated sodas since the carbonation can help soothe your stomach. (Remember when your mom would give you ginger ale when you had an upset stomach?)
  • Avoid dairy and sugary, salty and fried foods during the trip since they may cause digestive disturbances.

Want more tips for staying healthy and happy while you travel? Read Jetsetter Wellness: Staying Healthy on the Go and Say Om: 6 Tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress.

Lindsey Bristol, Swanson Health Products
 

 

About Lindsey Bristol, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products

Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for ice cream. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food. 

Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health Products.

Sources

1 Motion Sickness. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/motion-sickness (Accessed 2/28/2018)

2 Efficacy of activated charcoal in reducing intestinal gas: a double-blind clinical trial. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3521259 (Accessed 2/28/2018)

3 Ginger. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-961-GINGER.aspx (Accessed 2/28/2018)

4 The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/ (Accessed 2/28/2018)

5 Magnesium Fact Sheet for Consumers. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-healthProfessional/ (Accessed 2/28/2018)

6 Peppermint Oil. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil (Accessed 2/28/2018)

7 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). University of Maryland Medical Center. https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b6-pyridoxine (Accessed 2/26/2018)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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