Do you have a long trip ahead? Whether you’re traveling by road or by plane, you’re going to be cooped up in a small space for an extended amount of time. You may also be traveling with other people. During that trip, the last thing you want is to have a bowel crisis.
How can you prevent gassing up the car or the need to pull over to empty the contents of your stomach?
Here are a few key foods to avoid before you go on a long trip.
1. Pass On Pre-Made Cold Sandwiches
When you’re out on the road or waiting at an airport, it’s easy to go for convenience foods. Typically at truck stops or at convenience stores, the pre-made cold sandwiches may seem like a great choice. They’re chilled, so you can enjoy a delicious meal, and they’re packaged and ready to go for you.
However, those packaged foods aren’t always kept in the best conditions. Sometimes, those sandwiches can be sitting out there for several hours. Even chilled, their contents can go bad.
You may eat one, and then suddenly find yourself needing to vomit or perform emergency number two. To keep your bowels safe, you should pass on the pre-made cold sandwiches.
While many people love to snack on jerky during their travels, it isn’t always the greatest idea. For one, in order to make jerky last as long as it does, it’s usually packed full of preservatives. That amount isn’t good for you.
Jerkey is also full of sodium. This is a problem for two reasons. The first is that it will make you thirsty. You’ll be reaching for your water bottle numerous times throughout the drive. That means you’ll also need to take more potty breaks. In the event that there’s a long stretch between rest stops, you might be in trouble.
The second reason is that sodium can make you feel bloated. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than feeling bloated when cramped in a car or a plane. It may also lead to gas.
To keep yourself comfortable, you’ll want to pass on the jerky, too.
If, however, you absolutely must have jerky, go with the low-carb variety as these brands are generally healthier.
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For those who like to snack on beans, you might want to set it aside until you arrive at your destination. It can be easy to open up a can of beans and heat them up in the microwave. Or you might order a bean soup at a restaurant.
However you end up with beans in your system, you’re going to find that it was a mistake to consume them. Beans are notorious for making you gassy. If you’re driving alone, then you might not care about how much gas you have.
If you’re not traveling alone, however, then do everyone a favor and keep from eating beans.
Another notorious gas-maker is broccoli. While extremely healthy for you, broccoli isn’t the greatest choice before a long trip. This is because it’s packed full of fiber. When you have a lot of fiber in your system, there’s one biological function that gets pushed into overload.
You’ll likely find that you need to stop at a rest stop shortly after consuming broccoli to do number two. In the event that you’re in an area without a rest stop or on a plane, then you might find yourself in dire circumstances.
5. High-Energy Drinks
For a long trip, you’re likely expecting to be at the wheel for several hours. One way to fight through the exhaustion that accrues with driving long-distance is to drink energy drinks. However, this is a poor idea. Energy drinks usually have either a lot of calories or a lot of sugar in them.
Sugar, in particular, is not what you need to stay awake at the wheel. You may feel energetic for a few hours, but the sugar rush will eventually lead to a sugar crash. When that happens, you’re going to feel even more tired. You’ll also likely feel slightly bloated and uncomfortable.
Avoid energy drinks as well as carbonated drinks like pop. Instead, just keep fueling yourself up with water. Or you can simply cut your long trip into a series of rests. Sleep when you need to, so you can remain alert at the wheel.
6. Sugary Snacks
Another staple for road trip food or airplane food is candy. They’re easy to find, convenient to eat, and can you give a boost of energy. Sour Patch Kids, particularly, are notorious for winding up in the car on a long road trip.
However, like sugary drinks, you’re going to inevitably experience a plunge in your energy once the sugar rush wears off. Eating nothing but candy can also make you feel ill.
To keep yourself healthy and alert, forego the candy until you’ve arrived at your destination for the night.
7. Spicy Foods
Like beans, spicy foods can do a number on your bowels. It’s easy to stop at a fast-food chain that offers delicious spicy food. However, that will hit you in some way later on. Typically, you’ll first experience an increase in your body temperature.
This can happen either when you’re eating the spicy food or a few minutes to a few hours after as it works through your system. The car may not be able to become cool enough for you. Not only can this make you feel ill, but you’ll also be taking in a lot of water.
Eventually, and inevitably, you’re going to need to stop at a rest stop to go to the bathroom. Spicy food can agitate the bowels a great deal, so you might be in the bathroom for some time. You may even have to stop at a few along the way until the spicy food is entirely out of your system.
8. Cooked Meats
Finally, it’s a good idea to avoid cooked meat before a long trip. All it takes is for one restaurant to not cook their meat thoroughly to spell disaster for your bowels.
Foods You Can Take on a Long Trip
- Complex carbohydrates (e.g., bread, oats, or yogurt) as it’s digested slowly by your body. This ensures you’re not hungry on your trip.
- A piece of fruit (e.g. an apple, blueberries) is a great option for a light snack.
- Fish is also a recommended food because it’s easy to digest and it’s low in calories.
The hardest part of any long trip is getting there. Don’t make it more difficult by eating the wrong foods and being uncomfortable the entire time.