There’s nothing better than traveling and going on holiday to new places around the world.
New foods, new beaches and incredible landmarks are just some of the reasons we visit certain countries.
However, the foods we like to indulge in while in new countries aren’t always the healthiest; ramen and khao soi contains a lot of fat, which we often exclusively eat in Japan and Thailand, respectively.
This is why really believe taking a multivitamin and other supplements everywhere we go is super important – to ensure our bodies are always nutritionally fuelled to avoid illness.
After all, you don’t want to waste valuable time in a new country sick in bed.
For all these reasons, we’ve written a guide on travel vitamins (in terms of which essential vitamins and supplements we recommend to take with you). Check out my top 7 below…
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is produced by the body after being exposed to sunlight. This essential vitamin plays an important role in immune function, bone development, and has some anticancer properties.
In terms of Vitamin D is beneficial for maintaining a healthy immune system ; a study involving over 400,000 subjects found that people with deficient levels of vitamin D had a higher risk of developing immune-related diseases, infections, and even cancer.
Not only that, Vitamin D is also linked to the prevention of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, depression and dementia. It’s also believed to help reduce the effects of asthma and help manage it .
To make things worse, studies have reported that there could be 37% and higher of total population that are deficient in Vitamin D . This means 3-4 out of 10 people reading this article could very well be deficient in this vitamin.
Medical professionals even state that, if you’re going to choose one vitamin/supplement to take, it would be Vitamin D due to its importance on health and immune support for traveling. So, put this at the top of your list when looking for travel vitamins.
Check out our Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi Review to see the multivitamin we trust to keep us nutritionally fuelled all year round.
You don’t need us to tell you about the importance of Vitamin C when it comes to supporting your health and immune system. You’ve been told to drink orange juice since you were a child for this reason.
But since you’re here and this article is about travel vitamins, Vitamin C can’t be ignored.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for the immune system. It also offers many other benefits, including helping maintain healthy skin, bones, teeth and cartilage.
This essential vitamin is often called as an antioxidant that can help prevent cell damage from free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that are used to protect against harmful bacteria.
The good news is that every respectable multivitamin will contain Vitamin C in effective dosages, so you won’t need to try too hard to include this travel vitamin in your diet.
Montmorency Tart Cherry
In case you’re wondering, this isn’t just your average cherry that you’ll see on top of a cake or in a fruit salad.
Montmorency tart cherry is a type of fruit that is used as a natural source of melatonin. It is known as the “sleep aid fruit” and you’ll often see this as tart cherry juice or capsules.
Not only that, Montmorency tart cherry contains some chemicals such as GABA, which helps to increase brain activity and decrease anxiety levels.
The reason we take Montmorency tart cherry is due to research finding that these cherries can help improve your sleep quality; one study in particular proved that tart cherry supplementation resulted in increased melatonin levels, which directly benefitted total sleep time and sleep efficiency in subjects .
We’ve personally found that taking a natural sleep aid (read our Performance Lab Sleep Review for more info) has helped reset our body clock in new time zones when traveling and improved our quality of sleep regardless of where we are in the world.
So, for us, a sleep supplement containing Montmorency tart cherry is an essential travel supplement
While travel vitamins are certainly important, you shouldn’t disregard essential minerals such as Magnesium.
The human body needs magnesium for many different functions, such as protein synthesis, DNA and RNA production, and energy metabolism. Magnesium is also necessary to keep a normal heart rhythm, which really shows how important this mineral is .
In the brain, magnesium is important to regulate nerve impulses. It also helps in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which affects moods.
Another interesting fact is that Magnesium us also a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Pretty impressive, right?
Focusing on its benefits to health and why you should take it while traveling, one study reported that Magnesium positively impacts immune responses in numerous ways and can even play a protective role in acute allergic reactions too.
Some good news is that Magnesium is included in our natural sleep aid and multivitamin, so by taking these 2 supplements we always keep optimal levels of this essential mineral in our system at all times.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that we LOVE eating and trying new foods in new countries; ramen in Japan, khao soi in Thailand, Shanghai soup dumplings in China as a few examples of our favorites in Asia.
However, in some countries such as Thailand, eating street food can sometimes have a bad effect on your stomach – we heard many stories from backpackers in hostels mentioning about stomach issues after trying out meat skewers from street food vendors.
To try and protect ourselves while still indulging in street food and more, we always make sure to take a prebiotic supplement with us.
If you’re wondering, Prebiotics are supplements containing soluble fiber such as chicory root that’s shown to help probiotics in your body thrive; Prebiotics are becoming more known for being more reliable than probiotics since probiotics often have to stay refrigerated to survive, while prebiotics don’t come with this problem in supplement form.
To be as efficient as possible, we take Performance Lab Prebiotic since we already take the multivitamin and sleep aid from the same company. This means that we can just receive one package from one company in hostels or hotels around the world, instead of waiting for numerous packages to arrive each time.
B-complex vitamins are a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in human metabolism. They help the body convert food into fuel and produce red blood cells.
B-complex vitamins also support nervous system function and bone health.
Vitamin B12 is needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells, and to make red blood cells.
It also helps keep nerve cells healthy and supports the immune system.
One thing to note is that Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal products, so vegetarians are more likely to be deficient in this nutrient. Making it an essential travel vitamin if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Good news is that it’s not difficult to add B-Complex Vitamins to your diet; every good multivitamin should contain these travel vitamins, with the one we take being vegan-friendly too.
L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It is the only essential amino acid that can be synthesized by mammals, making it a conditionally essential amino acid. This means that it is not required in the diet if the body has enough other amino acids or protein.
The body uses l-tryptophan to produce serotonin and melatonin which are neurotransmitters in the brain involved with mood, sleep, appetite, and pain sensation.
L-tryptophan can be found in many foods such as cheese, poultry, fish, soybeans, nuts including almonds and peanuts.
However, you’re not always guaranteed to have beneficial levels of this amino acid in your body – and it’s beneficial to sleep quality due to being a precursor to melatonin.
The natural sleep aid that we take most nights contains L-Tryptophan as well as Montmorency tart cherry and magnesium, to ensure we enjoy a great nights sleep regardless of where we are in the world.
Conclusion on Travel Vitamins and Supplements
A lot of people don’t think it matters what they eat while travelling. And many people don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food.
But in reality, not eating well can do a lot of harm to your body and health. Especially while traveling.
People who travel often might need to take supplements for better health and wellness because there’s a higher chance of deficiencies in their diet when they travel.
This is exactly the reason we take vitamins and supplements while traveling; to ensure we keep our body nutritionally fuelled and firing on all cylinders, so we limit the number of days we’re sick in bed unable to enjoy life.
- C, Aranow. Vitamin D and the Immune System. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug; 59(6): 881–886.
- NS, Ali. A Review on the Role of Vitamin D in Asthma. Cureus. 2017 May; 9(5): e1288.
- Z, Naeem. Vitamin D Deficiency- An Ignored Epidemic. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2010 Jan.
- G Howatson. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec.
- H, Holzgartner. High-dosage oral magnesium therapy in arrhythmias. Results of an observational study in 1.160 patients with arrhythmia. Fortschr Med. 1990 Sep 30.