Top 5 Travel Vitamins, According To Science
If you've ever experienced travel sickness, jet lag, or lack in performance — you know that your trip can be set back or even ruined. While some vitamins can be a waste of money, in our years of research as a travel supplement company we break down the best travel vitamins according to science.
Effects Of Traveling On The Body
To understand how travel vitamins can help you, it's smart to first understand how traveling effects your body.
Whether jet lag from time zones, long duration trips, or physiological stress of traveling — effects of traveling on the body may include headaches, malaise, sleepiness, fatigue, indigestion and stomach problems, oxygen deprivation, sleep issues, increased risk of illness, irritability, and lack of concentration.
In our research, we've found four factors that contribute to these effects of traveling on the body.
4 factors that effects the body while traveling:
1. Circadian Rhythms - When you travel from one time zone to another, the change in times can throw off your internal clock. By disrupting your circadian rhythms, this can cause jet lag.¹
2. Sunlight Exposure - Sunlight helps regulate the body's internal clock, so when light and darkness changes it effects the body negatively. Sunlight is also shown to increase melatonin production.¹
3. Airplane Cabin Altitude - Altitude sickness in an airplane? Yes, cabin pressure can be equivalent to oxygen levels at altitudes of 5,000 to 8,000 feet, leading to some oxygen deprivation.²
4. Dehydration - Research proved that dehydration and fluid balance changes are caused by airplane cabins, which use dry, recirculated air.³
Now that you understand effects of traveling on the body, keep reading to learn about the top travel vitamins to help.
Top 5 Travel Vitamins
The first thing every traveler needs to do is make sure they're getting enough vitamins. Traveling can be stressful on your body, so make sure you're giving it the nutrients it needs.
Whether supplements for long flights, a vacation, or business trip, travel vitamins can give your body the boost it needs to thrive.
Based on what the science says with studies to back it, we reveal five travel vitamins that every traveler should take with them on their next trip.
Here's the top 5 travel vitamins:
Glutathione is one of the most important vitamins for travel. As a master antioxidant and amino acid, boosting glutathione levels helps protect against oxidative stress, neutralizes free radicals, and boosts immunity.
When we travel, glutathione levels can be depleted as a result of stress, travel-related fatigue and jet lag
. This can also make us more susceptible to illness while traveling. Glutathione is also involved regenerating vitamins, such as vitamin C and E.
Benefits of supplementing glutathione when traveling:
Jet Lag Depletes Glutathione - A study at SIU School of Medicine showed jet lag depleted glutathione levels and correlated to poorer performance.⁴
Support Immune Function - Research points out that immune cells are known to be protected by glutathione and its antioxidant properties, while also supporting immune system function.⁵
Boost Antioxidant Levels - Not only jet lag, but high altitudes also were shown in a study to deplete glutathione by 45%.⁶ Boosting antioxidant levels with glutathione can help combat these declines.
There's very few travel vitamins that are as important as glutathione. This powerful nutrient can fuel your body with maximal antioxidants during travel.
Best known in athletic circles, Glutamine is a vital amino acid for traveling.
Not only does glutamine restores immune system health and speeds up recovery, it improves hydration and digestive health. Both of which are negatively effected by traveling.
Benefits of supplementing glutathione when traveling:
Reduce Fatigue - The travel effects are known to cause jet lag and sleepiness, while a 2019 study on glutamine showed it to have anti-fatigue properties.⁸
Improve Hydration - Evidence shows dehydration risk during flight travel,⁷ while Research in Brazil proved glutamine to increase cell hydration.⁸
Support Gut Health - A 2021 study showed travel jet lag to decrease stomach microbial and disturb gut homeostasis,⁹ while glutamine is proven to support gut health.¹⁰
As evidenced in science, supplementing glutamine is as one of the top travel vitamins can be a game-changer to your trips.
Coined the term gut lag, you gut can get jet lag too. Travel disrupts the rhythm of internal organs, especially the gastrointestinal tract when crossing two or more time zones.
It's no wonder jet lag can cause stomach problems including indigestion, constipation or diarrhea. In fact, Traveler’s diarrhea affects between 30% and 70% of travelers according to Cleveland Clinic
This is where probiotics can help traveling, similar to glutamine, but more specifically by balancing your digestive system with good live bacteria and yeasts.¹¹ Your stomach is also linked to your immune system, so probiotics carry multiple benefits.
Benefits of supplementing probiotics when traveling:
Balance Gut Bacteria - With the disruption to the gut from traveling, also called gut lag, probiotics can help balance gut bacteria to combat the negative effects on the digestive system.¹³
Support Immune function - Probiotics are shown in numerous studies to boost the immune system¹⁴ and promote good health¹⁵, which can be vital for a good travel experience.
Combat Digestive Issues - With so many digestive issue due to travel such as diarrhea, a 2005 study showed probiotics had significant efficacy in the prevention of traveler's diarrhea.¹⁶
Supplementing probiotics as a travel vitamin tackles a completely different set of problems when traveling.
Involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium is an essential mineral and travel vitamin that plays a number of roles in our bodies.
Magnesium can play a role in so many travel related benefits including improving sleep, decreasing stress, improving immunity, and even helping muscle cramps and tension headaches.¹⁷
Benefits of supplementing magnesium when traveling:
Improve Sleep - With jet lag risks, magnesium was found to improve insomnia symptoms, maintain normal circadian rhythms, and ensure quality sleep in a study out of Australia.
Decrease Stress - While traveling can be stressful, a 2017 study proved magnesium may lessen stress and anxiety with supplementation.¹⁹
Improve Immunity - Although a more minor role than these other travel vitamins, magnesium is shown to have a relationship with the immune system.¹⁷ ²⁰
Magnesium is certainly an important travel vitamin to bring along for your next trip.
5. DHM (from Hovenia Dulcis)
While the least well known, DHM might as well be called the superfood of traveling. DHM
, is a flavonoid found in the Hovenia Dulcis plant is considered a natural antioxidant that helps protect your body against free radical damage.
DHM (Dihydromyricetin) tackles so many traveling issues — including enhancing sleep quality, improving physical performance, helping at high altitude (ie: airplanes), reducing fatigue, lessening stress, improving memory, and even supporting the liver which comes in handy on vacation.
Benefits of supplementing DHM from Hovenia Dulcis when traveling:
Improve Physical Performance - With the high altitudes of airplane cabins, DHM was found in a study to improve physical performance under simulated high altitude.²¹ DHM was also found to enhance physical activity.²²
Reduce Fatigue - Fighting fatigue is a problem for most travelers. A Korean study found Hovenia Dulcis to have significant anti-fatigue effects from its antioxidant activities.²²
Liver Support - When traveling people often will drink more, but alcohol can also negatively effect sleep. DHM was shown in research to protect the liver and promote liver health.²³
Enhance Sleep Quality - With so many issue of sleeping due to traveling, DHM was shown in a patent to promote sleep and improve overall sleep quality²⁴, while also lessening memory impairments from sleep deprivation.²⁵
This dynamic travel vitamin, DHM, is a must-have for your traveling adventures with so many synergistic benefits.
This concludes our well-researched, science-backed list of the top travel vitamins you can take.
Top Rated Travel Vitamin
Zaca is a top chewable supplement packed with travel vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. Formulated with the synergistic nutrients of Glutathione, Glutamine, and DHM from Hovenia Dulcis — be at the top of your game while you travel. These fast-acting chewables helps you rehydrate, replenish, and recover. They are individually wrapped in travel-sized packets so they are convenient to take on-the-go, TSA friendly, and easy add to your luggage, backpack or purse. Try Zaca Chewables today and give your body the travel vitamins it needs when you hit the road.
1. Jet Lag Disorder
2. Can You Get Altitude Sickness from Flying?
3. Up in the Air: Evidence of Dehydration Risk and Long-Haul Flight on Athletic Performance
4. Circadian Disruption Reveals a Correlation of an Oxidative GSH/GSSG Redox Shift with Learning and Impaired Memory in an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model
5. Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients
6. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
7. Up in the Air: Evidence of Dehydration Risk and Long-Haul Flight on Athletic Performance
8. Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition
9. Chronic Jet Lag Exacerbates Jejunal and Colonic Microenvironment in Mice
10. The role of glutamine in supporting gut health and neuropsychiatric factors
11. What is 'gut lag' and how can you prevent stomach issues when you fly?
12. Traveler's Diarrhea
13. Guide To The Best Probiotics For Travel
14. Prospective study of probiotic supplementation results in immune stimulation and improvement of upper respiratory infection rate
15. Probiotics may help support our immune system
16. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea
17. The Best Supplement for Travel that Supports Health and Wellbeing
18. Magnesium Intake and Sleep Disorder Symptoms: Findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese Adults at Five-Year Follow-Up
19. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress
20. Possible roles of magnesium on the immune system
21. Dihydromyricetin improves physical performance under simulated high altitude
22. Anti-fatigue activity of Hovenia dulcis on a swimming mouse model through the inhibition of stress hormone expression and antioxidation
23. Dihydromyricetin Protects the Liver via Changes in Lipid Metabolism and Enhanced Ethanol Metabolism
24. Application of dihydromyricetin for preparation of preparation for promoting sleep and improving sleep quality
25. Dihydromyricetin ameliorates memory impairment induced by acute sleep deprivation