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4 Essential Supplements For Your Travels

As the world gradually opens up and enters a new normal, you may already be making travel plans for your long-awaited vacations. Read on to find out 4 essential supplements you should consider taking along for your travels.

#1: Melatonin

If you are traveling across time zones, you may experience jet lags[1]. Jet lags happen when your body’s circadian rhythm is disrupted. Circadian rhythm is your body’s internal ‘clock’ that tells you when to sleep and when to wake up. Traveling may disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm especially if you are traveling across time zones. The more time zones you travel across, the more severe your jet lag is likely to become.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced and regulated by the pineal gland, a small pea-sized gland located in our brain [2]. It is produced in response to darkness. Melatonin is also available in the form of supplements (such as gummies, capsules, and tablets). Taking melatonin supplements may be able to help prevent or treat jet lag symptoms.

Also, if you are someone who finds it difficult to fall asleep in a foreign environment, taking melatonin supplements may help shorten the time taken to fall asleep.

#2: Vitamin C

Traveling may induce stress on your body, which can lead to poor immunity and increase your risks of contracting viral infections. Taking vitamin C supplements to boost your immunity is highly recommended. Vitamin C is a vitamin that has well-documented studies in boosting immunity and managing common colds [3]. This vitamin also comes in the form of gummies or effervescent tablets.

#3: Elderberry

Another immunity booster that you may consider adding to your travel supplements is elderberry. Elderberry has been used in folk medicine to treat viral infections such as influenza and herpes simplex, due to its antiviral properties [4]. A recent Australian study conducted and published in 2016 concluded that the patients who took elderberry had a significant reduction in the duration and symptoms of cold in air travelers [5].

Elderberry supplements may come in the form of gummies, capsules, or liquids. It can also come in combination with other immunity boosters such as vitamin C and zinc.

#4: Vitamin D

Besides vitamin C, recent studies have shown that vitamin D is effective in boosting immunity as well. In addition to improving and maintaining our bone health, vitamin D has been shown to modulate immune responses in our body [6]. Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with higher incidences of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) [7], which may lead to higher chances of contracting respiratory tract infections (especially in a confined space such as traveling on a plane). They are available in gummies, tablets, capsules, softgels and liquids.


Traveling can potentially stress your body, disrupt your body clock and lower your immunity. Supplements such as melatonin and immunity boosters (vitamin C, elderberry and vitamin D) will be helpful to improve sleep and enhance your immune system so that you will be able to make the best of your vacation.

Related articles

Melatonin: How It Helps With Sleep And Insomnia

4 Functions of Vitamin C and Its Sources

Elderberry, Vitamin C and Zinc: Immunity Boosters


  1. Herxheimer A, Waterhouse J. The prevention and treatment of jet lag. BMJ. 2003 Feb 8;326(7384):296-7.
  2. 5 Functions of the Pineal Gland.
  3. Pauling L. The significance of the evidence about ascorbic acid and the common cold. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1971;68:2678–2681.
  4. British Herbal Medicine Association: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Bournemouth: BHMA Publications, 1983; pp186 – 187.
  5. Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016;8(4):182.
  6. Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011;59(6):881-886.
  7. Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr. Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 23;169(4):384-90.
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