Over the last few years, the science has emerged to prove that there is actually a close relationship between the respiratory, immune and gastrointestinal systems. We now know that a disruption to your biome (those trillions of microorganisms that live in your intestinal tract) can trigger an oversensitivity to allergens in your immune system, which could ultimately make your allergies flare up even more as a result. So, how do we support our gut? One acceptable method is to eat lots of healthy foods that are rich in fibre, as well as fermented products, such as kombucha. Of course, in
Being on the FIVB World Tour means a lot of travel. From the months of April-September, Heather and I spend most of our time playing in events around the globe, with at least one two-month long trip every season. We just got back from one of these 8-week-long adventures a few days ago, where we played in Russia, Norway, Switzerland, and Croatia, to name a few. At the end of the week we will be gone again, this time to Yokohama, Japan. It seems exhausting, and at times it is, but because every tournament is important, and will help us represent Canada in the Olympics, there is no time for exhaustion, or illness, or anything else, to get in our way.
Before I get on a long flight, I fill up a 750 mL water bottle, and drink 2-3 of them by the time the flight is over. This is probably my top priority on a long flight, because being well-hydrated has been key for me avoiding illness while traveling. Heading to my first FIVB event ever, in Argentina, I didn’t drink a lot of water on my 11-hour flight, and when we got there, I had a horrendous cold. The same thing had happened to me in the past, on other flights where I didn’t drink much water. Not wanting to risk being sick during a tournament again, I started drinking a lot of water, and I haven’t been sick after a flight since!
Some other measures I take during a flight to have me feeling my best on arrival are wearing compression socks, and having melatonin on hand. I feel like a total dork when I wear them, but my thigh-high compression socks significantly decrease the swelling in my feet and ankles, and they help with blood flow in my legs. If I will be arriving at a destination in the morning, or afternoon local time, I usually take melatonin on the flight to help me sleep. This lets me feel tired when it is night-time at my destination, and even when I am there, it allows me to get a full night’s sleep to help counteract jet lag. Melatonin is completely natural, and OrthoSleep is my go-to sleep solution.
Finally, one of the difficult things about being on the road is that we don’t always have control of what we eat. At home, we have specific things that we like to cook, and we can make sure that we eat wholesome, nutritious foods at all times. Being at a tournament or a hotel means that we can’t always select our meals, and if we can, local dishes may not always be as healthy as we would like. To perform our best, we obviously need to fuel our bodies, so we eat what we are offered at meal-time, but to get that extra boost, or to get specific vitamins that we might be missing, we rely heavily on our AOR vitamins and supplements. We use a variety of their products everyday, which help fight off illness, reduce inflammation, and provide our bodies with specific nutrients we need in addition to what we are already consuming. My daily regimen consists of OrthoMinerals (to replenish any minerals I lose during exercise, or miss in my diet), Curcumin Active (to reduce any joint inflammation), Vitamin C (to get a nutrient boost), Coenzyme Q10 (to maximize energy production), and Advanced B Complex (to get energy and stress support). I also like to throw in Advanced Whey protein powder after a workout for recovery.
Traveling is about more than just sitting on a plane. We all should prioritize our health and performance, and the above-mentioned practices helps us stay on top of our game, and keep some consistency in our ever-changing lives!
Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley are Team Canada’s Top Performing Women’s Beach Volleyball team.