For starters, congrats on your trip to Mexico!
Depending on the time of year and city, you can expect some warm weather, amazing food, and probably the greatest hospitality of your life. Something you might not expect— traveler’s sickness.
If you’re looking for the best probiotics for your trip to Mexico, read on! We’ve also got some helpful tips and insight to help you plan this crucial [yet often overlooked] detail to your trip.
Our Favorite Probiotic Supplements— Summary & Comparison
|Probiotics Name / Brand||CFU’s||Probiotic Strains||Price Per Day||Total Servings Per Bottle ||Price Per Bottle|
|Physician’s Choice||60 billion||10||$0.60||30||$20|
|Wholesome Wellness||100 billion||34||$0.83||30||$25|
|Vitamin Bounty Pro-100||100 billion||13||$1.16||30||$35|
|For Kids: Garden of Life Organic Kids Probiotics + Vitamins C & D||5 billion||14||$0.57||30||$17|
|For Kids: Hyperbiotics Pro-Kids||3 billion||4||$0.33||60||$20|
Probiotic Supplements— Our Favorite Travel Buddy
When you travel to a foreign country, nothing is fully in your control.
The most well-thought-out trips are subject to delays, double bookings, natural disasters, and— unfortunately— food poisoning and diarrhea. Every year, people come to Mexico to escape, well, all sorts of things.
Traveler’s diarrhea/travelers’ diarrhea isn’t something you can escape from— not even in Mexico. Due to the lack of knowledge and preparation, many first-timers to Mexico end up bed-bound for a week or more during their trip because of this.
Officially, John Hopkins Medicine Institute includes Central America and Mexico in its list of at-risk traveler’s diarrhea areas.
Because developing countries have fewer hygiene regulations in small businesses (also due to Mexico’s low water quality and the warm humidity), travelers can get the dreaded traveler’s sickness.
Traveler’s diarrhea is essentially a bacterial infection that results in gas, bloating, diarrhea, dehydration, blood in the stool, constipation, fever, fatigue, and/or vomiting.
If someone encounters symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea in Mexico, it’s best to seek out medical attention immediately (btw, this article is not medical advice or assistance). Traveler sickness can lead to dehydration and other dangerous complications. However, we think the best treatment is prevention, and therefore— probiotics. Probiotics will help fortify your immune system and protect you from this trip-ruining disaster.
[Stick around till the end of this article, still, since we have more insight and helpful tips to prevent, spot, and treat traveler’s sickness/traveler’s diarrhea!]
How to Take Probiotics (for your trip to Mexico)
If you want to avoid traveler’s diarrhea, here are the 3 basic things you’ll need:
- An empty stomach
- A cold, dry place (like a refrigerator)
- Two weeks of routine & discipline
Hopefully, that’s the opposite of how your trip to Mexico goes!
These, along with your travel probiotic, are what you need in the weeks prior to (not during) your trip in order to get your stomach’s defense team ready.
We’ll explain, below:
Go With Your [Empty] Gut
DO take your probiotic supplement either when you first wake up or when your stomach is totally empty. (Your gut absorbs them better this way.) DON’T take them with a plate piled high of bean & cheese nachos. You’ll get plenty of that later.
Keep Things Cool
DO store them in a cold, dry place— your refrigerator being ideal but not absolutely necessary. DON’T leave them in your hot car or near your stove burners, as the bacterial strains need a cool environment to stay alive.
Take Your Time
DO take your travel probiotics as early as possible.
DON’T wait until you’ve landed in Mexico to take them. You need to start at least 2 weeks in advance (despite that we’re calling them ‘travel probiotics’).
Probiotics require at least 2 weeks to start seeding the “good” / healthy bacteria in your gut.
How to Find the Best Travel Probiotics
When we looked for the best probiotics for travel to Mexico, here are the questions we asked:
- Are its ingredients high quality, transparent, and without fillers and artificial additives?
- Are its CFU (colony-forming units) high enough to be effective?
- Has this supplement been vetted?
- Does it contain a variety of probiotic strains, including those ideal for the prevention of traveler’s diarrhea?
- Is it affordable?
- Is it easy to find/order online?
We don’t want you to fall trap to clever marketing by companies that slap the name “Probiotics” on supplements that have crappy fillers and don’t work well.
We looked for trusted brands that met standards and were approved by the government and medical authorities. You’ll need to make sure your probiotics have at least 100,000,000 CFUs (although 1 billion and up is ideal). Anything less than that really won’t do much (especially in the time frame of two weeks before a trip).
When it comes to the price and count, make sure you check to see the dosage.
For example, a bottle of 30 for $40 might sound reasonable until you look at the back and see instructions to take them twice per day. That’d come out to just two weeks’ worth, and so $80 for a month’s supply.
In other words, don’t judge the overall bottle price by itself. You should really look at it as the price per day’s serving.
However, it’s still worth it to invest some money into preventing traveler’s diarrhea. Don’t go for the cheap, ineffective probiotic supplements!
The Best Probiotics for Travel to Mexico
- 20 probiotic strains + a prebiotic
- 60 billion CFUs
- Vegan capsules
- 2 capsules per per serving
- Microencapsulated & designed for timed delivery
- No allergens, flavors, or preservatives
- Lower price than competitors
- 70% organic
Especially for travel, these organic, hypoallergenic probiotics contain a huge dose of strains and CFUs that should take care of the job. Something I love about these is their affordable price. They’re quite lower than their competitors, especially considering the price per serving (even with 2 capsules).
The capsules are time-released and so its strains work optimally where they’re supposed to work. Your gut’s less likely to get overwhelmed all at once, as their capsule protects and allows them to get to your intestinal tract.
The only thing I’m never a fan of— having to take 2 capsules. Most of us would rather take one and save space on the bottle.
However, these have a giant number of CFUs, and they likely didn’t want to make the capsules too big.
- 60 billion CFUs
- 10 strains
- Capsule (1 per serving)
- Acid-resistant, with active-polymer sleeve
- No refrigeration required
- Delayed release
- Vegan & Hypoallergenic
- Patented shelf-stable bottle
Just one of these organic, vegan, and hypoallergenic capsules is enough to have your gut covered for the trip.
They have a capsule that’s highly acid resistant, thanks to the patented active-polymer sleeve. This is great, since otherwise our stomach acid tends to negate a lot of the probiotics we take. This capsule’s sleeve ensures that as many probiotics as possible survive.
They also have a patented bottle that keeps them living longer. That means you won’t have to refrigerate them.
- 100 billion CFU
- 34 strains
- 1 capsule per serving / day
- 5 prebiotics
- 9 digestive enzymes for gut health
- Flavored & colored with organic fruits & veggies
- 100% organic raw probiotics
- Zero carbs / keto-friendly
- Patented shelf-stable bottle
These just might be the superheroes of probiotics. When it comes to strains— these are loaded with 34!
They’ve also included prebiotics and some digestive enzymes, which is helpful when going to a foreign country (since you most likely will encounter foods you haven’t before).
These have smart-designed capsules that make sure the probiotics don’t die in your stomach acid.
Refrigeration isn’t necessary with their patented bottle. This also means they’ll last a good while in general.
Vitamin Bounty Pro-100
- 100 billion CFU
- 13 strains
- 2 capsules per serving/day
- Vegan, hypoallergenic capsules
- With vitamin C & zinc
- Delayed release
- No refrigeration required
- Shelf-stable, freeze-dried probiotic strains
These incredibly-high CFUs have a delayed release and shelf-stable capsule and bottle.
They’re also fortified with vitamin C and zinc to further support digestion and immunity. The vitamin C isn’t incredibly high (as you can drink some lemon water and get more than that), but the zinc is an especially nice touch.
Because they’re freeze-dried, you won’t have to worry about refrigerating these (which is about impossible on a flight).
These are just on the pricier side (and you have to swallow 2); however, for the price of the bottle, they have included a full 30-day supply (60 total capsules).
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can I give my travel probiotics to my kids?
If you’re bringing the kiddos along to Mexico, you definitely don’t want a hotel room of sick kids.
However, you also shouldn’t give them probiotics made for adults. Companies now make excellent, kid-friendly versions of probiotics that have lighter CFUs and are easier to get down even stubborn mouths.
It turns out that taking probiotics (as long as supervised by a doctor) is great for a kid’s gut health and overall immune system.
Here are our favorites for kids: (As always, consult a pediatrician beforehand.)
Garden of Life Organic Kids Probiotics & Vitamins C + D
These chewable tablets have flavors that might make you wish you were a kid again: berry cherry, strawberry banana, & watermelon.
Not to mention, they’ve got 5 billion CFUs and 14 strains and are shelf-stable. Garden of Life is a trusted brand for natural, organic supplements. These are dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free for kiddos with allergies or problems with their immune system.
Taking probiotics like these is more like eating candy.
These organic, sugar-free tablets have been all the rave with parents. They’re loaded with 3 billion CFUs and 5 targeted strains. This probiotic supplement for kids was designed for survivability and has a great shelf life.
It also comes in yummy flavors like strawberry vanilla and tangy orange.
What are probiotics?
Your stomach and digestive system has all sorts of gut bacteria. We label some of that bacteria “good,” since it helps us feel well and digest more peacefully.
Probiotics are outside sources of the “good” bacteria and yeast that help us out when our guts get off balance (that is, our literal guts; they won’t help us make tough decisions!).
Good bacteria and a balanced gut is also critical for general health and wellbeing. Here are the body functions we need “good” bacteria for:
- Mood & mental health
- Vitamin production
- Cholesterol balance
You can find probiotics either in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt or in supplement form. Although, whether we eat these probiotic-filled foods or not, most of us don’t really get enough and our overall immune system often reflects that. Many of us are told to get them when we get prescribed antibiotics, for example, since antibiotics often kill the healthy bacteria in our guts.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country (especially a developing country), it’s recommended that you take them to prevent or curb traveler’s sickness.
How many bottles should I buy for my trip to Mexico?
For a 1-2 week trip, and taking into account that you need to start at least 2 weeks ahead of time, you’ll need roughly one bottle per person.
Most bottles contain a 30-day supply in terms of servings, so you can take half before your trip and continue taking them during your trip.
For couples, you’ll need to buy 2 bottles, or 1 month’s worth per person. For kids, the servings per bottle varies, but you’ll need to consult their doctor and then (with doctor’s permission), start them on probiotics around the same time as you.
What else can I do to prevent traveler’s diarrhea?
Since traveler’s diarrhea is caused by bacteria, you’ll want to avoid bacteria.
Taking measures like washing your hands, avoiding buffets, making sure to wash raw fruits & vegetables, and drinking only bottled, filtered water will go very far. You don’t want too much unhealthy bacteria to enter your digestive system.
Even if you take travel probiotics, you need to do these things! Not even the best travel probiotics are 100% effective.
How do you treat traveler’s diarrhea?
Here are some tips from the CDC on how to treat traveler’s diarrhea/travelers diarrhea:
- Go heavy on the fluids.
You’ll want to stay hydrated since traveler’s diarrhea (and diarrhea in general) can make you dehydrated.
- Ask for the nearest pharmacy (or ask for assistance from a hotel concierge) to get your hands on a common over-the-counter medicine for traveler’s diarrhea— loperamide.
This or an antidiarrheal helps you not have an accident on yourself (gives you more time to get to the bathroom on a bus or plane).
- Seek medical attention, as you may need antibiotics; however, don’t take them on your own without a doctor’s prescription