So we are approaching the last week of May already; doesn’t time fly? But the great news for many of us is that we’re now getting in to festival season!

There are festivals taking place all over the UK and Europe in June, which is great for all the lovers of music and culture out there…but don’t forget that many of the elements of a festival (lack of sleep; changes in diet; availability – or otherwise! – of decent toilet facilities) can play havoc with the digestive system – and therefore overall health.

So this year, follow our mini festival ‘survival guide’ and enjoy the carnival atmosphere whilst maintaining good gut health:

  • Burgers, sausages, kebabs and similar greasy foods are not going to please your stomach so try to find a healthier option where possible. Fatty foods are not great for your digestive system so why not try a healthy alternative; what about falafel in pitta bread with salad? You may be surprised to discover that there are healthy food options available at most major festivals.
  • As you are more than likely to be on the go from one band to another, take some snacks that you can easily fit in your bag such as fruit or cereal bars. Both are great for snacking on throughout the day, and will help eliminate the need for unhealthy snacks such as greasy chips!
  • Know your limits with alcohol. Excessive alcohol irritates the stomach, so it can lead to nausea, cramps, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Try alternating alcohol with soft drinks and make sure you set yourself a limit.
  • Make sure you take your own tissues, toilet roll, wet wipes and antibacterial hand wash – those regular festival-goers amongst you know the toilet cubicles can be a real breeding ground for germs!
  • Help prepare your digestive system for the festival experience by taking extra care over your diet before you head off. A number of ‘festival factors’ such as dehydration, inactivity and differences in eating habits can upset the gut flora, so ensure you eat as healthily as possible in the run up to and during the festival – see the Good Gut Food page for more information and top tips.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /