Business Travel


A large part of a business people’s scope of work is traveling, whether it is by air or land (or in some cases by sea). And for many of us, we may be making two or three flights within a day to get from one city to another; hence making these trips pleasurable is of utmost importance not just to get ready for the meeting, but we can also use the downtime to get some work done.

So, the last thing you need is to feel ill while traveling because you consumed the wrong type of food before or during your commute.

Here are some foods to avoid if you’re about to have a meeting, presentation or going on a business trip: –

  • Nuts

When nuts are digested in our body, they create intestinal gas. Some common nuts that have this are almonds, cashews and pistachios. Their fermentable fibers are fermented in our body’s digestive system and produce these intestinal gases. It ends up causing bloating, and the effect tends to worsen when you are in a pressurized cabin of an aircraft.

  • Dried Fruit

While having a high content of sugar and calories, dried fruit also creates intestinal gases. If eaten in high quantities, they tend to add a lot of sorbitol and fiber to our gut. This draws out water creating high amounts of intestinal gases.

  • Gum and Mints

The last thing you need while on a train or a flight is having bloating or diarrhea. So stay away from snacks high in sugar alcohols like xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol.

  • Hummus

Another gas-inducing food that you want to keep away to prevent bloating. This will also include dried beans, soybeans, lentils, edamame and bean dips.

  • Granola Bars

Granola bars that contain chicory root are another no-no. Chicory root is a food that can induce bloating because it contains fermented fibers. So make sure to check the label before you buy them.

  • Potato Chips

Acid reflux, bloating and swelling in the hands and feet are some of the symptoms you can expect to have if you consume potato chips in large amounts during your travels. The snacks are high in fat and salt and provide little or no nutrition. Having extensive contents of salt can induce water retention that promotes bloating. You might also want to stay clear of pretzels and peanuts that are offered as snacks on flights.

Preparing for a presentation

In preparing for a presentation, don’t think that sipping on some alcohol will calm your nerves. Would you be comfortable if your pilot downs a couple of pints just before take-off because they feel nervous? I didn’t think so. And don’t think that it can help you be a better presenter. Alcohol is shown to have an adverse effect on your memory.

When you are nervous, you’re already having problems remembering your slides and notes and adding alcohol into the mix won’t do you any good. Alcohol will also inhibit your thinking process, concentration and speech pattern, which are critical for a good presentation. And don’t forget, drinking alcohol will affect your breath. So best to stay away from that practice if you don’t want to turn off your audience. A celebratory drink afterward? Perhaps, but not before.

Apart from that, here are other foods to stay away from before a presentation: –

  • Dairy – Will build up mucous in your throat. Don’t consume milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt.
  • Orange Juice – Will cause thickening of saliva
  • Fatty Foods – Will take time to digest. Hamburgers, fries, pizza and even caffeinated drinks
  • Sodas – These drinks may induce gas and bloat. Also, try to avoid cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower to prevent this from happening.
  • Water – Seem trivial, right? Go easy on the liquid as you don’t want to be running to the restroom in the middle of your presentation.

Reducing or limiting your consumption of these food items, mainly processed and sugary foods, is beneficial for the body’s long-term health. If you’re someone prone to suffering from IBS or indigestion, no matter what the situation, it’s best to follow a low fodmap probiotic, which is a diet low in fermentable carbs often recommended for managing irritable bowel syndrome.

When choosing office catering food for a meeting, it is essential to consider what type of food you will order and how it will work best for your meeting. Here are some foods you want to avoid ordering and having before or during a meeting: –

  • Garlic and Onion

Your business meetings will revolve around a lot of discussions with either your peers, subordinates or customers. So, let’s not give them an unpleasant experience with your breath. Bad breath is one of the worse things to deal with when communicating with someone. So, stay away from any food that contains garlic or onions.

  • Spicy Foods

Not everyone can agree to a curry-based cuisine, so best not to have any if it isn’t a staple part of your diet. Having a bowl of super-hot curry might sound tasty, but it could leave you red-faced and constantly gasping for air and water.

  • Spaghetti

No one likes a suited tainted with sauce stains before a meeting. Not a good first impression. Hence, best to be safe and leave this meal away for when you’re back home, and it can be messy a bit.

  • Ribs and Wings

These are great for after-work snacks with drinks but never before formal meetings. Anything that requires you to wear a bib is best left to be eaten before entering the boardroom. It is just too messy.

Good nutrition contributes to better overall health leading to better clarity and focus. Eating the right kinds of food allows you to plan what you’ll be eating throughout the week and prepare your stomach and mind to focus on the essential things to get done. Choosing to eat specific foods before an important meeting or business trip also helps you eat cleaner and healthier than those who do not. You also will be more focused on your work and avoid the risk of eating something unhealthy.