Going to the Beach with IBS

Summer is around the corner, and beach days are inevitable. Soaking up the sun and taking in the ocean air is dreamy, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have IBS and are unprepared.

For many years, just thinking of going to the beach was stressful, and I always avoided the opportunity to go.

Getting ready for the beach with IBS

My first recommendation is to be realistic with yourself. If you are in a severe flare and find yourself a slave to your washroom, then a beach outing is probably not the best idea.

However, if you are in a place on your IBS journey where symptoms are manageable. You have urgency but not frequently, and have an opportunity to go to the beach—I’m here to encourage you to go. If you take the necessary steps to plan ahead. beach days can be magical and relaxing.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

How to enjoy a trip to the beach

Here’s how I ensure that I have a memorable and enjoyable beach day:

1. Eat safe foods

A big tip I would like to share is to eat your safe foods the night before and day of your beach day.  Most importantly the day of. Stay away from any trigger foods for breakfast.  You want to give your stomach the best chance of feeling its best for the day. No surprises.

Also it is wise to bring snacks. Snacking at the beach is obligatory, and if you are going in a group others will have foods to snack on which probably will include your trigger foods.  Having your safe foods on hand will make snacking easy and stress free.

2. Pack an emergency kit in your beach bag

In my beach bag, I always have an extra bathing suit to prepare for the worst.  I also have wipes, and a set of dry clothes to change into. Preparing for the emergency is always key.

Each beach is different. You might have access to restrooms, you might not. Plan accordingly. If there is no restroom available, I would highly suggest packing toilet paper and wipes.

3. Stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated is a no brainer. Lately I have been drinking coconut water which is an excellent source of electrolytes and minerals, far superior to any sports drink. Staying hydrated helps IBS symptoms remain calm.

4. Locate bathrooms

Depending on where you go to the beach, there might be bathroom access. Locate the bathrooms and position yourself in an area where you can get to the restroom quickly in the event any urgency hits.

5. Relax

Take your mind off the stress of having an IBS episode while out. Stay in the moment. Listen to the waves crashing. Play some music. Keep yourself entertained and don’t loom on any negative thoughts. If you are prepared and have a plan for an urgent IBS situation have peace of mind that you have solutions to any problem that may present itself. Worrying is unproductive.

Health benefits of a trip to the beach

The ocean is incredibly healing. Spending time on the beach, with toes in the sand and swimming in the salt water is scientifically proven to lower inflammation in the body amongst so many other health benefits. Sunshine is also essential to our health and well-being—the best form of Vitamin D is through sun exposure.

So get out there. Beach days are great days. Have a plan. Be prepared. Stay entertained. And you will see that enjoying a day at the beach is possible and manageable with IBS.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.