5 NATURAL WAYS TO PREVENT SCUBA DIVING MOTION SICKNESS
DON’T LET MOTION SICKNESS STOP YOU FROM ENJOYING YOUR DIVE.
You’re all suited up and on your way to the boat. Gear loaded, you and your friends hit the water and begin towards the dive site with excitement. A few minutes out and you notice the waves are rougher than you expected. Suddenly, you’re not feeling so hot. Whether it’s in a car, plane, or boat, motion sickness is all too common and it can quickly ruin a day of diving.
Sure, you could take an over-the-counter medication for motion sickness, but the number one side effect is drowsiness. Feeling sleepy during a dive is no good. Let’s take a look at five natural ways to prevent motion sickness while scuba diving.
No Booze or Coffee
If you have a big dive coming up, make sure to avoid alcohol the night before and coffee the day of as both of these are diuretics and promote dehydration. One of the easiest ways to prevent motion sickness is to keep yourself hydrated with an electrolyte-based water or sugar-free sports beverage.
Alcohol, more so than coffee, is going to cause trouble the day of a dive as it unsettles your stomach and makes you susceptible to motion sickness. If you’re already prone to seasickness, drinking alcohol the night before (or heaven forbid the day of…) is going to guarantee your stomach won’t be ready for the water.
A common mistake that divers make is not eating the day of their trip. You don’t want to get on an unstable surface with an empty stomach; this is true for cars, planes, and trains as well. You don’t need to eat a feast before heading to the boat, but you need something that is easy to digest, natural, and not fried or heavy in fat.
If possible, I’d recommend eating a well-balanced breakfast such as scrambled eggs, toast, and a piece of fruit. If you’re heading out early, eat a grab-and-go meal that contains carbohydrates and protein that are easy on the stomach. Eat this one hour before the dive. Make sure you drink a glass or two of water with your breakfast.
Here are a few options:
· Whole wheat toast / English muffin with a fried egg
· Whole wheat crackers with hummus
· Pretzels with low fat peanut butter
Click here to read about more dive-friendly meals.
Chat, Don’t Text
With everything at our fingertips, we’ve grown accustomed to looking down. After all, it’s how we communicate, check our e-mails, update our social media, and read articles on International Diver. Our phones have connected us in an amazing way with the world, but if there is a time to put the phone or tablet down, it’s while you’re in a moving boat.
Constantly peering down as the boat is jumping over small waves and the landscape is rushing by is a sure-fire way to trigger motion sickness. Be social with the other divers on the boat. Look up and straight ahead. Distract yourself with actual conversation until you hit the dive spot. No one to talk to? Admire the landscape; just don’t look down.
It’s great for tea and making Indian dishes, but ginger is also a superfood with benefits that extend past culinary greatness. Ginger has been a go-to solution for motion sickness for many years. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but it’s been proven to be effective against motion sickness in multiple studies. Best of all, it’s inexpensive.
Chop up a few pieces of raw ginger root to make ginger tea. Sip the tea the night before and the morning of your dive. I’d also recommend chewing or swallowing whole a piece of raw garlic. Sip real ginger ale – not sugar-loaded soda – while you’re on the boat on the way to the site. I’ve used this trick several times when heading out to snorkel and it works every time.
Not a fan of the taste of ginger? Try a ginger supplement the night before and the day of your dive. There are three other supplements that have some scientific backing for fighting motion sickness:
Vitamin B6: Studies show that daily supplementation of vitamin B6 can help to alleviate seasickness.
5-HTP and Magnesium: Taken the night before and the day of, this supplement duo can ensure you don’t succumb to motion sickness.
Activated Charcoal: While there’s no study to back this one up, there are plenty of users on forums swearing by it. Activated charcoal from coconut shells can be mixed with water. Drink up the day of your dive.
Here are a few more supplements for scuba diving for you to consider.
How Do You Avoid Motion Sickness?
Do you have your own tricks? Is there a method I missed? Let me know in the comments below!