Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

You’re traveling to Mexico, & want to AVOID getting the dreaded Montezuma’s Revenge….amiright??!  My brother recently went to a wedding in Sayulita….& EVERY single person at the wedding got sick ~ except the groom!!  Though Sayulita is gorgeous (they film “Bachelor in Paradise” here), it’s known to have a problematic sewer system & very poor drinking water.  Many guests had been advised to take probiotics & grapeseed oil prior to the trip.  Clearly: neither worked.  If you’re headed to Mexico, you need something more powerful than that ~ & here, I’ll tell you the two must-pack items for your Mexico trip to keep you from getting sick!! 

Montezuma’s Revenge be gone!! 

How to Avoid Montezuma's Revenge, Girl Who Travels the World, Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

Do you want to be relaxing on the beach…or married to your toilet in Mexico?! These two items should have you doing more of the former, not the latter…

**Author’s Note: Article updated as of October 2023. I’m an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase any of the recommended products below through my links (I will very much appreciate it) ~ & I may earn a commission on them, at NO extra charge to you.

Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

The two most potent, over-the-counter supplements to pack for your Mexico trip, are: 

1) Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), & 2) Activated Charcoal.  HCL is taken BEFORE your meal; charcoal is taken AFTER a questionable meal.  I’ll go into brief descriptions of each supplement below.  Note: If you’re sick for longer than 1-2 days, go see a doctor!


Activated Charcoal

Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

1) Take Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) BEFORE Any Questionable Meal

I brought HCL pills on a three-month trip through South America, under the advice of my naturopathic doctor.  Prior to her advice, I’d never heard of hydrochloric acid (HCL).  It turns out that HCL is something we already have in our system: it’s the primary stomach acid responsible for digesting & breaking down our food.  It also kills harmful bacteria & toxins ~ which is why HCL is crucial for the traveler to Mexico, or any other country with a water system we’re not used to.

HCL creates a more acidic stomach environment, which is ideal to kill foreign toxins in your system.  Some people are afraid of the word “acidic.”  But remember: your stomach is supposed to be an acidic environment.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to break down food.  This is why many people take Apple Cider Vinegar before meals; vinegar is highly acidic, & helps your body digest meals better.  Oh….& during that three-month South America trip, despite eating at roadside stands & having ceviche ALL the time ~ I didn’t get sick once.  My friends who didn’t use HCL?  Not so lucky.

Best Product

Best ProductsNOW Betaine HCL with Pepsin.  This supplement contains pepsin also (your other stomach acid), making it even more potent.  Take the recommended dose of HCL BEFORE any “questionable” meal, i.e. salads, ceviche, sushi, fish, etc.

Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

 2) Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is very trendy right now ~ it’s in everything from shampoo to face masks.  But why is it important for the traveler?  Activated charcoal is one of the most effective emergency decontaminants, & works directly in the stomach & intestine, to remove toxins.  Let’s say you’re in Mexico & you eat a salad; a few hours later, you start feeling queasy.  If you take charcoal AFTER the meal, it will bind with any toxins & help carry them out of your system.  (And yes: your poop may be black the next day….totally normal when taking charcoal.)

Once upon a time….my little black lab puppy, Dylan, accidentally ate 50+ Advils.  The doctors told me he wouldn’t survive ~ & that, if he did, he’d likely have too much brain, liver, & kidney damage to function normally.  But, the one thing they could try, was to give him charcoal: because of its ability to REMOVE toxins ~ which in this case, was Advil.  

The charcoal ended up saving his life, & he’ll celebrate his 11th birthday this year.

How to Avoid Montezuma's Revenge, Girl Who Travels the World, Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

My dog, Dylan, with his teddy bear at Dove Lewis Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon ~ after 48 hours in intensive care. Charcoal saved his life. (This photo was taken over 6 years ago).

Best Product

Best ProductNature’s Way Activated Charcoal.  Nature’s Way is one of the only brands that offers activated charcoal.  It’s about $7 for 100 capsules.  This is powerful stuff, & only take AFTER a “questionable” meal or drinks.  DON’T take charcoal with other medications.  It will bind with them too, thus, wasting your money.  Wait 2-3 hours before taking other medications.

Two Must-Pack Items for Your Mexico Trip

I’m curious: have you ever heard of hydrochloric acid before?  What about charcoal?  Let me know if you’ve used either supplement, & what your experience was in the comments!

xoxo Noelia 

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Two MUST-Pack Items for a Mexico Trip! Girl Who Travels the World

Why Activated Charcoal is a Mexico MUST-Pack!! Girl Who Travels the World