On long stretches of highway its common to reach for coffee or a sugary snack for a quick pick-me-up. But if your goal is to stay alert and awake for more than a couple of hours, caffeine and sugar are not the best solution.
Believe it or not, the muchies you choose in between meals can determine your level of alertness while driving just as much as any quick fix. When deciding on the snacks that will keep you the most attentive for long periods of time, remember that a slow and steady glycemic index wins the race.
Foods with a low glycemic index such as nuts, beans and protein, slowly break down in the body and provide a steady source of energy by keeping your blood sugar levels low, preventing the crash into drowsiness that high-glycemic, high-sugar foods will give you after just a short period of time.
Wellness & Prevention, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company) put together a list of foods grouped together according to their glycemic index. We narrowed it down to the worst and the best road-snackable foods for alert truck drivers.
Here’s a list of high-glycemic foods to STAY AWAY from:
Cake / Cupcakes / Donuts
Rice Cakes or Rice Crackers
Sodas, Sports Drinks (or any sweetened beverage)
Here some of the best STRATEGIC SNACKS to keep you alert:
Pitta + Hummus
Banana + Hazelnut Spread
Nuts: Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Pecans, etc.
Seeds: Sunflower, Pumpkin
Celery + Peanut Butter
Mozzarella String Cheese