Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by Rose Morah
How long you’re able to stay alert while driving for long hours depends mainly on what you eat while driving or during stopovers.
Some foods will invite sleep. Others will give you unexpected excitement or anxiety while driving, which may interfere with your levels of alertness while driving.
However, taking snacks rich in nutrients can help boost your level of alertness and thus keep you awake for long hours while driving.
The snacks need to have high levels of:
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Healthy complex carbohydrates.
- Vitamin C & B.
It is important to note that staying awake while driving means that your brain is alert, you’ve got good energy, and you’re well hydrated.
All the road trip snacks that we have discussed below are non-refrigerated.
See also: How To Keep Food Fresh While Traveling.
Healthy non-perishable road trip snacks that help you stay awake while driving
1. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds can help drivers stay awake for long hours on road trips.
In one published research conducted by Pnina Gershon and two other scientists (Accident; Analysis and Prevention, Sep. 2009) with aim of combating driver fatigue, the effectiveness of sunflower seeds was compared to energy drinks in helping drivers stay awake.
The conclusion was that both sunflower seeds and energy drinks can effectively help combat driver fatigue.
The activity of using your teeth to remove the sunflower seeds shell helps drivers stay awake when driving for long hours.
I have also heard many drivers swear by this (sunflower seeds) as one of the best road trip snacks that helps them stay awake while driving mainly because;
- It helps beat boredom, which may lead to sleeping while driving.
- It helps drivers stay alert.
However, you need to note that:
- Chewing sunflower seeds will not be effective if you are driving while fatigued.
- Sunflowers can also be salty and may leave you very thirsty. Thus carry enough water to quench the thirst.
- Make sure that this does not interfere with vehicle handling.
See also: Tips For Driving Long Distances At Night.
Here are other health benefits of sunflower seeds
|Lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
|Lower risk of developing heart disease.
|Rich in healthy fats
|Reduce Inflammation (which causes chronic illnesses).
It helps fight infections and increase your blood flow.
|Boost your immune system.
|Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
|Boost your energy levels.
According to research conducted at Wheeling Jesuit University in Western Virginia by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, cinnamon can help you stay alert while driving.
Dr. Raundenbush found that sprinkling cinnamon powder in your smoothie or even sniffing it while you are driving increases alertness, lowers frustrations and anxiety, and reduces fatigue.
Personally, I love buying snacks that contain cinnamon while traveling. I have found it to be quite effective in combating fatigue.
You can also bake using cinnamon or carry cinnamon powder and sprinkle it in your drinks. It adds a delicious flavor to drinks!
The following are some other benefits of cinnamon according to BBC good food:
|CINNAMON HEALTH BENEFITS
|It has probiotic properties, which are great for improving your gut health.
|It relieves digestive discomforts.
|It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
|It has essential minerals such as magnesium, fibre, and calcium.
|It has anti-inflammatory effects.
See also: How To Travel With Frozen Food On A Plane.
3. Sweet Potatoes snacks
Sweet potato snacks are one of my best healthy road trip snacks.
They help boost your energy levels and relax your muscles.
A sweet potato recipe can make an excellent healthy snack for road trips. I normally get most of my recipes from Pinterest.
According to La Canada Care Center, the following are some health benefits of eating sweet potatoes:
|Help reduce anxiety and stress levels.
|It has a higher concentration of choline & anthocyanins
|Helps reduce and prevent chronic inflammation in your body.
|Vitamin E & C
|Helps with hair loss and great skin.
|Rich in fibre
|Great for food digestion.
4. Chia Seeds
The more hydrated you are, the longer you will keep awake while driving.
Chia seeds help you stay hydrated for long hours. This is because they help your body retain water for many hours and throughout the day.
They also contain protein, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids that help boost your energy while driving.
The good thing is that chia seeds have a long shelf life!
Wondering how you can turn these tiny seeds into fun snacks?
Here are fun ways to eat chia seeds while driving:
- Chia truffles. This is mostly a combination of chia seeds, cocoa, dates, and oats.
- Chia protein bars. You can either make a homemade chia protein bar, which is very healthy, or just buy one.
- Sprinkle it in your yogurt and smoothies.
- Add chia seeds to crackers.
- Add chia seeds to your water.
- Soak them in milk and add flavor such as vanilla (Allow the mixture to soak for some time)
Here are some other health benefits of chia seeds:
|Omega-3 fatty acids
|Improves your cholesterol levels.
It keeps you full for long.
|Have cell-protecting antioxidants
|Improves cardiovascular disease.
|It is a good source of minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, niacin e.t.c
|Helps control your blood sugar.
5. Nuts (Almonds and Walnuts)
Almonds and walnuts are among the best nuts that help you stay awake while driving.
This is because they both contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your brain health and help boost your alertness.
Additionally, almond nuts are rich in melatonin hormone. According to medical experts, this hormone helps regulate your sleep cycles.
Almonds also have magnesium and calcium, which help in muscle relaxation.
All the above road trip snacks are non-refrigerated, which makes them perfect healthy road trip snacks.