Did you know that among many road accidents that occur, drivers dozing off is one of the main occurring cause. This is because we might push ourselves to drive despite our sleepy conditions and sometimes our mind just wonder off and lose focus.
Driving daily to and fro work or school is a different type of drive compared to long distances. Sometimes we need to drive many miles between states for a vacation or to visit a family member.
Usually on long distance drives, we’re not alone, so it’s good to be with passengers, but if you’re driving alone on a long drive, be sure to be well aware of your condition, for the safety of you and other road users.
What to look for in energy drinks
It’s no secret that caffeine and sugar are the main ingredients in energy drinks, that’s what provides the energy.
Choosing an energy drink with the appropriate caffeine and sugar content is beneficial to your long drive. You do not want to consume it in excess as you’ll be then in for a crash (hopefully not your car, just caffeine & sugar crash).
A caffeine or sugar crash won’t help you on your drive, it could also leave you feeling lethargic and you might lose focus. In order to avoid it, choose an energy drink with moderate amounts of caffeine and sugar suitable to your tolerance.
Energy drinks nowadays also comes with many added ingredients like taurine, guarana and B vitamins.
I know for a fact that guarana adds to the caffeine content in energy drinks therefore if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might want to make sure there’s no guarana in it.
Price & Availability
Why pay more for energy drinks that basically contain the same ingredients? I know when you’re on the road, there’s not much options when you stop to get an energy drink at the gas station or any convenience store.
This is when you can opt to buy your energy drinks in bulk beforehand, not only is it cheaper, you can bring along a few on your road trip and have it at hand whenever you need to.
Don’t have any extra space for your cans of energy drinks? Fret not – try powdered energy drinks that come in sachets!
It doesn’t take up space and can easily be mixed in water for you enjoy it anytime, anywhere.
Disclaimer: if you’re gonna mix it while on the road, do ask your passenger to do it for you or quickly stop somewhere.
Why do I get sleepy while driving?
First and foremost, Sopite Syndrome exist. It’s a part of motion sickness, just that you don’t throw up but instead feel sleepy. That could be one of the reason why you get sleepy while driving.
The subtle vibrations that you feel when your car is in motion could drive you into sleepy town.
Other than that, you’re more prone to be sleepy behind the wheel when you’re driving alone and on lack of sleep. These two factors can cause you to doze off.
Can caffeine help me for a long drive?
Caffeine, an ingredient in energy drinks, coffee and tea can help you for a long drive.
In a research conducted on how caffeine affects drivers driving a stimulation while being kept awake 50 hours – those who consumed 200mg of caffeine managed to “stay alive” up to the 40th hour as opposed to those without caffeine in their system, they “crashed” at the 20th hour.
This shows that caffeine can help us drive safer while on a long car journey.
Can energy drinks help against microsleep while driving?
Yes, energy drinks can help against microsleep. This is due to the caffeine content present, as caffeine mimics adenosine, blocking sleep receptors in our brain and keeping us awake.
Microsleep occurs when we lose consciousness for a few seconds, on average it’s 4 to 5 seconds, some up to 30 seconds.
You could microsleep in monotonous situations, which sounds pretty harmless, if you microsleep during a meeting or while watching a boring movie, but while on the road? All it takes is 5 seconds to lose consciousness and crash.
Therefore, if you’re prone to microsleeping, maybe not drive alone? If you do need to do so, energy drinks could help you against microsleep but it’s not a cure or long term solution.
How can I stay awake on a long drive?
Other than relying on energy drinks, there are also many tips and tricks to stay awake on a long drive.
Prepare a playlist that could accompany you and excites you to sing along with. You could also crank up the volume and have your own mini concert.
Little snacks are also good to keep you awake, some nuts or a bar of chocolate cause sometimes hunger could cause you to lose focus.
And if you start to feel sleepy or stuffy, open the windows and get some fresh air in. That should help you stay awake on a long drive.
How to stay focused on long drives?
As important as it is to stay awake during long drives, it’s also as equally important to stay focused as well.
Keeping focused while driving is vital in order for you drive at a good speed and be alert of other road users.
An energy drink could help you stay focused while driving.
How do passengers stay awake on a long car journey?
You might not be the driver but riding in the passenger’s seat is equally important especially on long drives.
I personally won’t feel comfortable dozing off and letting the driver stay awake driving. I would try to keep awake as well or at least take turns with other passengers to nap.
As with the driver utilizing energy drinks to keep awake, I too can drink energy drinks on a long car journey.
Sometimes it’s also nice to sing along to songs, or play games in the car like “I spy”.
It’ll be good to keep the environment lively so the driver doesn’t doze off in boredom, but in all liveliness too be careful not to have too much fun lest the driver loses focus.
Can energy drinks reduce driving fatigue?
Yes, energy drinks can reduce driving fatigue. It’s right there in the name, energy drinks can boost your energy levels.
The caffeine and sugar content in energy drinks can enable you to not feel tired and stimulate your brain for better concentration on the road.
How to prepare for a long drive?
You should ensure that your vehicle is in good condition, if possible send it for a quick service before travelling the distance.
As for yourself, if you’re driving on unfamiliar route, do a quick Google search about your route to find out pit stops along the way.
Be well rested before heading out, and remember to bring along some energy drinks.
How often should you stop when driving long distance?
Every 2 hours, more or less depending on how you feel.
You could also plan your stops to coincide with meal times or interesting places along the way. It’s also good to stop every time you need a bathroom break, as holding in your pee could cause you to lose focus on the road.
Best energy drinks for a long drive
Ready-to-drink energy drinks
Guru Energy Drinks
Guru Energy Drink has 100mg of caffeine that is derived naturally from guarana extract and green tea leaf extract.
It’s also marketed as a healthy and natural energy drink with echinacea flower extract and panax ginseng root extract.
It however contains 21g of sugar from cane syrup and white grape juice concentrate, so you decide for yourself whether it’s something you would like. I personally think the sugar content is a bit on the high side.
Check the current price on Amazon.
XS Energy Drink
XS Energy Drink comes with only 80mg of caffeine and it’s sugar free. I think it’s actually a pretty decent choice of energy drink for your journey.
There’s also a variety of flavors to choose from and 2 caffeine-free options, if you wish for that.
The one thing with XS though is that you’ve to purchase it online, either on the Amway website or on Amazon. So don’t expect to find it in stores along the way.
Mix-it-yourself energy drinks
Advocare Spark Energy Drink
Advocare Spark Energy Drink has 120mg caffeine, the highest amount on this list, but should be a good amount to help you on your drive without giving you any side effects.
I don’t know bout you but having the jitters or headaches while driving isn’t safe.
Advocare Spark is also sugar-free and comes in 10 different flavors, if you’re a fan of choosing flavors.
Shop this energy drink from Amazon.
REIZE Energy Drink
With only 50mg of caffeine, REIZE Energy Drink doesn’t have as much caffeine as most energy drinks on this list, but it’s able to give you the energy boost you need.
The low levels of caffeine and the fact that it’s sugar-free, leaves you worry free of any crashes afterwards, which is good news when you’re on the road.
At around $1 per drink including shipping right to your door, REIZE is definitely the most affordable energy drink option on this list.
What are you waiting for?
Give REIZE a try for yourself and you might just find that it quickly becomes your favorite energy drink for the long drive.