Here's the deal:
You're about to go on a long drive and you don't want to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Been there, done that - it (almost) didn't end well. If my eyes opened a few seconds later, I'd have hit a tractor trailer head on. After that experience, I made sure to never drive while even slightly tired again.
There are many ways to stay awake on a long drive that we'll cover in this post, including the best energy drink for driving long distances.
Let's dive in:
What is the Best Way to Stay Awake While Driving?
Try to avoid driving long distances alone if possible - a passenger can make sure you're not falling asleep behind the wheel, and if you're getting too drowsy, you can take turns in the driver's seat as well.
Those who drive long distances alone - like truckers, for example - don't have this luxury. Still, there are other ways to stay awake while driving.
First and foremost, make sure you have adequate sleep. No amount of coffee or Red Bull can make up for a bad night's sleep.
After all, your body can last longer without food than without sleep, yet many people don't do their body justice and often run on empty in the sleep department. A solid eight hours of sleep is ideal here.
Next, don't start a long drive late in the day, especially at a time when you'd normally be going to bed. Rather, it's best to start bright and early, shortly after waking. Driving when you're fresh and alert is the best way to stay awake while driving.
Taking a break every few hours is another great way to keep yourself awake - typically, I stop off every 2-3 hours at a rest area. Stretching your legs, grabbing a drink, and having a snack can keep you going on a long drive.
Lastly, using a caffeinated drink like coffee, Red Bull, or even better, Early Bird, will keep you awake and alert on the road. It's important to note, however, that relying primarily on caffeine and ignoring sleep/rest stops is a terrible idea.
Can You Drink Energy Drinks and Drive?
Yes, you can definitely have energy drinks and drive, but not all energy drinks were created equal.
Low-quality energy drinks may be loaded with caffeine, and downing too many of them on a single drive can actually have negative effects.
The FDA regulates how much caffeine companies can add to soft drinks, but because most energy drinks are marketed as supplements, companies can work around those restrictions, adding as much caffeine to their energy drinks as they please.
For example, a can of Monster Red Line can have up to 3x the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.
Although caffeine helps you stay awake in small doses, too much caffeine can have the opposite effect. Ingesting too much caffeine can lead to caffeine intoxication; side effects include twitching muscles, slurred speech, and increased irritability.
Furthermore, using energy drinks/caffeine as a sleep substitute is even more dangerous. Caffeine from energy drinks does not replace the awakeness/alertness one gets from a good night's sleep.
For a short amount of time, caffeine can seem to do the trick - but when the caffeine wears off, the driver is back to square one and sometimes, worse off than they started.
Still, drinking coffee or better yet, a supplement like Early Bird can definitely help you stay awake on a long drive when combined with adequate sleep.
In fact, Early Bird is great for staying awake on a long drive because of its fast-acting, long-lasting energy and other natural ingredients that have been shown to reduce brain fog, boost mental clarity, and keep you feeling great all day long.
What to Drink When Driving Long Distances?
Water is always the best thing for your body, so definitely make sure you're hydrated. Most energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster are basically sugar and caffeine in liquid form, which ends up dehydrating you rather than giving you energy.
Coffee and tea are both good options for people driving long distances, especially truck drivers. But better than all of the above is Early Bird.
Early Bird is a new supplement that makes it easy to wake up early and get sh*t done, the Early Bird mantra!
After years of being forced to wake up early, I desperately wanted to figure out a way to make waking up early easy and better yet, enjoyable.
That led me to discover the 3 secrets to waking up early, feeling great. If you want to check out the full story, click that link to learn more. But long story short, if you want to finally wake up early feeling great, here's what you need:
- Supercharged hydration
- Fast-acting, long-lasting energy
- Mood enhancement
Ever wonder why you wake up so thirsty in the morning? It's because your body loses about one pound of water overnight from breathing. Considering hydration is key for brain function among other things, starting your day without properly hydrating is detrimental, to say the least.
That's why Early Bird mixes with water, and uses electrolytes which help to supercharge hydration first thing in the morning.
Next, you need to give your body fast-acting, long-lasting energy. Don't get me wrong - an energy drink isn't a substitute for a healthy breakfast, but the ingredients in Early Bird are designed to jolt your body awake first thing when you wake up.
Trying to start your day without giving your body energy is a recipe for disaster. Overnight, your body goes into sleep mode. Your muscles stop moving, and everything relaxes.
Jumping out of bed and expecting your body to adjust instantly simply won't work. It's almost like trying to jump start a car that's been sitting in the cold all night. Early Bird is full of nutrients your brain and body need to get going fast and keep going all day long.
Lastly, you need to enhance your mood first thing in the morning if you want to have a good day, or in this case, a good drive.
Your mood first thing in the morning has been shown effect the rest of your day, so feeling good in the morning is key to a productive day and a great road trip.
Don't believe me? Try kicking the wall as hard as you can first-thing in the morning and let me know how the rest of your day goes.
That's why Early Bird also has a bunch of nutrients that are meant to enhance your mood early in the morning - more on that below.
Best Energy Drink to Stay Awake While Driving
Early Bird is definitely the best energy drink to stay awake while driving long distances.
Most energy drinks - and even coffee from the average coffee shop - uses synthetic caffeine, which is far lower quality than natural caffeine from the green coffee bean.
L-theanine - an amino acid found in tea leaves - is another ingredient in Early Bird that promotes smooth energy and intense focus.
Next, Early Bird uses GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps your brain cells better communicate with each other, promoting better focus, concentration, and clears your head.
Ashwagandha (KSM-66), which combats brain fog and promotes mental clarity. After all, you can give your body all the energy in the world, but if your brain isn't functioning properly, it won't matter much - you'll still feel miserable!
If you want to learn more about the Early Bird story and try some yourself, you can check it out here.
Moral of the story?
Early Bird is the best energy drink around for driving!
Tips for Driving Overnight
Here are some tips for overnight driving:
Keep The Lights Low
Although driving in a dark cab sounds counterintuitive, it's actually better for long drives overnight.
Bright lights inside your car/truck while contrast with the darkness outside, placing added strain on your eyes and making it harder to stay awake. Turning the lights down - or better yet, off - is actually the best thing to do for a long drive.
Driving without sleep, even using Early Bird, isn't a good idea. There's no replacement for enough quality sleep each night, especially before a long drive.
When driving at night, try to sleep during the day. It's not a great idea to start your drive many hours after waking, as you'll already have used most of your energy. Instead, start the drive shortly after rising.
You'll have to adopt a nocturnal schedule (sleeping all day and staying awake all night) but in this position, it's the best move. Investing in blackout curtains is a great way to sleep during the day, as natural light will likely keep you up.
This way, you can wake up and start the drive feeling refreshed.
Nourish Your Body
You wouldn't put low-quality fuel in a nice car, so you should do the same for your body. This rule applies in all aspects of your life, but it's especially the case on a long-drive. Don't eat foods that give you a short burst of energy followed by a crash. Instead, healthy food that gives you fast-acting, long-lasting energy will keep you on the road and wide awake all night long.
Hydration is Key
Along with proper food, drinking plenty of water is also important. Sure, you may have to stop off to use the bathroom more often than you'd like, but it's better than driving dehydrated and drowsy.
Take a Break
Stopping off for a walk once in a while is always a good idea. Stretch your legs, get a drink and grab a snack every now and again. You'll feel much better than if you try to drive ten hours straight.
Take a Nap
When all else fails, don't be afraid to pull over and go to bed. It's better to show up a few hours late than not at all. There are plenty of rest stops along the way where you can sleep in your car, not to mention hotels.