Ease Up On The Caffeine When Driving
When it’s time for a well-earned break at our tyre shop in South Auckland, we enjoy a cup of coffee while we catch up on all of the gossip coming out of the world of tyres. But when it comes to jumping in the car and driving on a long road trip over the holidays, we limit our caffeine consumption. If you’re about to head away yourself, we suggest you do the same. If you rely on coffee to keep you alert while you’re motoring, then we have bad news: all that caffeine might be doing you more harm than good.
Most of us drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages in the belief it will keep us awake. During long road journeys, particularly at night, it is the beverage of choice. Most of us can hold up our hands and say we’ve bought a coffee each time we’ve stopped during our road trip, whether it’s from a cafe or service station. But too much caffeine can make it very hard to get enough restorative sleep that allows you to stay alert during your waking hours. Research confirms that high caffeine intake increases the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, and may also decrease total sleeping time. As a result, you might start your journey without having enough sleep in the bank, and this can affect your decision making and slow down your reactions on the road.
By the same token, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages are renowned for boosting your energy levels but once the caffeine leaves your system, that is reversed. You can go into a deep state of fatigue and if you’re behind the wheel at the time, that can have disastrous effects.
Of course, you could just keep on drinking coffee to keep caffeine in your system. But besides the insomnia we spoke about, there’s also the adverse health risks. An English study monitored the caffeine intake of more than 3,000 truck drivers; 1,653 drank just one caffeinated drink each day and 1,354 who drank five or more. You guessed it, the high-use group had poorer general health. And, just to rub salt into the wound, they slept less, reported feeling sleepier while driving during the day, were more likely to indulge in risky and aggressive driving behaviours. One more thing: they were involved in more crashes than their counterparts who were on a low-caffeine diet.
While there’s nothing wrong with a coffee or two every day, the team at Drury Tyres suggests you don’t overdo the caffeine on your road trip. Regular drinks of water will help you stay hydrated and alert, so go for the H20 more regularly and make coffee a treat.