With highway hypnosis, bad drivers, and road-weariness, drinking coffee and 0ther caffeinated beverages can be the traveler's best friend and worst enemy. Although it keeps him or her awake on the road, it also makes it difficult for the driver to fall asleep when they stop for the night. It also makes it harder to get up and back on the road in the morning, resulting in an endless cycle of tiredness and caffeine. Sugary treats, however, will provide a short burst of energy that is quickly followed by a sugar crash.
In contrast, healthy food helps keep you alert and full, but doesn’t provide too much sugar. This helps you avoid energy crashes and sleepiness that are especially dangerous when you’re driving a large RV. “Any time you go longer than four to five hours without eating, the body’s energy levels can crash significantly,” claims Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. “Having a nutrient-rich snack that’s low in sugar and saturated fat will ensure your body has the fuel to keep going so you can easily complete all of your daily tasks.”
In other words, it’s a good idea to prepare healthy snacks before you begin your journey; otherwise, you may find yourself incurring costs to your health and wallet from making quick convenience store food purchases. When making snacks for the trip, it’s important that they are quick and easy to prepare, as well as convenient to eat on the road. It's best if they make little or no mess in your RV. Check out these tasty and healthy snack ideas before your next road trip.
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself awake and alert while driving is to eat a high-carbohydrate food like fruit, chips, or chocolate. The sugar provides an instant boost of energy
Fruit and Fiber. Apples, strawberries, and oranges provide 160% of your daily value of Vitamin C. From seasonal apples and pears to easily peeled bananas, fresh fruit dipped in chocolate sauce or peanut butter, available in single serving dips or squeezable pouches are an easy and inexpensive choice.
There are also many varieties of dried fruits. Raisins, dates, fruit packs, fruit chews, and single serving fruit cups are available at most convenience stores and supermarkets.
Carbs and Crunch. Snacks that provide a sweet something to chew on are great options for the road. The sugar helps keep you alert. Prepackaged muffins, graham crackers, or high fiber dry cereal like Fiber One or Total Raisin Bran, for example, offers approximately 156 mg of omega 6 and 14 mg of omega-3s
Carbs and Calcium. If you can get to the refrigerator while on your trip, you probably have ample options for healthy snacks on the road. Consider delicious smoothies for the ease of consumption and the endurance they provide. With the protein, dairy, as well as vitamins and antioxidants from whatever fruit or vegetables you add, they keep you alert while easily fitting in your RV's cup holders.
Oatmeal Cookies. Always a go-to snack, these tasty treats pack fiber, sugar, and crunch all into one nifty package. Make your own before hand or grab some on the way.
Salty food is an easy “go-to” treat, but many people find they retain water when eating it. That said, there are many easy options that can provide energy while keeping you alert while driving. Consider the following.
Crunch for Clarity. Popcorn, whether it’s cheesy and buttery or caramel and sweet, this crunchy snack food provides energy and the jaw-action required to stay awake on the road.
Crunch and Calmness. Energy on the road is easily obtained by the selenium, vitamin E, omega 3s, and magnesium that a handful of raw seeds, almonds, and walnuts provides. Additionally, this healthy snack helps to keep you calm and happy, avoiding the irritability that hunger (and other drivers) causes. Pistachios, another great choice, provide the extra benefit of requiring fellow passengers to shell them, which helps keep your co-pilot awake and alert, as well.
Crunch with Protein. Some of the most satisfying treats pair sweet with salty and add a bit of crunch. For example, similar to the Salty & Sweet nut bars, there is a large variety of trail mixes that hit the spot. With the instant carbohydrate energy rush of raisins and perhaps even chocolate, tempered by peanuts and granola, trail mix was invented for the perpetual traveler.
Other options include prepackaged single serving crackers with peanut butter or single serving cheese and crackers. These are inexpensive, as well as easy to grab, pack, and eat on the road.
For some people, sweet or salty just doesn’t cut it. They require something with a bit more substance and panache. For them, the decadent flavors of meats and cheeses are just the thing to satisfy and keep them going.
Crunch with Veggies and Healthy Fats. As previously mentioned, eating something crunchy that requires a lot of chewing helps you to stay awake. The popular snack called “Ants on a Log” is an easy option that is favored by the young and old alike. Just wash a few, conveniently sized celery sticks and fill the openings with peanut butter, then top with a few raisins. For variety, consider using almond or cashew butter and craisins, rather than traditional raisins.
Another no-fuss option is to pack individual sandwiches or snack bags of carrot sticks, which provide 25-percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 18-percent of the daily value of folic acid, and 14-percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Bring a few packets of ranch dressing or maybe even hummus to use as dipping sauce. For variety, substitute or supplement the carrots with sliced peppers or cucumbers, or even crackers.
Protein for Longer Staying Power. Many people swear by high-protein snacks for being able to hold them over longer than other foods. For long journeys, make a few mini-meals to have along the way. Hard-boiled eggs, for example, are inexpensive, easy to make, and easy to eat on the go. Cook them the night before, then refrigerate them ahead of your trip. These nifty snacks produce energy from the thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12, and B6 they produce to keep you at your best.
Another easy option is to make an ensemble of ½-sandwiches for the road. They are less filling than a whole sandwich and help keep you going between meals. Consider peanut butter, as a high-protein option, but avoid turkey, since the tryptophan tends to make people sleepy. And it’s a good idea to steer clear of salty meats like pastrami, salami, or ham, as they often cause water retention.
It is always better to plan for and prepare snacks ahead of time rather than discovering mid-route that you are hungry, grumpy, or functioning at less than your optimal levels. By bringing a few nutritious snacks, you are less likely to require frequent breaks and more likely to make it to your destination on schedule.