Best Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving
Best drinks to Stay Awake When Driving

The monotony of long road trips can easily cause drowsiness. It’s the hum of the road that can put you to sleep. For safety reasons it’s imperative to stay awake at the wheel.

The following are the most effective ways to help fight drowsiness when driving long distances. This is the real experience of professional drivers, combined with the results of medical research and advice from doctors.

#1 Best Drink to Stay Awake While Driving: Coffee with Caffeine

Research says that "To evade drowsiness while driving, many individuals will drink coffee with caffeine". In fact, does caffeine really help individuals stay awake when they are feeling tired behind the wheel?

What is caffeine?

Caffeine excites your brain and central nervous system, which keeps you alert.

Caffeine is a chemical that’s found in coffee beans and tea leaves. It works by stimulating your central nervous system and brain, blocking adenosine, a sort of sleep-regulating receptor, from functioning.

Additionally, it might boost your alertness and keep you awake for long periods of time. Thus, reaching for some caffeine is a bonus when you need a boost, be it to counteract that afternoon slump, or while you’re driving.

One of the numerous methods to remain awake while you’re on the road is to consume a caffeinated beverage like an energy drink.

Of course, the amount of caffeine you’ll need to keep you awake while you’re driving ultimately comes down to how fast or slow your body metabolizes the caffeine.

That said, even if your caffeine tolerance is quite high, it doesn’t give you a free pass to have as much caffeine as you like.

Can Caffeine Keep You Awake?

There are several ways that drinking coffee will keep you awake while driving.

The first advantage is that coffee has a brief diuretic effect. When drivers are sleepy, the coffee can help them stay awake. Caffeine-drinking test subjects performed better on a subsequent driving test than those who received a placebo or a nap or were given caffeine while sleep-deprived.

Researchers from the Australian Department of Defense discovered that even after 40 straight hours of wakefulness, moderate doses of caffeine significantly improved sleep-deprived people's ability to drive.

The driving simulator was used to conduct a series of test drives, keeping study participants awake for 50 hours. Caffeine was administered to half the participants at regular intervals, and a placebo was given to the other half.

Throughout the experiment, participants completed a simple 40-minute driving scenario every three hours. Each of the 15 identical scenarios involved traveling at 80 km/h without encountering any other vehicles, objects, or intersections. Driving skills were evaluated based on lane-keeping, speed, and collisions. The vehicle was reset to the middle of the road in the event that the driver "crashed" while driving. Before leaving the lab, participants received a 9-hour recovery sleep after remaining awake for 50 continuous hours.

As anticipated, all participants' driving abilities started to deteriorate after 48 hours without sleep. However, drivers in the placebo group displayed the risky symptoms of drowsy driving much earlier than those who had consumed caffeine.

At any point after 19 hours of wakefulness, speed variability, lane deviations, and catastrophic lane deviations were all significantly lower in the caffeine group than in the placebo group. After 22 hours, drivers in the placebo group began to crash, whereas those in the caffeine group didn't crash until the experiment's 40th hour.

Read More: Does Coffee Really Dehydrate You And How to Manage?


*The FDA has stated that a daily caffeine intake of up to 400mg for healthy adults is safe. Any more than that, and you might end up with adverse effects such as: Rapid Heartbeat, Dizziness, Headaches, Restlessness/Jitteriness, Dehydration.

Therefore, make sure to moderate your daily caffeine intake to prevent yourself from going over the limit.

*If you plan to drive for a long period of time (over four hours) you will need to periodically drink more coffee during the entire trip. If you fail to do so, the fatigue will come back with a vengeance. Because of this fact, experts suggest you DO NOT DRINK COFFEE during trips over four hours.

Best Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving, According to Professional Drivers
Can a Caffeine Buzz Improve Driving Safety?
Coffee is a stimulant that improves alertness. Grab a cuop of coffee before your trip if you think you’ll need one, or pull over and get one if you’re feeling tired. Be careful with the caffeine though – you can overdo it.

Related: Best Car-Driving TIPS for BEGINNERS

Use anti-drowsy medication?

There are many medications on the market that can keep you from getting sleepy while driving. The primary component of these drugs is modafinil. This is an active component that improves information transmission to energize the brain and improve focus.

When taken while driving, anti-drowsy medications are frequently quite effective. To be used only in "emergency" situations, this is not advised. Consult your doctor before taking any anti-drowsy medication.

#2 Top Best Energy Drinks (Sugar and Caffeine) To Keep You Awake While Driving

Best Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving, According to Professional Drivers
Best Energy Drinks to Stay Awake When Driving

It is your duty as a driver to pay attention to your surroundings and to the road at all times. As a result, whenever you are behind the wheel, you must be fully awake. Fortunately, you're rarely on the road by yourself when you're driving. You might have other drivers in addition to your passengers.

But if you ever feel sleepy, you might need something to jolt you awake and give you a little extra energy. Energy drinks can help you with this by giving you the vigor and concentration you need.

Can Energy Drinks Keep You Awake?

Due to their caffeine and sugar content, energy drinks assist you in staying awake while driving. They provide you with the boost you need to give your body the energy it needs. It is best to serve the energy drinks cold. Cold stimuli make you feel more awake and alert, claims a study. You will undoubtedly feel more alert and focused if you combine the cold sensation with caffeine and sugar.

The brain and nervous system are the targets of caffeine's effects as a natural stimulant. Some energy drinks also contain sugar, which, along with caffeine, gives you the energy you need.

Your body will produce insulin in response to the introduction of sugar, which will increase blood flow and thicken the blood. People might refer to this as a sugar rush.

What Energy Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving?

We’ve curated a list below of the best energy drinks that will keep you alert throughout your travel.

Red Bull

Red Bull is the highest-selling energy drink in the market. Red Bull was the first-ever beverage that advertised itself as an energy drink and was made by Dietrich Mateschitz in 1987 in Austria.


Made by Hansen Natural Company, Monster Energy Drink is one of the best-selling energy drinks in the world. In a 16 fl. oz. can of Monster, 160mg of caffeine is contained, which is a moderate amount. They offer a wide range of products: low carb, sugar-free, and their own 300mg caffeine energy drink.


The Monster Beverage Corporation recently introduced Reign Total Body Fuel, a moderately new product on the energy drink market.

One can of it contains 300mg of caffeine, which is a significant amount. It can now be counted among the other potent energy drinks as a result. It makes a point of claiming to be sugar-free and to lack artificial flavors and colors. Additionally, the beverage contains electrolytes, which maintain and balance your body's water levels and keep you hydrated.

C4 Energy Drink

Cellucor released C4 energy drink on the market in 2006 after years of development and research. The energy drink contains 135 mg of caffeine. If you don't want a sugar crash while driving, they also come in sugar-free varieties. It's a great option if you want caffeine content that falls in the middle because it has an average amount of caffeine.


Originally from the UK, Lucozade Energy Drink has a caffeine count of 46mg within a 380ml bottle. You have two options when it comes to bottle size: 380ml and 500ml. Lucozade is a great choice for you if you have a low tolerance for caffeine. They also offer a sugar-free option for some of their drinks, so that’s a plus if you’re looking for something healthier.


Rockstar has been one of the leading brands in the energy drink industry for as long as anyone can remember. The energy drink has around 160mg of caffeine and has 250 calories inside one 16 fl.oz can. In terms of caffeine content, it is on the middle ground. Not too high to be cautious and not too low if you’d like a big boost.


If you're driving, Aspire is a delicious energy drink that's a good option. Regarding nutrition, Aspire offers multivitamins (C & B-Complex) and makes the claim that its products are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan-friendly. They boast that their energy drinks are sugar- and calorie-free.

If you have a low tolerance to caffeine, a 12 fl. oz. can of Aspire, which is on the lower end of the caffeine spectrum, would be ideal for you. Your neighborhood convenience stores, big-box supermarkets, and a number of online retailers all carry Aspire Energy Drink.


Previously known as Elements Energy, Venom Energy Drink contains 162mg of caffeine in one 16 fl.oz can They also offer a low-calorie version of their energy drink, which you may like if you are calorie-conscious.

Hour Energy

5-Hour Energy Drink comes in a tiny 1.93 fl. oz. bottle and contains a whopping 200mg of caffeine, which is a lot given its small size. The energy drink advertises that it contains only 4 calories, no net carbs, and no sugar.

We would only suggest this extremely strong beverage if you have a high tolerance to caffeine and are planning a long drive. So only consume this if you are confident that you can handle the caffeine. Otherwise, stick to the alternatives that contain less caffeine.


Bang Energy Drink is the third highest-selling energy drink. It also has one of the highest caffeine content on this list, having a heavy dosage of 300mg. So only drink this if you have a high tolerance for caffeine. While Bang is sugar-free, I wouldn’t recommend the classic series to you if you have a low tolerance for caffeine.


With only 50mg of caffeine, REIZE has just enough to keep meyountally sharp and focus while you are on a drive.

REIZE is also sugar-free and calorie-free, so you don’t have to combat the sugar crash nor worry about your calorie intake.

#3 Other Ways to Stay Awake on the Road, According to Professional Drivers

Best Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving, According to Professional Drivers
Effective Ways to Stay Awake While Driving

If caffeine and energy drinks are not your choice, do not fret. There are other methods of staying awake when you are tired behind the wheel.

Top 10+ Best Ways to Stay Awake When Driving

1.Food to Eat and Avoid

*Munchies and Snacks

Do you want to be certain that your brain is working efficiently? Try to eat while you are driving.

Snacks cause your facial muscles to contract, promoting blood flow to your head. This would give you a steady supply of energy to fight fatigue while you're driving.

The following are a few examples of munchies and snacks to bring: Make sure to keep them within your reach for simple access while you maintain your focus on the road.

-Trail Mix

-Dried Berries


-Protein Bars

*More Foods To Consider

-Iceberg lettuce (especially towards the stem) helps keep you awake. Read more here.

-Apple – Biting and chewing the apple is what keeps you awake not the fruit itself. Carrots are also good.

-Dehydration can cause fatigue drink water.

-Celery which is high in magnesium helps.

Foods To Avoid

-potatoes or other starchy vegetables

-pancakes or waffles. Keep the fat content low.

-pizza, bacon or steak

-No cheese, cream, or milk with fat.

-ice cream, cake or pie.

2.Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can stimulate your facial muscles, similar to munchies and snacks, which encourages blood flow to your head.

Choose your preferred flavor, then put one in your mouth. Chewing gums contain sugar, which causes your body to produce insulin to combat the sugar and keep you awake and alert.

Unlike unconscious processes like breathing or blinking. Chewing is a deliberate action that stimulates and activates the brain.

So by using your facial muscles while driving, you're not only keeping yourself awake but also stimulating your brain, which is a great thing.


On occasion, the car's occupants become silent, or if you are alone, the only sound you hear is the engine's soft rumble. Your body and mind tend to feel drowsy and uninterested in that situation.

You can stimulate your brain by playing upbeat music to get it moving, but be careful not to play it too loud, as you still want to be able to hear the sounds of the outside world and other cars honking.

You can even sing along to your favorite songs to sharpen your vocal chords and increase your alertness. You can sing along in the vehicle if there is a passenger.

*Listen to an audio book. Before your trip, download an audio book to your phone and listen as you drive.

*Sing along with the radio. The others in the car may not enjoy this too much, but belting out your favorite tunes will help you stay awake and energized.

4.Stop and walk around, exercise

Utilize the landmarks and rest areas as much as possible as you travel. Just as recess and gym classes are meant to help elementary school students refocus, getting up and moving will help keep your body energized when you sit back down. This method might also be effective if you frequently find yourself losing your focus at work.

Your brain might be reminded that it is not time to go to sleep by stopping at a rest area to get some fresh air and stretch your legs.

Pull over and perform some jumping jacks or take a quick, brisk walk if you're feeling especially exhausted. Your heart will pump more vigorously as a result, assisting in waking you up.

Exercise improves brain blood flow and can help you feel less stressed. These can help you stay more awake while you're driving.

5.Drive and Talk with Your Passengers or Partners

There is more than one benefit to driving with another person in the car. They can keep a conversation going to keep your mind active, and if you are getting too tired, you can switch places to get some rest.

Related: 9 Ways To Stay Awake At Work without Coffee

6.Don’t Get Cozy – Turn down the temperature

Feeling warm and cozy can create a false need for sleep. But, have you ever tried to sleep when you were cold? By turning down the temperature in the car by a few degrees, you can shock your senses a bit and wake your whole body up. If your really tired the colder the better. Also consider rolling down the windows. The wind noise will help.

Lower the car window or choose the air conditioner to get outside air

The lack of oxygen in the cabin causes the body to become easily fatigued when driving with the door closed and the air conditioner on for an extended period of time. In order to ensure that there is enough oxygen in the car's cabin and prevent fatigue, if you have to sit in a car for a long time, you should occasionally choose to open the window or get outside air. When traveling long distances, you should use this anti-drowsy driving remedy.

7.Stop for a mid-drive nap

If going for a long haul, 4 hours or more, stop mid way through and take a 20 minute nap. Be sure to check out our selection of all the most comfortable RV mattresses to make these naps the best part of your drive!

8.Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m

When you normally sleep and when falling asleep is difficult to resist, avoid driving.

Avoid driving in the late afternoon or between 12 and 6 in the morning, when accidents involving drowsiness are most likely to occur. If this isn't possible, then drive carefully and pay attention to your surroundings. Watch for drowsiness warning signs in yourself, such as lane drifting or running into rumble strips, and keep an eye out for similar behaviors in other drivers.

9.Sit up straight

If you’re slouching in your seat, you may be more apt to fall asleep. Good posture will give you more control over your vehicle and improve your hand-eye coordination.

10.Don’t drink alcohol and avoid medications

Never drive after drinking. Drinking impairs your ability to drive and makes you feel more exhausted. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited as well.

Even the legal limits of alcohol for driving can make you drowsy while operating a vehicle. If you already feel fatigued, you should be extra cautious.

The same is true for prescription and over-the-counter drugs that make you feel sleepy, particularly allergy medications. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure to research any new medications' side effects. If any of these side effects include sleepiness, think about switching to public transportation.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene: Sleep hygiene refers to habits and practices that help ensure an adequate amount of high-quality sleep each night. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help you feel more alert and well-rested in the morning.

#4 Conclusion

These pointers ought to help you drive safely by helping you stay awake and alert.

Even though driving when fatigued is dangerous, there are strategies to avoid it. It's a good idea to drink coffee before and/or during the drive. Keep in mind, though, that obtaining a good night's sleep is the best defense against drowsy driving.

These brief strategies to manage fatigue while driving were explored in a UK driver survey published in the Journal of Sleep Research. They came to the conclusion that if you need to do any of these, you should stop and take a break.

The best course of action is to take regular naps. If taken every six hours, 15-minute naps were proven to preserve performance after 35 hours without sleep. Taking naps can actually change your life. Even four minutes of eye closure in your seat can be beneficial. Also, they don't pressure you to alter your plans. It only requires stopping in the closest parking lot or gas station.

Driving while drowsy is unsafe. That may be even riskier than driving while inebriated. To stay awake while driving, try some of these tactics. Likewise, if you frequently experience fatigue when driving, don't be afraid to look into other choices for traveling around.

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