Life on the road can be long and tiring and pulling over for fast food or taking a break at a greasy diner has become the quick fix for many trucker’s hunger pains. Studies performed by Harvard Medical School around 2014 revealed that truckers not getting enough sleep are often also pulling over for a double cheeseburger and fries.
The study tested 542 workers at eight different U.S. trucking sites. Most of the employees were around 49 years old and were employed for at least 15 hours a week. The surveyors looked at the drivers diet choices in the three categories of fruits and vegetables, drinks with added sugar, and sugary snacks. The surveyors also noted work-related factors like job stress and supervisor encouragement.
The biggest difference in the findings was the amount of vegetables each group ate. The 52% of workers that were getting enough sleep were taking in around three servings of fruits and vegetables. The drivers were not getting enough rest ate less than two.
Truck drivers must pay careful attention to their blood pressure and heart health. Simple tips like these can make a big difference:
- Pack your own food. Not only is it easier to make healthier choices this way, it will save you cash. Bring some ice packs for your mini-fridge to keep your meals fresh.
- More protein means leaner food. Try to choose foods packed with fat burning protein. Some examples are hard boiled eggs, raw walnuts, almonds, chicken or fish, and unsweetened peanut butter.
- Have some smart snacks. Fattening snacks like a bag of potato chips won’t keep you full for as long as things like cheese sticks, fruit, and peanuts will.
- Stay away from white pasta and bread. Always look for whole grain bread and pasta. Other things to watch out for: candy bars and soda with lots of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup increases your insulin and makes you crave more often.
- Sneak in some cardio between hauls. You will always be on a busy schedule, but spending just 30 minutes a day on cardio will give you more endurance for the roads. Go for a walk around the rest stop or bring a medicine ball to work out with in your motel room. A healthy body means a clear mind, which will help you be a more efficient driver.