March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and it reminds us that our fifth cup of java may actually be harmful to our health. When we stop and really consider all of the sources of caffeine we consume in our daily routines, not just coffee, you may start to realize why you have sleepless nights, increased blood pressure, and agonizing stomach acid which can all be caused by too much caffeine.

Caffeine is present in many different things:

  • Sodas
  • Tea
  • Chocolate/Cocoa
  • Guarana/
    Energy drinks
  • Coffee
  • Headache medication
  • Coffee flavored ice cream

At North Central Utility we’re not just concerned about trailers, but also the drivers who pull those trailers, so here are some less detrimental substitutes for truck drivers to try during National Caffeine Awareness Month, and who knows you might just find that an alternative to slamming yet another cup of coffee might be beneficial in many ways.

Eat a healthy meal:

Although it’s very easy to find yourself in the drive thru of your favorite fast food restaurant, go for the healthy alternative and avoid that stop altogether. The fat and sugar contained in most fast foods will increase your chances of becoming sleepy. Things like sliced bananas, apples, grapes and pears, cut veggies or washed baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. Add a container of low-fat dip for flavor. Single-serve packets of tuna with easy-open tops and crackers.

Take Vitamins:

Vitamins B and C are good for boosting energy. Take them with a healthy meal to reap the full benefits.

Pull over if you get tired:

When and if you feel yourself getting tired, pull over. Get out of the cab and stretch your legs to get your blood flowing again. Use the time to inspect your truck once again in addition to boosting your energy.

Turn up the volume:

If you’re listening to music, turn up the volume. Listen to music that will get you energized and sing along with it. It’s just you, so no need to be embarrassed, let loose.

Take a Nap:

Before you hit the road, take a 20-minute cat nap to give your body a boost for the long trip ahead. Studies show that sleeping for less than an hour gives your body the energy it needs to stay awake longer. Don’t resist your body’s natural urge to rest. Your body will thank you later.

Listen to an Audio Book:

If music isn’t your thing, listen to an audio book. Keeping your mind engaged on the content will help you stay awake. Listening to someone else’s voice may also help you feel less lonely and that someone is in the cab with you.

 Open the window:

If there is a nice, crisp breeze outside, crack open the window. The cold air will give your body a temporary boost and keep you awake longer.

Stay hydrated:

Contrary to belief, drinking plenty of water will reduce your chances of fatigue. Though you may be making frequent breaks, dehydration causes fatigue and no one wants that. In addition to drinking water, try to avoid caffeine. It will wear off, leaving you even more tired and can cause you to stop for the restroom.

So during Caffeine Awareness Month in March try to be cognizant of the foods you eat and drinks you’re consuming because you never know how things effect your body.