Don’t Overdo That Caffeine Fix

Friday, August 13th, 2021

For van hire in Auckland, get in touch with us. We have a great line-up of rental vans in our fleet, with vehicles for moving a group of people as well as lots of things.

Much of our Auckland van hire is booked by people going on long-distance journeys. For example, a family group taking a holiday road trip around the North Island, or parents moving their kids to universities in other cities like Palmerston North and Wellington and looking for a cheap way to transport their belongings. Whatever the reason, road trips usually have one thing in common. Coffee! It’s the drink of choice for drivers wanting to stay alert while they’re on the road…but does it work as well as you think?

It’s been found that too much caffeine can make it difficult to get the amount of restorative sleep you require to stay alert and focused during the time you’re awake. Research has confirmed that high caffeine intake prolongs the period of time it takes to fall into a deep, restorative sleep, and because of that, it decreases total sleeping time. This means you might start your journey in your hire van or car without being rested enough to handle a long drive. Your decision making can be affected and your reactions on the road can become dangerously slower.

While caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and some soft drinks can boost your energy levels in the short term, once the caffeine leaves your system, that “pick me up” effect is reversed. You can plunge into a state of fatigue and if you’re driving at the time, that can lead to disaster.

At this point, you might suggest that you keep on drinking coffee to maintain high levels of caffeine in your system. When it comes to your health, that’s not a smart idea. A study of more than 3,000 truck drivers in England monitored their caffeine intake; 1,653 drank one caffeinated drink each day, while 1,354 drank five or more. As you’d expect, the high-use group had a lower standard of general health. As well as this, they got less sleep before their journey, reported feeling sleepier while driving, and said they were more likely to partake in dangerous and aggressive driving manoeuvres. They were also involved in more crashes than the group of drivers who ingested just one caffeinated beverage every day.

So while it is commonly accepted that caffeine is the wonder chemical that will keep us awake and sharp, the opposite is true. Regular drinks of water will keep you hydrated and more alert, so when it’s time for a drink, don’t go for coffee all the time. One or two during your journey is fine – but in between, reach for the water.

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