Driving hungry? 6 foods that can increase your concentration
March 29, 2022
Eat well to feel well.
The sentiment runs true, you are what you eat. And for some of us, we associate eating healthy with losing weight or getting into shape, but consider how your diet may influence other aspects of your life.
Yourfavorite playlist, caffeine in the morning and even driving in silence can help lead to more focus on the road, but what about what you eat? Let’s look at how your snacking habits can help lead to more focus and concentration while driving.
How food can increase your concentration
Nutritional habits play a significant role in your productivity. What we eat and drink can give us that surge of energy when we need it the most (hello, early mornings) or set us up for the midday crash.
It all comes from the connection between sugar and the brain. The body widely depends on a form of sugar known as glucose to function. That glucose comes from what we eat. In a Ted-Ed lesson by Nicole Avena, she explains how sugar from our food triggers the brain’s reward system to release dopamine. With more variety to your diet, that glucose produces a steady supply of dopamine to the brain.
This steady supply of dopamine usually comes from eating a diet that has complex carbohydrates and varies every day. Avena mentions that the brain can become conditioned and bored when we eat the same thing every day, leveling off dopamine levels. A balanced, varied diet can keep sending signals to your reward system to continually produce dopamine levels.
What does all of that dopamine do for you? Healthline shares how this neurotransmitter is a crucial component of helping you stay focused on the road. Besides its “feel good” function, dopamine can also help with memory and focus, motor control, alertness and stress response.
To put it simply: The food you eat produces glucose and sugars, which then signal the brain’s reward system and release dopamine. Dopamine can help assist in your focus and concentration. Steady and consistent dopamine levels can come from eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods.
Snacks and foods to eat for focus
Now that we’ve covered how food can help us improve focus and concentration let’s address which foods can contribute to more focus behind the wheel. WebMD shares six brain foods that can help improve concentration:
Fish. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish is an excellent protein source for brain health. Consuming fish can play a vital role in enhancing memory.
Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which can lead to less cognitive decline.
Chocolate. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants and stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus.
Avocados. Fruits (yes, fruits) like avocados can reduce the risk of heart disease by enhancing blood flow to fire up the brain.
Whole grains. Food like popcorn and whole wheat can contribute to daily dietary fiber and vitamin E.
Blueberries. Diets rich in blueberries (nature’s superfood) have been shown to potentially improve learning and muscle function, as well as slow the rate of cognitive decline.
These foods, along with diets rich in complex carbohydrates, can help you stay more concentrated and focused on the task at hand—like driving. But what about when you’re on the road? Gas stations and fast food restaurants may seem like the unlikeliest of places to find a healthy meal, but you’d be surprised.
The gas station can be full of your favorites, but before you reach for that bag of chips, consider opting for things like fresh fruit, boiled eggs, cheese sticks and granola bars. These can be healthier options to eat before getting back on the road that will give you the much-needed brain boost you need to stay alert and focused.
Now, if you forgot to pack your snacks ahead of time and are in the drive-thru lane, find things on the menu that won’t weigh you down. There are plenty of fast food restaurants that offer salads, soups and vegetable options. Look for grilled meat options, opt for a salad and consider taking a pass on ordering it with a drink. And remember, eating while driving can be a distraction so take the time to stretch your legs and find a place to sit at a restaurant. Or pull over and eat before hitting the pavement again.
Why focus matters on the road
The way you start the day can say a lot. By eating foods that can help contribute to your focus not only in your day-to-day life but on the road, you’re living mindfully. The good choices you make every day, even when they don’t seem significant, have a big impact on the world around you.
Staying focused and present on the road are things we recognize at HiRoad, and you should be rewarded for it. So why not let that come from what you eat? With good choices in your diet, you can be rewarded for making good choices behind the wheel.
Eat well. Feel well. Drive well.The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with HiRoad®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. HiRoad is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. HiRoad makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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