Summer Road Trips Part 2: Energy, Hydration and Nutrition

We’ve got you covered when it comes to keeping your body limber and energized on a long road trip but what about the cotton mouth, dry eyes and fatigue so many of us experience on the road?

Concentrating on the road and your next move can leave you sometimes staring, forgetting to blink or even to take a sip of water. Add roadside convenience food to the mix and energy levels plummet. These things can leave you overly fatigued and all before your vacation’s really even begun. Here are some things to keep in mind for a summer that’s fun-filled, energized and worth the long drive:

Drink plenty of fluids — especially in the summer. Your body is 65% to 90% water and as such it needs to be replenished regularly to function optimally. Recirculated air, especially when using the air conditioner can be extremely drying to the body. Make sure you are taking in water, 100% juice or iced herbal teas to get the most benefit.

Skip the junk food —  just because fast food and convenience stores are convenient doesn’t mean they’re the best for your energy and your body. Loaded with sugar, salt, fat and preservatives, these energy sappers will have you ready to doze or worse headachy, dehydrated and pooped when you reach your destination.

Bring a good quality eye drop like Similisan (in dry eye and allergy formula) to keep your peepers hydrated in dry conditions. These are natural, homeopathic formulas that, unlike commercial brands, won’t make your eyes drier. Stopping to give your eyes a drink anytime you take a potty break will have you remembering to blink (instead of staring at the road ahead) and keep the recirculated air from doing a number on your corneas.

Pack healthful snacks for your road trip. It only takes a few extra minutes prep (and a small cooler) to ensure your energy and hydration is at it’s best for the long haul. Here are some examples:

  • Try crunchy, easy to eat items like carrot sticks, cucumber slices or ants on a log (celery sticks filled peanut butter and topped with a trail of “ants”- read raisins.) Not only are these nutritionally sound but they’re fun for kids of all ages!
  • Trail mix — Chock full of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, this is solid energy fuel by the handful. Grab a bag from Trader Joe’s or your local health food store to avoid those commercial brands loaded with sugar or make your own GORP.
  • Go Nuts! For nuts that is — try a handful of unsalted almonds, cashews or peanuts packed with protein these babies will rev up your engine.
  • Sweet Tooth? Grab some fruit. Summer is filled with ripe, luscious fruit — from strawberries and cherries to peaches and apricots and juicy melon. Brimming with vitamins, antioxidants and water, these succulent temptresses will soothe your sweet tooth, replenish your fluids and boost your immune system as well as give you quick energy and tantalizing tastes. Why wouldn’t you want to snack on this?

  • Pack a picnic. Does sitting in a grimy fast food joint, wolfing down a greasy burger sound like a vacation to you? When planning your trip look for rest stops at parks or campgrounds. Load your cooler with sandwiches, salads or other homemade specialties that make you think of summer. The few extra minutes you take unpacking your cooler and stretching your legs with an after lunch walk, will make a world of difference in your travels. Add to that a lush, natural setting and good company and you have a trip (and a pit stop) worth remembering.

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