How To Eat And Live Healthy When You Drive All Day - Best And Worst Foods For Uber Drivers. 🚗
Uber has thrown a new profession out there, the Uber driver. Freedom, flexible schedules, independence, these are all promises that have given 3.9 million drivers a source of income around the world. With a new job, comes new challenges, especially when we talk about nutrition and health.
The public transport systems have employed millions of people through the decades; taxi, trolley, and bus drivers have long learned the ways of living on the road. Inexperienced Uber drivers have to get used to the perks and challenges of the job. For this reason, I have compiled an extensive list of health, food and lifestyle tips to make sure Uber drivers stay in shape and enjoy a healthy living behind the wheel.
Breakfast, The Most Important Meal For Uber Drivers!
You’ve heard it before; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you’re out on the road, this is truer than ever. A homemade, hearty breakfast will not only fill up your energy tank but will prevent you from being hungry too early in the evening.
Some breakfasts are better than others, and there’s foodstuff you want to include and others to avoid, but we’ll get to that. For now, please remember that skipping breakfast is a big no-no. Enjoy protein pancakes, chilaquiles, scrambled eggs, porridge or a stuffed omelet, but don’t leave the house with an empty stomach.
Pack Your Snacks For The Road
The problem with spending most of the day on route is that you don’t eat a the right times, your eating schedule is hardly strict, and your body resents that. You always bounded to your customers’ needs and times, so what can you do? The easiest thing to do is to stop by a convenience store or a street food stand and have a quick, often unhealthy snack. To avoid this, plan ahead and pack a few healthy snacks in the morning.
Carrot sticks will keep perfectly in a Tupperware or fill a resealable plastic bag with a mix of nuts and dried fruit. These healthy snacks will keep your hunger at bay, without compromising your health or your wallet.
Carry an Emergency Power Bar
Carry a few power bars with you at all times. Protein-rich and full of calories, this will be an emergency snack for long hour drives, or long waits outside the airport. As your fire extinguisher, your power bars are imperative provisions. Remember these are for emergencies only; packing a little too much calories at a time will undoubtedly add a few unnecessary pounds to your waist.
The reality is that a power bar now and then is way better than stopping at a greasy taco stand or feasting in a bucket of fried chicken.
Keep Your Car and Your Hands Clean
This might be the simplest, but most effective way of starting a healthy lifestyle as an Uber driver. Stay clean. Always bring a liquid alcohol dispenser in your car and sanitize your hands before and after eating. You might not know this, but cars, especially taxis and ride-share cars, are heaven for germs. A bad stomach will not only ruin your workday, but it won’t help with your nutrition.
Don’t underestimate the power of a hand sanitizer dispenser. Use it often and share it with your customers. They’ll appreciate it as much as a bottle of water.
It’s Not So Much What You Eat, But How Much You Eat
Of course, there’s foodstuff to avoid and others that you should embrace, and I will cover them shortly, but nutritionists agree on the fact that everything in excess is bad for you. You can easily indulge with your favorite food, whether it’s sweet or fatty, as long as you don’t overdo it.
The key to a healthy diet is portions. Pace yourself and never cross that border between being satisfied and full to the top. A palm-size portion of meat, half a cup of ice cream, ONE pancake, these are all examples of adequate portions. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it soon, and you’ll thank me later.
Stay Hydrated While Driving
Talking about water, sadly there’s no magic formula about how much water do you need to drink a day. Half a gallon is a popular guess, but it all depends on your weight, the climate, and your metabolism. The good thing is that your body knows best and will tell you how much is enough. Make sure you have plenty of water on board and try to use a reusable container to avoid generating unnecessary waste.
Also, dehydration can have some effect on your driving ability, these include:
- Loss of focus
- Slower reaction times
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling drowsy
- Muscle cramps
Energy drinks and mineral-heavy water hydrates you fast and are great for working out, but in the long run, they might hurt your kidneys. Stick with plain water instead; you’ll soon find out you love it.
What To Do When There Is No Toilet In Site? (Don't Hold It In)
I have received a lot of feedback and comments about drinking lot of water since I published the article. Many drivers have pointed out that drinking water and staying hydrated while driving is very challenging. That is mainly due to the lack of toilet facilities for drivers or no places to park close to toilets.
So, I have done some more research and talked to a lot of drivers to find a practical solution for the issue. I have received many interesting suggestions from using toilet finding apps to getting a 24-hour gym chain membership. But the most recommended solution was the use of Portable Urinals. That seems to be the prefers choice for many old school taxi drivers, particular the ones working in the big cities.
So, portable urinal are defiantly something to consider. There are many different ones you can get, some work differently to others. You can check out the most popular ones here>>>
Eat More Fiber
Now that we’ve established some general rules let’s talk about what you should eat and what you should avoid to maintain a balanced diet.
Food that is rich in fiber is excellent for people who stay on their seat for long hours, like office workers and Uber drivers. You want to keep things moving inside your organism, and definitely, you’ll want a proper, stable digestion.
Oatmeal, seeds and nuts, whole-grain bread, most vegetables and starchy fruits like apples and bananas are great sources of fiber. With time, you’ll have a predictable bathroom break schedule, and a well-oiled digestive system.
Avoid Gassy Food
We didn’t want to go there, but you’re running a business after all. Perhaps it is better to avoid gassy food, so avoid beans, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, artificial sweeteners, and dairy. This is is not a complete list, and we all react differently to food, so see what makes you gassy, and leave it for your day off.
Fiber is also good to control your cholesterol levels and aids in achieving weight loss. Remember that the food you eat will be pushing its way through your intestines approximately twenty-four hours later, so plan ahead.
Avoid Foods That Make Your Car Smell
Smelly food is not necessarily bad for you, but it might be bad for business. Smelly food is often delicious, but you’re in a car after all. Canned tuna is super healthy, but it’s obviously out of the picture. Curry, sardines, pungent cheeses, garlic, onion, ginger, and boiled eggs will make your unit smell not so great, and your clothes and body might smell too.
As a general rule, avoid eating inside your car, whether it’s an egg sandwich or an apple. Instead, find a nice bench on an evergreen park to have lunch.
Coffee Or Tea
Coffee is the driver’s best friend. It keeps you alert and active. Coffee is an excellent antioxidant too. Coffee seems to have protective properties against some cancers, but let’s not get overly excited.
To get an extra nutrient boost with your coffee, try drinking a cup or two of mushroom coffee, it has bit less caffeine than regular coffee, but it packs many amazing health benefits. Enjoying a cup of mushroom coffee is as joyful as having a cup of regular Joe, and the nutrients in it will keep you as focused as energized for much longer.
Avoid Overly Acid Foods
Acid is an essential part of any diet; citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, for example. What happens is that there are acidic foods and then there are over acidic ones.
Excess acidity in your diet will cause you to digestive problems and overall unpleasant sensations. If you are to greet every guest with a smile, you better not have a growling stomach. Enjoy reasonable amounts of acid by incorporating into your diet plums, grapes, apples, pineapples, and tomatoes.
Overly acidic food, on the other hand, is mostly processed food, carbonated drinks, and too much red meat. Limit these as possible.
Avoid Simple Sugars
You should think of sugars as chains of carbohydrates because that’s what they are. The longer the chain, the more time it takes your body to digest. Long chains like the ones on starch are not that bad in the short term; your body can break them time within hours, making use of the energy as it needs it. The problem is the small chains. Sugars that go rapidly into your bloodstream in the form of energy. Unless you’re in the middle of a marathon, that energy will be stored as body fat.
Avoid simple sugars like fructose or saccharose, and you’ll be fine. That means no soft drinks, pastries, or sugar in your coffee.
Eat Your Veggies
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised to know that Americans do not eat enough vegetables. Veggies carry lots of minerals, vitamins, and fiber; they are very good for you and pack almost no calories. Vegetables, especially non-starchy ones, are a great way to feed yourself and stay satisfied without gaining weight. Add a salad to every meal, and snack on vegetables and you’ll never be the same.
Prefer leafy greens, fresh and never cooked, with a light dressing like a dash of lime juice and olive oil and please, ditch the ranch.
The Deal With Processed Food
It’s hard to understand what processed food is because almost everything around us is. Processed food is the opposite of farm to table food. Have you ever wondered why so many foods have such a long shelf life? Sometimes of months?
Processed food is not fresh; it often has lots of salt and lots of sugar and artificial colors and preservatives. All these chemicals and additives might not be the best for you in the long run; sure, we depend on shelf-stable, frozen, processed food to feed all of us, but try not making them the base of your diet. In a nutshell, go fresh instead.
Sleep Better, Drive Safer
You’re an Uber driver, which means part of your job is to be alert and fit for, often long shifts behind the wheel. Sleep well because safety matters; sleep because people’s lives are on your hands.
You should also have plenty of sleep because it’s good for you. Losing weight and staying fit depend on the amount of sleep you get every night; remember, we’re all different, so there are no strict guidelines here. You know when you’re not getting enough rest. And you sure know when you’re well-rested and energized, so whether if it’s six or eight hours, sleep well.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Although this guide is helpful for many people regardless of their jobs, drivers have a specific need we must address. People that spend a lot of time in their cars might develop vitamin D deficiency. Actually, 42% of Americans have deficient levels of the sunshine vitamin.
If you have bone pain or muscle weakness, you might need to add a vitamin D supplement to your diet. Anxiety and depression are also linked to the lack of this nutrient. The vitamin is naturally created on our skin when exposed to sunlight, but you can safely take a pill of this valuable vitamin every day or so. Ask your doctor.
Don’t Miss Your Vitamin C
Talking about vitamins, vitamin C is one you don’t want to overlook. The good news is, adding citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, limes, and lemons to your diet will ensure you’re well covered. Strawberries and Guavas are also excellent sources for the vitamin, so there's no excuse to add some of these fruits to your daily menu. You’ll easily find the often-orange flavored vitamin C supplements, and they’re ok, but you can do better than that and eat right.
Your immune system, your connective tissue, and even your circulatory system depend on the vitamin, so don’t overlook this necessary vitamin.
The Very Important Omega 3
Fatty acids like Omega 3 are great to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Omega 3 helps with your brain tissue and helps your cells regenerate. A good dose of Omega 3, sourced from fatty fish like salmon, tuna or Atlantic herring are recommended a few times a week.
Stay Active and Exercise
No diet is a magic formula. You can eat well and healthy; you can eat fresh food and avoid fatty, processed food; you can have everything in order but, the truth is, without a little exercise, your progress will be very slow.
A few pushups a day or a ten-minute workout before work might just be enough to accelerate your metabolism. If you have trouble getting a workout habit at home, take the stairs! Whenever and wherever you can. Take a walk or help out with people’s luggage; just stay active.
Have a Vegan Day
It might sound crazy, but vegan and vegetarian diets are here to stay. And they’re as popular as ever because they are healthy and tasty, any way you see it. Don’t turn vegan if you don’t want to; that might be pushing too far, but a vegan or vegetarian day, once a week is actually a good way to let your body rest from animal products.
Don’t forget to eat plant-based proteins like lentils, beans, tofu, almonds, and peanuts.
Enjoy a Cheat Meal
Eating right is all about discipline; it’s about getting good habits started; it’s about taking care of what you eat and how much you eat. Having said that, there’s no reason you shouldn’t indulge in what you love once in a while. Having a somewhat unhealthy meal weekly won’t change your lifestyle, in the same way, that eating a healthy snack once a week won’t help you if the rest of your meals are unhealthy.
A cheat meal is a great motivation and helps with confidence. Your weight loss program won’t be compromised, just don’t overdo it!
Track Your Progress
There’s no point in taking care of yourself if you don’t track your progress. Weigh yourself every day and make notes on your phone. It might look like you’re not making any progress but give it some time. Write a weight loss diary and add notes on how you feel. A few pictures might also help, especially once you start seeing some progress.
Don’t give up, losing weight usually takes as much time as it took to gain those extra pounds, and that can be weeks or months. Consistency is key.
Share Your Knowledge With Other Drivers
If you follow my tips, you’ll probably start feeling quite good. Have you lost a few pounds already? How are you feeling today? Once you find what works best for you, share your knowledge. There are hundreds of Uber drivers in your community alone, share your experience.
Visit a Nutritionist
None of us are precisely the same, and we all have different dietary needs and goals. Try checking in with a licensed Nutritionist regularly. He’ll be able to guide you through your new healthy lifestyle and will tweak these diet tips for Uber drivers to your needs.
As you see, there’s a bright future ahead. You can enjoy your freedom as an Uber driver and still enjoy a happy, healthy lifestyle. Mark this guide on your phone and come back whenever you need to. One meal at a time, one ride after another, eat well, exercise, and stay healthy. Happy driving!