What Should I Eat Before A Long Car Drive? [Food Guide]

Going on a long road trip is always an exciting experience. But it’s important to fuel your body with the right food before embarking on the journey.

Choosing the right food ensures you don’t feel tired or lethargic halfway through the trip. Eating certain foods before hitting the road can also help you stay alert and energized for longer periods. We will discuss 8 delicious food options before starting your long car drive. We will also share tips on eating a balanced meal and drinking plenty of water to keep your body functioning at its best. Making your journey enjoyable and memorable.

What Should I Eat Before A Long Car Drive

8 Foods Should I Eat Before A Long Car Drive

Foods Should I Eat Before A Long Car Drive

Before embarking on a long car drive, having a fulfilling meal is essential. Choose lean proteins and complex carbohydrates that nourish your body and energize you throughout the journey. Avoid consuming carbonated drinks or anything that contains gas, as it causes bloating or nausea. Steering clear of citrus fruits is also recommended because they could irritate your bladder.

Opt for wholesome sandwiches, nuts, seeds, or healthy snacks. Fresh and dried fruits, chocolate, and cold and hot beverages add healthy yet flavorsome snack options. These foods are easy to pack and consume during the journey, providing the nutrients your body needs to keep the road trip on a roll. So, load up on these snacks to fuel up for long drives.

1. Whole Grain Bread Or Crackers

Whole Grain Bread Or Crackers

When planning for a long car drive, it’s important to consider what foods to eat beforehand to maintain your energy levels and overall health. Whole-grain bread or crackers can be excellent options. They are high in fiber and can help reduce the risk of fatigue and dehydration while on the road.

Eating fruits, vegetables, or watermelon can also help to keep you hydrated and energized during your drive. Overall, avoiding heavy, greasy foods is recommended, and instead. Opt for lighter options to help you feel your best while on the road.

2. Fruit, Such As Bananas Or Apples

Fruit, Such As Bananas Or Apples

When choosing what to eat before a long car drive, fruits are a great option for a healthy and nutritious snack. Bananas and apples are particularly effective at providing sustained energy throughout the journey. However, it’s important to consider the car passengers’ age when choosing fruits – smaller and pre-cut fruits such as blueberries and mangoes are recommended for young children to avoid choking hazards.

While juicier fruits such as oranges or berries may not be the best choice for the back seat, keeping paper towels handy can make for a more enjoyable snacking experience. Overall, fruits are a tasty and healthy option to energize and satisfy during a long car drive.

3. Yogurt Or A Protein Shake

Yogurt Or A Protein Shake

When snacking before a long car drive, choose a protein-rich option like yogurt or a protein shake. A Greek yogurt is a great option for kids, and low-fat yogurt is an excellent choice for healthy snacks. Combining yogurt with protein-rich snacks like nuts or edamame can help alert you while driving.

It’s important to avoid heavy, greasy foods or anything that may cause an upset stomach, such as milkshakes. A protein-rich snack can provide the energy you need to stay focused on the road and support healthy digestion and help avoid the discomfort of unhealthy food choices.

4. Nuts Or Nut Butter

Nuts Or Nut Butter

Nuts or nut butter are a great choice if you’re wondering what to eat before a long car drive. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which can help you stay full and energized during your trip. Additionally, nuts contain antioxidants and minerals that promote a healthy digestive system, making them an ideal snack for people who experience digestive issues while traveling.

Nuts or nut butter can be easily incorporated into your pre-drive meal or eaten as a standalone snack. However, it is important to remember that nuts are high in calories, so they should be consumed in moderation if you drive long distances. Generally, a serving size of nuts is about one ounce or a handful.

5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs

One food that is a great option to eat before a long car drive is hard-boiled eggs. They are easy to prepare, store, and eat, making them convenient for on-the-go snacking. In addition, hard-boiled eggs are mess-free and packed with protein, making them a filling and healthy choice.

Pairing the eggs with some whole wheat crackers can add crunch and complex carbs for extra energy. Hard-boiled eggs are a smart and convenient option when selecting a snack before a long car drive.

6. A Sandwich With Lean Protein, Such As Turkey Or Chicken

A Sandwich With Lean Protein, Such As Turkey Or Chicken

Make a sandwich with lean protein, such as turkey or chicken, as it provides the necessary protein and energy to sustain you for the trip. One variation might be adding hummus and veggies to your turkey sandwich for a more filling and nutritious option.

Another idea for sandwich fillings is using tinned tuna or salmon, a great omega-3 fatty acids and protein source. Alternatively, make pinwheel sandwiches with chicken, turkey, or other fillings to satisfy you.

It’s essential to avoid processed sandwiches from fast food restaurants. These sandwiches usually contain a lot of sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, which is counterproductive if your goal is to keep your energy levels up during the drive.

7. Oatmeal With Nuts And Fruit

Oatmeal With Nuts And Fruit

One great option is oatmeal with nuts and fruit. Oatmeal can provide long-lasting energy during a long car drive and can be customized with various toppings such as nuts, fruit, honey, or syrup to create a flavor that suits your taste.

Nuts such as almonds or cashews give a crunchy texture to oatmeal, while fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, and berries can add extra flavor and nutrition. Dried fruits such as dried cranberries can also be a great topping for oatmeal. Oatmeal with nuts and fruit is a delicious and nutritious choice for a pre-road trip meal.

8. Veggies And Hummus

Veggies And Hummus

When preparing for a long car drive, choosing foods that will keep you alert and energized is important. One great food choice is veggies and hummus. Vegetables are high in fiber and other essential nutrients and are an excellent way to stay healthy and energized while on the road.

Hummus is also a great choice because it is high in protein and healthy fats. It can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, which is important when you’re on a long car drive. Consuming nutritious foods like veggies and hummus before a long car drive can help sustain your energy levels and prevent hunger, making your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.

Eat A Balanced Meal

Eat A Balanced Meal

If you have time to stop at a restaurant before your long car drive, choose a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Some great options include grilled chicken or fish with vegetables, a turkey sandwich with avocado and whole grain bread, or a quinoa and vegetable bowl. This will provide the necessary nutrients to keep you energized during the drive. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and during the drive.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Drink Plenty Of Water

When going on a long car drive, it is essential to stay hydrated and alert. Drinking water before hitting the road is a great way to keep yourself hydrated and avoid dehydration throughout the journey. To keep yourself fueled and energized on the road, eat light snacks that won’t fill you up.

However, avoid sugary drinks, making you feel bogged down and tired. Drinking alcohol is a big no-no, as it will make you drowsy and less alert. If you are prone to car sickness, it’s best to stick to light snacks or fluids so you don’t feel sick on the road. Remember, eating healthy and staying hydrated will make your long car drive much more enjoyable.


Eating healthy and well-balanced meals before a long car ride can help you stay alert and energized throughout your journey. Avoid high-calorie sugary foods as they make you feel sluggish and tired during the drive. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated are key.

Avoid caffeinated drinks and sugary sodas, as they dehydrate you, and make you more prone to fatigue. Follow these simple tips for a smooth and comfortable drive to your destination. For more information on planning a healthy long car ride, check out our comprehensive guide now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Not To Eat Before A Long Road Trip?

Before a long road trip, it is best to avoid foods that are heavy, greasy, or high in sugar, as they can cause discomfort, bloating and fatigue. It is also a good idea to avoid foods known to cause gas or indigestion, such as beans, broccoli, and carbonated drinks.

Should I Eat Before A Car Ride?

Whether or not you should eat before a car ride depends on the length of your journey and your personal preferences. Eating beforehand might be unnecessary if you are traveling a short distance.

What Foods Keep You Up While Driving?

It is not recommended to eat while driving. However, consuming caffeine-rich beverages like coffee, energy drinks, or sugary snacks like candy, cookies, or chocolate can help keep you awake while driving.

Is It Better To Eat Or Drink Before Driving For An Extended Period?

Eating something before driving for an extended period is generally better than just drinking something. Eating a meal or snack can help provide sustained energy and keep you more alert during your drive, while just drinking something may only temporarily boost energy.

What Is The Best Way To Eat Before A Long Car Drive?

The best way to eat before a long car drive is to aim for a balanced meal with carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will provide energy for the drive, while protein will help you feel fuller for longer. Avoid heavy or greasy foods that can cause stomach discomfort.

Michael C. Herrera

I’m a travel blogger with a focus on safety. I’ve been to all seven continents, and I love sharing my tips for staying safe while traveling. I also have a lot of experience with travel hacking and finding the best deals on airfare and hotels. My blog features reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

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