I have to drive across the US soon which will take several days. Most of it through states completely devoid of signs of life or vegetation and thus very boring. I tend to get bored on long drives which can make me feel tired.
Any ideas for how I can stay alert, perhaps something I should snack on?
Get some audio books that you can listen to while you drive. As far as snacks go, light stuff would be best, I would think. Fruits and nuts. maybe some jerky? I don't really snack at all, so this is hard for me to answer, but I am very good at entertaining myself on long drives and I really like audio books.
24 ounce monster low carb with the handy resealable top so you can sip it now and then.
The health effects of crashing your car are far worse than the effects of an energy drink. Resume clean living on arrival.
If you do audiobooks go unabridged. They massacre the abridged versions.
I use three things: 1) Exercise. I stop for 10 minutes at least every 2 hours (old "ten for two" rule). At the stop I do mobility work, plus a light set of something, usually push-ups or squats). 2) Audio. Something engaging, but preferably fiction or historical fiction. Need some element of suspense. Sometimes I'll bring "homework" reading but it's not productive because I prefer to take notes, so I'd have to re-read. 3) Snack. Stay light and small, balanced and healthy. Portion out the amount that is available in the driver station, so you don't eat it all too quickly. Put the rest in the back so you have to resupply during your exercise breaks.
If you can DL some POD casts, Rob and Mark both have them I believe...keep you in the right frame of mind while driving...hell call into the show and see if they advise you of anything else while you're mobile :-p
Honestly, I would shoot for a ketogenic, higher fat diet. You won't have as hard a time waking up, the higher cortisol levels upon waking (due to low blood sugar) keep you alert. If you can stick to unsweetened, caffeinated black teas, they make an excellent method of staying awake while being cheaper and healthier than energy drinks. You'll just need to get a geek leak bottle set up...
I just finished a 2500 mile stint over 4 days. Rest, lots of coffee and planning an interesting route (I use TripAdvisor) helped with the boredom. I drove 1000 miles on Tuesday to get to a restaurant in Missoula for a good filet, arriving an hour before closing.
If you can find a doctor to hook you up with some Provigil, it is hands down the best cognitive performance enhancer on the market. Astronauts, fighter pilots, and olympic track athletes all use the stuff to improve mental focus.
That and Spotify Premium for your iPhone which you can plug into a doc in your car.