Food And Drinks You Should Avoid On A Long Drive

If you’re in the car for an extended period of time, you’re bound to get hungry eventually. Yet, for some reason, many people always opt to eat the worst kinds of food they can find for the situation of being trapped inside of a car. Here are some of the things you should avoid eating while on the road.

Tomatoes Can Irritate Your Bladder

Picture of Pizza
Raymond Hall/GC Images
Raymond Hall/GC Images

Although we doubt many people are biting into tomatoes like an apple while driving if you do, you should stop doing this while also avoiding tomato-based products like pizza, pasta sauce, and an excess amount of ketchup.

This is because the acidity of these products can irritate your bladder, resulting in you needing to find rest stops more frequently than you would have otherwise. So, maybe wait to pick up a slice of your favorite pizza for the end of the trip.

Packaged Wraps And Sandwiches Are Highly Questionable

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Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

While there’s no deny that sandwiches and wraps are the perfect on-the-go food, especially while in the car, skip over the pre-packaged ones at the gas station. Although these foods were supposedly delivered that day and are meant for daily purchase, there’s no telling just how long they’ve been sitting unrefrigerated.

When a product has sensitive ingredients such as condiments like mayonnaise, cheese, and deli meats, your best bet is to go to a more trustworthy establishment than take the risk of getting sick.

Think About Others When Buying Sunflower Seeds

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Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with eating sunflower seeds since they’re high in fat and can be fun to eat, that’s not the issue. If you’re in a car with other people, it’s unlikely anyone wants to hear the constant cracking of sunflower seeds in someone else’s mouth.

Not only that, but you have to dispose of the shells, which either require someone to have their window down or an empty receptacle to spit them in, which isn’t all that graceful. You’re not at a baseball game; you’re in a car.

Tacos Are An Accident Waiting To Happen

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit

Although tacos may come off as an on-the-go and convenient food, let’s be honest, they’re pretty messy. When you eat a plate of tacos and look down afterward, usually there’s enough there for a whole other taco.

So, driving while eating them or eating them as a passenger may not be the best idea if you’re trying to stay clean. Plus, if you’re someone that likes to put their own salsa on them, it’s a complete nightmare.

Jerky Is Loaded With Sodium

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Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

For obvious reasons, jerky has been a popular traveling snack since humans first learned how to dry meat. It tastes delicious, lasts forever, and today, it can be found at almost any stop on the side of the road.

Despite the fact that it’s expensive, it also contains incredibly high levels of sodium that will make you thirsty, therefore drinking more water than you maybe should. Furthermore, excess sodium can also lead to feeling bloated.

Easy On The Candy

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Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When selecting a snack either before or during a trip, it might be in your best interest not to load up on candy as one of your main sources of food. This is because candy is a perfect example of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols of FODMAP foods.

These are foods that contain small-chain carbohydrates, therefore making them difficult to digest. On top of that, the sugar might taste good and give you a burst of energy, but what comes up must come down.

Drink Caffeine In Moderation

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Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Although coffee, tea, or some other kind of caffeinated beverage is necessary for a lot of people on the road, it’s a shame that it’s essentially the last thing you should be drinking in the car.

Large amounts of caffeine drastically increase bladder activity, among other things, which will make you need to use the bathroom far more than normal, and the urge to use the restroom will come on much stronger and more urgent.

“Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit”

Picture of a burrito
Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Beans may not be the first thing that people think about snacking on while driving, but there’s more food out there that contains beans than most people assume. Burritos are a perfect example and something that’s delicious and easy to eat while driving.

However, the best option might be to hold the beans because they can make you gassy. If you’re by yourself and could care less, go right ahead, but if you’re traveling with others, don’t be the reason people have to roll down their windows.

Spicy Foods Are An Overall Bad Idea

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Chloe Sweet, Peter Jones/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Raimund Franken/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Spicy food is a favorite among plenty of people, whether it’s spicy snacks or meals, but these should typically be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home or at a restaurant.

Not only will the heat have you constantly reaching for your drink, but it can increase your body temperature to an uncomfortable level. Also, it’s no secret that spicy food can wreak havoc on your digestive tract, leading you to potentially require an immediate stop at a bathroom.

Chips Are Not The Answer

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Anke Thomass/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Anke Thomass/ullstein bild via Getty Images

If you’re somebody that likes to snack while on the road, you may want to consider holding back on the chips. While chips are generally not very good for you, they can also lead to discomfort.

When you eat a lot of chips, pretzels, or other salty snacks, your body actually retains more water, leading you to feel bloated. This occurs because your body is attempting to maintain its balance of electrolytes being affected by the chips.

Cooked Meats Can Be A Risk

Picture of meat
Zoryana Ivchenko/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Zoryana Ivchenko/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you’re on the road and decide to make a pit stop at a restaurant, it might not be the best idea to order the steak, pork chops, or another slab of cooked meat.

There’s always the chance that the meat wasn’t packaged, handled, or cooked properly, which can turn any road trip into a living nightmare not just for whoever ate the meat but whoever has to spend their time waiting at various bathrooms.

Get Over The Convenience Of Fast Food

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Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images
Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images

For anyone that’s been on a long car ride, you likely ended up stopping for fast food at least once, and we don’t blame you. Not only is it cheap and convenient, but it can save you time by going through the drive-thru, and it’s oh so tasty.

Nevertheless, it’s certainly not the best thing to be eating while driving. Greasy fast food is difficult for your body to digest, making you sluggish and tired, something you don’t want to be when behind the wheel.

Citrus Isn’t All Good

Picture of oranges
Tom Stoddart/Getty Images
Tom Stoddart/Getty Images

While drinking citrus juices and eating citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, etc., are generally good for you, as they’re high in vitamin C, they aren’t the best for long drives.

This is because they’re full of acidity, which can have an effect on your bladder and cause you to need to use the bathroom more than usual. So, if you’re drinking a bunch of orange juice, you might want to keep the bottle handy.

Fried Chicken Is Just A Mess

Picture of fried chicken
Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC
Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC

If you think it’s a good idea to pick up a bucket of fried chicken while on the road, you might want to reconsider. Fried chicken is not only incredibly unhealthy but dangerous to eat while driving. It’s a kind of food that requires your attention to eat in order to avoid bones, among other things.

Furthermore, if you have greasy fingers and hands, they can slip on the steering wheel and can stain parts of your car.

Think Twice About Sushi

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Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

While sushi may seem like something you can eat in one bite without paying attention, that’s not entirely true. Many people enjoy dipping their sushi in soy sauce or eating the kind with a plentiful amount of toppings on it that make it a hazard.

In addition, if you plan on being in the car for a long time, you might want to avoid eating raw fish, which is more likely to make you sick than countless other foods.

Ice Cream In Any Form

Picture of ice cream
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Whether you’re licking an ice cream cone or eating it out of a cup, ice cream is a food that you might want to hold off on until you reach your destination. Because it melts, it’s messy, and if you’re eating a cone, it requires your full attention. Otherwise, you’re constantly taking your eyes off the road to see where it’s dripping.

On the other hand, if you’re eating it out of a cup, that means you’re using two hands, which is never a good idea while driving. To top it all off, dairy can have negative effects on the digestive system.

Gas Station Nachos

Picture of nachos
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While artificial cheese, questionable chili, and pickled jalapenos may sound delicious while watching a sports game, when confined inside of a car, it’s a bold move. On top of everyone around you smelling them, something this unnatural is bound to cause some serious digestion problems down the line.

Don’t be the person that has to make an emergency stop because they couldn’t go without having their fix of gas station nachos. Plus, there’s a high chance they might spill.

Save The Barbecue For The Backyard

Picture of barbecue
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Some foods just aren’t designed to be eaten while on the move or somewhere that you don’t make a mess, and barbecue is one of these. Whether it’s ribs, beans, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, it’s never a good idea to eat any of these while in the car for a long time.

Guaranteed to make a mess, barbecue is also one of those foods that require some time to put your feet up and digest, which isn’t something you can exactly do when keeping your eyes on the road.

Sugar-Free Gums And Mints

Picture of gum
Sarah Franklin/Getty Images
Sarah Franklin/Getty Images

While gum and mints may seem harmless for the most part, it’s the sugar-free variety that you have to look out for. If you’re stuck in a car, you might want to bite the bullet and get the regular kind because these can cause some problems.

Most of them contain sugar alcohols such as mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, which can cause bloating and, in some cases, diarrhea. Imagine all that just because of a few mints.

Don’t Be The Person With A Tuna Sandwich

Picture of Tuna
Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images
Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images

If you’re crammed in a car with other people for the long haul, an unspoken rule is to not bring any food that’s particularly invasive to other passengers. One perfect example of what not to bring is a tuna sandwich.

Not only will the whole car end up smelling like the inside of a tuna can, but the sandwich is already volatile as is with all of the fish and mayonnaise, so if you don’t eat it right away, there could be some irreversible problems. Just avoid fish in general.