You want to be feeling in tip-top shape before and during your practical driving test. Different foods and drinks can affect your body in different ways, sometimes with serious negative consequences. Whether you are taking your test, or you are an instructor giving a test, here’s an overview of some of the foods you should possibly avoid, and some foods you should consider eating on the day of your test.
Refined sugar and ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup can give you an instant energy burst, but they’re also well-known to dull your reflexes and your memory. Studies with rats demonstrated that that they were slower and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Basically, it made them less efficient and effective.
This would also preclude many sugary drinks.
Strong spices and garlic
Yes, they taste good, but the instructor doesn’t want to be able to smell you. All instructors are trained to be impartial, but it’s best not to give them any additional excuses to end a test on an unfavourable note!
Beans and gassy foods
It’ll be just you and an instructor inside a fairly well-sealed steel and glass container. It’s best if your digestion remains calm and inoffensive.
Too much liquid
You don’t want to be half way through your test and be desperate to use the bathroom. While you’re going to need liquid to stay hydrated (see below), don’t overdo it.
Too little liquid
If you are dehydrated your brain functions less effectively and it can create physiological symptoms such as bad breath. As it dulls your reactions, it makes you a less effective driver. Make sure you drink enough water. If you feel thirsty you are probably a glass of water behind your ideal intake (which will vary from person-to-person).
Fatty protein if your test is early afternoon
A pie would be about the worst thing you could have for lunch if your test is early afternoon because the poor quality fat, salt and protein in the pie will make you drowsy as your body fights to digest it. If you are dehydrated, too, this effect will be worse.
And always avoid…
Anything with alcohol or other stimulants or depressants is absolutely to be avoided.
Also avoid anything that you might be allergic to as you don’t want to be completing the test with stomach ache or other symptoms.
Eat and drink
It’s free (or nearly free), easily absorbed and perfect for your body.
A light lunch with a salad or vegetables will give you vitamins and minerals to sustain you.
An apple is almost as good as a cup of coffee in waking you up. Plus it contains vitamins, minerals and liquid.
Foods with beneficial fatty acids
Certain types of fish have omega oils that can help boost your brainpower, and the good protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
There are a huge number of options for what is good to eat – just don’t overeat! Good luck with your practical driving test.
Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.