What to Eat to Become a Better Driver

They say that you are what you eat, which, if true, would mean that champion racing drivers are eating legends. There are plenty of voices out there who don't even consider motorsport racing as an actual sport, and driving cars in general is seen by lots of people as something that requires a very small amount of talent compared to... basketball, for example. 
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Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS
The truth is that we still have horrible accident statistics in our current era, even though most carmakers have started to develop vehicles filled with active safety features that should prevent a rather large portion of accidents completely.

Now we have electronic stability programs, traction control systems, anti-lock braking systems, blind-spot assists, cameras, radars, automatic braking, and so on and so forth.

Despite all these advancements in automotive active safety technology, people still crash their cars, so why is that still happening?

To put it bluntly, driving does require talent, and that talent is not exactly growing on trees, even though some people are pretty much born with it. Whether you're a racing driver or a taxi driver, you need talent in order to perform. Fret not, as driving fitness can be grown just like most other physical talents, and a huge part of that process is eating only what is best for you.

Let's look at racing drivers, as they are universally known as being great drivers (obviously) and most of them actually require special diets in order to function at their best capacity when driving. Okay, maybe not certain NASCAR drivers, but you know what we mean.

First of all, there is no industry standard as far as special diets go in order for someone to increase the main points required to become better at driving. Second of all, there is growing scientific evidence that nutrition plays a pivoting role in improving how your brain works.

Since driving fast and safely requires thinking, while thinking requires a good brain, we will start from there. In order to function properly and at its highest capacity, the human brain requires three major nutrient groups: protein, fats and carbohydrates.


Also known as the building blocks from which neurotransmitters keep their tiny little health at maximum, proteins are probably the most important food group for a driver. As some of you know, neurotransmitters are essentially chemicals which transmit the signals from one brain cell to another via synapses.

Your brain needs a steady supply of protein - two or three servings per day - in order to keep your alertness at a higher level, and we all know how awake someone needs to be in order to drive a car at high speeds.

In total, there are eight types of dietary proteins, with foods like red meat, fish, eggs and dairy products being the best suppliers.

There are also suppliers of incomplete proteins out there, most of which need to be ingested combined with other types of food in order to form complete proteins. Grains, vegetables, seeds and nuts are also good for your motivation and focus behind the steering wheel.

Don't believe us? Just look at squirrels and how insanely active they are - you know how much they love nuts. Also, keep in mind that the world's fastest land animals consume a huge amount of protein with their diet. Would you race on foot against a cheetah?


Believe it or not, there are types of fats which are simply essential for your brain, but you obviously have to be really careful concerning this subject, as most of them are actually hazardous to your arteries and heart.

The healthy types of fat consist of the Omega-3 fatty acids and the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. All of them are needed in order to help the brain form neuronal membranes and myelin, which is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils, egg yolk oils, krill oil and even some plat oils such as the ones made from pressed hemp seeds.


While proteins are in charge of keeping your brain motivated and focused and healthy fats are needed to make up brain cells, it is the carbohydrates that fuel the neurons.

The best types of food which have a lot of carbohydrates are grain products, fruits and vegetables. Those pasta-loving Italian racing drivers must really know their stuff, mustn’t they?

Keep in mind that not all carbohydrates providers are best for your brain, as those that can give you a sugar rush, for example, will soon also give you a sugar crash.

If it's not clear by now, most racing drivers not only concentrate on what to eat, but they also work out to keep their muscles in top shape, as just turning left isn't the only form of motorsport and the brain isn't the only organ that helps you drive better. With that being said, it is the most important one, and you need to feed it in order to perform at its best and make you a better driver.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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