Friday, 16 December 2011

A heavy lunch could make you a dangerous driver


Tucking into a big lunch could make you more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, say scientists from
Loughborough University.
A new study has found that eating a fatty and sugary meal can make it harder to concentrate on the road.
Men under 30 are statistically most likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, so 12 young men attended the university's sleep research centre, where they ate beef lasagne and toffee yoghurt for lunch.
Half were given diet versions containing 305 calories and the rest were given the normal versions which contained 922 calories.
All of them normally slept well but had only slept for five hours the night before.
After lunch they were put into a driving simulator where they began a two-hour-long boring 'drive' along a dual carriageway.
Those who ate the fatty lunch started off the same as those who had the light lunch but after the first half hour they were more likely to drift into the other lane - and didn't even realise that they were becoming tired.   This happens because a big lunch, and a high fat intake, can exacerbate the effects of a poor night's sleep.
Racing drivers tend to have high-protein, high-energy food and not masses of it, something like a dish of pasta with small strips of smoked salmon so if that works for Michael Schumacher and other racing drivers and keeps them alert for 45 laps of the track, perhaps that's something that other drivers can learn from!

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