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UAE drivers warned: Too much caffeine is bad

Experts warn that caffeinated drinks can cause irritability, nervousness, muscle twitching, slurred speech

Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
To stay alert on the road, people turn to caffeinated drinks.

Dubai:  Car crashes are almost a daily occurrence in the UAE and unfortunately, many of these are caused by human error. To ensure they stay alert at all times while on the road, people turn to caffeinated drinks.

In a study conducted among more than 1,000 respondents in the UAE, it was found that most people who drive cars rely on just one type of drink to bump their energy up a notch, and this has raised some concerns.

The study showed that three times as many motorists drink coffee (46 per cent) to avoid losing concentration at the wheel than use energy drinks (16 per cent). Overall, the majority prefer to drink tea, but only 39 per cent turn to the popular drink just to get some extra kick.

Avoid caffeine

Road safety is a major issue in the UAE, especially since statistics continue to show a rise in the number of accidents and deaths on roads. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority recently highlighted that poor concentration, inattentiveness and tiredness could raise the likelihood of crashes.

UAE residents, however, have been warned of the negative effects of relying too much on caffeinated drinks to enhance their driving ability.

Dr. Dana Al-Hamwi, a medical doctor based in UAE and a clinical dietician, said that too much caffeine is bad because it can cause irritability, nervousness, irregular or rapid heartbeat, muscle twitching and slurred speech.

“Caffeine has no stimulation effect on the brain. Indeed, excessive caffeine consumption can cause symptoms. At the same time, drinks that are high in sugar content can actually lead to fatigue,” Al-Hamwi added.

Jose Luis de la Fuente, managing director of Continental Middle East said, there are many different elements that can play a role in road accident, and human factor is just one of these.

The company, which has a global Vision Zero initiative that seeks to eradicate road accidents and achieve zero fatalities and injuries, have shared some tips to help drivers stay alert without relying too much on caffeine.

1. Drink enough water to boost the electrical energy in the brain for all body functions

2. Avoid snacks with high salt or sugar content

3. Eat regular meals and consume fruit and vegetables

4. Avoid fast food and sugary drinks

5. Avoid medications that cause drowsiness

6. Chew gum to help increase focus on the road and reduce tension

7. Smaller healthy snacks are better than big meals

8. Have healthy snacks including carrots, celery, grapes, cheese sticks and grilled chicken strips

9. Follow your body clock and stop for a break on long trips

10. Make sure to allow fresh air to circulate inside the car cabin