Never mind those statistics we keep hearing on trucker diets and sugar, we just need to look down at our waistline to know if we’re towing the line or not.

At PJM Lorry Park, we did our own research about sugar and the simple cuppa.

In the Route 45 cafe, there is a very ordinary sugar bowl. It’s for everyone to ‘help yerself’ to make your cuppa just the way you like it, and swiping the bowl away for five minutes I was asked three times as to its whereabouts – with raised eyebrows when I mentioned the sugar sachets and supplements.

We all love sugar – it’s in everything from the obvious chocolate to the not-so-obvious, and it’s additive and nigh time we cut down.

But how? After giving up coffee last year, literally due to over holiday indulgence, and a hard detox, I know how hard it can be to cut down on a staple for the road. 

Well, slam the brakes! Coffee is one thing, but I know I couldn’t cut out sugar – but making swaps is a good way to start. Even better, educating yourself on how much sugar there is in everyday products can help when deciding ‘I need/deserve/roads are rubbish, give me a treat’ and dipping into the sugar bowl at Route 45 to make your perfect cuppa.

Chef Pete, expert in all things foodie, agreed that when we looked at our stock, we view some drinks and cakes as a treat and not a staple. “It’s obvious that many cakes and desserts are full of sugar and are a treat, but there is also sugar in dried fruit, such as raisins, and even some bread – and it all adds up.”

What about drinks? Having a glass of orange juice instead of a cake is healthy, but the sugar contained in fresh orange juice can be high and it’s better to dilute fruit juice to reduce the sugar.

Water consumption has also seen a huge surge over the past few years and is the first step in a life-changing diet overhaul, but all those fruity flavoured bottles are at a sharp price – painful when you consider at Route 45 you can have tap water for free, you can even spend a pound and grab a freshly ground coffee.

While swapping fizzy drinks for flavoured water is a great healthy looking crisp-clear alternative, they still contain sugar – and lots of it. Check the labels and, once you’ve decided to drink water, opt for the plain remedies – but we’ve got some tips below for you before you buy.

It made harsh reading when we read Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Sugar, commenting on the hidden sugars in what many of us would think is a healthy choice in an article in the Telegraph.

“All of these so-called flavoured waters would get a red traffic light label on the packaging – more than 13.5g sugar per portion – and all contain over half of the World Health Organisation’s recommended sugar intake of about 25g per person per day,” she said.

It’s clear to us all that simply opting for a bottle of fizzy juice (insert your favourite tipple here) is filling you out on the wrong sugars. If you’re hooked on fizzy drinks, then swap that for sparkling water with a squeeze of lime, easy to take on the road with you or fill up from your tap with a dash of lime before you go.

Route 45 Driver Tip:

You can use the rest of your lime squeezed over some fresh fruit, like mango or melon. We would rather have zingy fruit than boring fruit, and it really freshens up fruit already prepared and brings it back to life. Yum!