What to eat on Night shift, for accelerated performance and recovery

Studies have confirmed, and then re-confirmed to show how bad Night shift is for the workers’ health. It is difficult enough to stay awake and alert, and operate effectively. It makes sense to pay more attention to our nutrition during this time, and to use feeding frequency and hydration as tools to help flip our metabolism, avoid energy slumps and bounce back super quickly. Here is how…

1.       Eat protein

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Regular lean protein sources will help stabilize your energy and hormones, keeping you energized through the night, and less likely to overeat. Things like eggs, tuna, fish, greek yogurt, all meats, beans and lentils are all great options.

2.       Eat vegetables.

Always have veggies with your protein sources. The fiber is great for keeping you feeling satisfied, regulating your bowel movements and great for your gut microbiome.  The vitamins and minerals are essential for your health. Try and have three colors in each meal but the more the merrier here, so go for it.

3.       Eat a small amount of good fat.

Good fats are needed to balance your hormones, satiety, mood and general health. Cooking in quality oils, enjoying boiled eggs, adding ¼ of an avocado to your meal, adding nuts or seeds to your meals or even snacking on a small handfuls of nuts are some great options.

4.       Put it together and make a meal out of it.

Providing your body with good sources of protein, vegetables and fats together stabilizes your energy and keeps you satisfied for longer, as opposed to snacking on processed food which will only expand ones waist line. Try these recipes here: make multiple meals and bring as many as you like to work.

5.       Always Eat when you wake.

Even if you don’t have the appetite, it is important to eat when you wake up. This stimulates your metabolism to get working for you. If you can’t stomach your regular meals, try smoothies, soups, slow cooked soft meals and stews.

6.       Most Importantly, eat Regularly.

Going against your circadian rhythm is torturous. So, work with your body. During wake times, eat full meals with protein, vegetables and fats. Eat them when you wake up, and eat them at least every 4-6 hours during the night. This will help your body understand that it is “awake and work” time, which will keep you alert. Also, when you eat during the night you are less likely to wake up hungry when you sleep during the day.

7.       For example.

I eat when you wake at 4-5 pm, then again at 8 pm, on break between 2-4 am, sometimes another meal or snack in at 1200 am, and 0600 am, which is a great bonus. Perhaps munch on raw fruit and veg to stay awake on the drive home. Then have one last meal when I get home at about 0830 to prevent waking up hungry.

By Amy Benn

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