Foods to Eat While on a Night Shift

Oct 19, 2022 | Be Well

Foods to Eat While on a Night Shift

Working on a night shift sucks, but when duty calls, you must answer. Knowing the foods to eat while on a night shift will help you get through the night. And in this post, we gathered the foods you should add to your pantry. 

We Need to Eat

Whether you are a student nurse, nurse, doctor, emergency rescue, police officer, or other jobs requiring night shifts, eating the right food can help sustain your energy. Here are some snacks that you should munch on while on duty. 

Soup is good

One of the quickest meals to make is soup. And the best thing about soup is that you can freeze it and reheat them if you get hungry on duty. The best soup for night shifts is chicken soup, pumpkin, onion, or tomato. 

Slow-cooked casseroles

If you have the time, cook your meal ahead. Find recipes online that are easy for you to whip up. It could be some chicken recipe you love or a family recipe. You can then pack them in small servings, freeze them and when you go on duty, bring them and heat them at work. 

Bring snacks

Many companies with night shifts have vending machines for snacks, but it would be best to bring your own. Healthy snacks are always the best. Among these include:

  • Veggie sticks
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Fruits
  • Trail mix (if you love them)
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.)
  • Granola bars, protein cookies
  • Smoothie with added protein
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Proteins and healthy fats

Avocados, eggs, vegetable-based proteins, and cottage cheese are good examples to eat during night shifts. It will also help you feel fuller and avoid getting cravings. 

Hydrating foods

Eating hydrating foods can help stave off your fatigue and sleepiness. Strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, and zucchini are excellent examples of it. Include them as snacks in your night meals, and you are going to be awake for the rest of the night. 

Low glycaemic index food or GI foods

It has been proven that the pancreas does not work well at night, so managing blood sugar is not regulated well. Eating easy-to-absorb and digested food are crucial so your blood sugar does not rise. Food like nuts, vegetable soups, yogurt, healthy fats, and seeds are excellent choices to eat at night.

Night Shift Changes 

When you are on a night shift, your body adjusts to everything. Your appetite also changes. Sleep may also be problematic when working at night, and weight gain is possible. That said, eating food that will help sustain your energy and not gain weight is vital. 

Make sure to drink a lot of water and limit your caffeine intake while on the night shift. Although you may be tempted to drink coffee to keep you awake, limiting it to at least two cups will keep you awake all night. 

Drinking lots of water will keep you awake, prevent constipation, and make you feel fuller. It will also not disrupt your sleep once your shift is done. 

Be sure to eat a meal hours before going to work as well. It is recommended that you eat your main meal before going to work and a small dinner while on duty. It will keep you from gaining weight. 

Take active breaks while on duty. Give your body some time to stretch those muscles. Take a walk, and run up and down the stairs – it will keep you awake and fit too. 

The Bottom Line

The night shift can sometimes be unpredictable. One moment everything is calm, and the next thing you know, you are facing emergencies. And eating correctly and preparing the right foods to eat while on a night shift is crucial for your body and surviving the night. 

Now that you know what foods to eat while on a night shift,  be sure to include them on your list. Eating healthy and taking care of yourself is essential to all. Hopefully, you found our list helpful. Good luck!