9 night shift tips to keep your energy levels up

On a busy shift, eating healthily may not always feel like a top priority. But eating right throughout shifts can maintain your energy, focus and concentration and also have long term benefits.

Here are Christine’s tips to staying energised whilst on your shift

Plan ahead

Before you start your shift eat a low carbohydrate and protein rich main meal. Then through your shift have a smaller additional meal followed by some healthy snacks.

Watch your caffeine

Too much can upset blood sugar, spike your stress hormones, which can increase anxiety and interfere with sleep. Stock up on alternatives such as herbal teas, green tea or redbush tea.

Think Mediterranean and summer

One of the best known diets for mental wellness is the Mediterranean. This diet is also packed with antioxidants which have been shown to help alleviate stress and mood disorders.

Include gut healthy foods

A growing body of research is indicating how our gut microbiome supports positive mood and emotional wellbeing. One way to improve your gut flora is to eat gut rich fermented foods.

Pack healthy snacks

Avoid the temptation to resort to unhealthy snacks and focus instead on nutrient dense snacks that combine some protein with slow releasing carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.

After your shift

After your shift or towards the end of your shift include a nourishing snack or light meal so you don’t wake up hungry and try relaxation techniques like warm baths and walks outside in the sunlight.

Hydration

Keep hydrated, sip water throughout your shift to keep energy levels high. Even mild dehydration can affect cognitive and physical performance.

Exercise

Get your body and mind ready before a shift with exercise. Choose something you enjoy and that gets your blood pumping, short high intensity workouts are a perfect idea!

Meal planning

Having a consistent meal planning routine is essential to help you cope with the demands of a busy work schedule. Take time at the beginning of your week to plan and batch cook if you can.

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