EP 181: 7 Foods That Help Nurses Gain Energy During a 12-hour Shift

EP 181: 7 Foods That Help Nurses Gain Energy During a 12-hour Shift

7 Foods That Help Nurses Gain Energy During a 12-hour Shift

Our diet plays a big role in keeping our bodies in shape. As nurses, we owe our bodies healthy and nutritious food. When we eat a well-balanced diet, we have more energy to do our job. It is why it’s best to know the 7 foods that help nurses gain energy during a 12-hour shift. Eating the right food will give you the best energy and avoid the stress that a 12-hour shift can give. 

In this episode, we will talk about the 7 best foods you can eat to keep up with your long shifts. We also had the chance to talk to Alandra Segoviano. She is a writer for wellandgood.com and is interested in the lifestyle of a nurse.  She is curious about what foods we eat on shift and why.  So if you are as curious as her, then this episode is for you. 

Diet vs. Lifestyle

Temporary Diets don’t work. You must find the food you like to eat and eliminate all the process stuff.

People see the results of diets because they just end up eliminating calories. Any diet will work if you just decrease the number of calories; everyone will find success in that. 

Intermittent fasting is beneficial, especially on nights. 

  • Working all night doesn’t mean you have to eat all night.
  • 16-8 is the one we usually do. We stop eating at midnight. 
  • Different associations with food. It becomes more of a fuel

Benefits of Intermittent fasting:

  1. Increases metabolism
  • In intermittent fasting, your metabolism does not decrease because fasting is short-term.
  • The way intermittent fasting indirectly boosts your metabolism is through norepinephrine. During acute starvation and short-term calorie negligence, your body increases norepinephrine levels. Norepinephrine causes an increase in the release of glucose. 

2. Immune function

  • Autophagy is the process of programmed cell death. It is also the ability to find damaged cells and destroy them.
  • On the immunological level, it is also breaking down white blood cells for resources to rebuild. White blood cells are a general term to associate all our immune cells. Our body naturally breaks down damaged cells and uses those components to create new mature white blood cells for the future.
  • Decreases oxidative stress and inflammation. Long-term effects of oxidation and inflammation increase the risks of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. A decrease in chronic disease, in turn, helps decrease the immune system’s workload.

3. Brain function

  • You take the work and time needed to consume food and put that effort into brain function and mental processing.
  • Increase a hormone called BDNF. Studies show that The chemical Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is decreased in depression and other brain issues. An increase in BDNF can make you feel better on a neurological level.
  • Builds self-control

4. Liquids 

  • You need to drink more water. This especially helps with hunger and craving. 

Food

Meat, including seafood – simple, protein keeps you fuller for longer. It’s the building block of life. 

  • Meat protein vs Plant-based
    • Research shows that meat protein 
      • Meat resulted in a more significant gain in whole-body net protein balance above baseline than the ounce equivalents of plant-based protein food sources. The improvement in whole-body net protein balance was due to increased protein synthesis with all the animal protein sources. In contrast, the egg and pork groups also suppressed protein breakdown compared to plant protein sources [1].
      • Steak, chicken, beef, pork, salmon, and shrimp. 

Fruits

    • Berries
      • Taste the best. Lower in calories and lower in carbs
  • Antioxidants
    • Help keep free radicals under control and helps decrease inflammation.
    • blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits, next to pomegranates.

High in fiber

High nutrition content

      • Vitamins like C, minerals, Magnesium

Vegetables

  • The consistent vegetables we eat are mushrooms, potatoes (sweet and regular), onions, swiss chard, and greens.
  • Explore different vegetables and find ones you can consistently eat.
  • Basic building blocks for life. 
  • The primary source of all major vitamins and minerals for our body to function and present inflammation.

Greek yogurt and peanut butter

    • Unsweetened Greek yogurt with some fruits and granola
  • Great for gut support
      • Probiotics. Make sure it says Live and Active Cultures (LAC)
  • Bone and muscle health
    • Protein, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Oatmeal

    • Oatmeal with milk and butter, not water. 
    • Good source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. 
  • Beta-glucans
    • Beta-glucans have been tested to lower blood glucose concentrations and decrease hyperlipidemia and hypertension [2].
    • It might prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol from food. They might also stimulate the immune system by increasing chemicals that prevent infections.
      • Essentially helps neutrophils travel to the site of infection faster and improves their potential to eliminate the bacteria they find there.

RX Bars

  • 3 eggwhites
  • 6 almonds 
  • 4 cashews
  • 2 Dates 

Recently – easy-to-eat salads with a choice of meat, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, avocado, red onion 

Primal Kitchen dressings – Cleanest dressing, based on olive and avocado oils. All are healthy foods that help nurses last their 12-hour shifts.

Learn what foods you can eat during your long shifts by watching the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Introduction
01:44 Peters nightshift nurse life
03:42 Night shift eating pattern
06:44 What veggies and fruits for a nursing shift
10:09 Best protein powders
12:01 Water Intake as a nurse
16:21 Truth about dieting
17:34 Matt’s daily diet
19:55 Easy nursing snacks for nurses
24:05 How to prevent carb crashes and feeling tired
28:17 4 main food categories for good health
29:25 Avoid sugary foods at work
30:46 Caffeinate properly as a nurse
32:49 When do you get used to night shift?