Shift work will often make you have to eat during the night, a time period when the digestive system is normally resting. The shift workers are quite susceptible to developing digestive and stomach issues because of highly irregular eating habits. For instance, close to 45% of the shift workers today have to deal with chronic digestive problems. One of the most common problems of those that were interviewed by ShiftPixy is that there is one large meal that is eaten and that includes heavy proteins, spicy foods and greasy foods. This is not at all a good eating habit.
General Nutrition Tips
Eating well as the timetable is hectic is difficult. You want to adjust the meal routine to the schedule you have. Some very important nutrition tips you do want to follow include:
- Never skip meals.
- Do not eat a really large meal when your shift ends. This can lead to sleeping and digestive problems. The larger meals should be eaten when your body requires more calories and you are highly active.
- Take healthy meals with you to work. The choices you find in the vending machine are often really high in fat, simple carbs and sodium.
- Always drink a lot of water as you are working in the shift. As you do this, energy levels remain up and cravings are prevented.
- Choose the foods that have high lean protein and fiber content. These are satisfying for a longer period of time. The foods that are high in simple carbohydrates and sugar offer fast energy but they do not sustain you.
Make sure that you time your activities and meals in order to match the day that you have. Establish normal eating schedules no matter what your working hours are. It is always a very good idea to eat 3 meals daily, all properly spaced. Being consistent is really important. Schedule a minimum of one meal per day at home and avoid those beverages and foods that are high in caffeine close to bedtime.
Some Meal Suggestions
You do need to have special considerations when you eat during night hours. The digestive tract is used to a daily rhythm that is simply not set for night digestion. However, this is not something that means you need to skip eating as you are at your job. You need to plan really well-balanced meals for the shifts you have. The main consideration includes protein:
- Protein – The first after your sleep should include protein. The heavier proteins need to be sparingly used, eaten only several hours before bedtime. The heavy proteins will take a lot longer for you to digest. Choose some lighter protein sources during or right before your work. Try to avoid frying as you prepare your meals.
- Heavy Proteins – Best options to take into account are high-fat cheeses, eggs that include yolks, tube meats, pork and
- Light Proteins – Some great examples include fish, turkey, low-fat dairy products, egg whites, legumes and
Always plan your meals and do not change your eating habits simply because you work swing shifts.