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I have gotten a lot of questions about how I eat when I work night shift. Do I eat more, do I eat less, WHEN do I eat? I get it, it’s weird to work nights and it definitely takes some getting used so today I am going to share a basic what/how I eat (and drink!) during night shifts!
The first thing to know about night shift is that it’s just like days, except backwards! I wake up around 3pm on the nights I work and immediately chug some water. Staying hydrated is crucial to your health (and skincare!) and for some reason I just always wake up super thirsty. The next thing I do is find caffeine! Depending on the mood I’m in I may drink a cup of coffee or make an energy drink. I tend to lean towards an energy drink more in the spring/summer and coffee in the winter so here lately I’ve been on a energy drink kick. In my morning caffeine I always add my collagen peptides! YUM!
After I am properly caffeinated I jump in the shower and then get ready for work. Just before I leave the house I will make a protein shake. I have never been a big breakfast person and so shakes just work for me in the morning. I drink it on my way to work and I am good!
My protein shake will hold me for a couple of hours and then it’s time for lunch! I tend to eat my biggest meal of the day for lunch just because I’m trying to lose weight and so I try not to eat big meals before bedtime. So lunch time for me is around 10 or 11pm. For lunch I usually make a sheet pan meal like this one or have some sort of chicken and pasta or chicken and rice. I try and stay away from lots of carbs but they are necessary for energy so I do still eat them, just not as many as I would like, LOL!
Around midnight I am usually in need of more caffeine so again I go for either coffee or an energy drink depending on what I have on me and if I’m hot or cold. Cold = coffee and hot = energy drink.
I haven’t been eating dinner lately, instead I opt for a lots of small snacks throughout the night but if I did eat dinner it would be around 2am. Since I am on a snack kick I will usually eat a small snack around 1:00 am and another around 5:30 am. I am usually home by 7:30 am and in bed asleep by 8:30 am so I really try not to eat anything after 6:00 am.
For snacks I tend to go more savory versus sweet so I have been eating a lot of sriracha cashews, popcorn, a protein snack pack (with a meat, nuts and cheese), cheese and pepperoni sticks, etc. When I am craving something sweet I usually eat oatmeal. YUM!
Now onto drinks! I am a self-proclaimed water-a-holic and drink it all day ‘err day but sometimes even the most voracious water drinker can get bored with the same water all the time so here lately I have been switching it up. I was at Sam’s Club last week and was in the drinks aisle (that’s the main reason I even have a Sam’s Club membership, the drinks!) and stumbled across smartwater® sparkling water!I have been a smartwater® fan for a few years now (it’s one of the few bottled waters I actually think tastes good) and was excited to see the sparkling version at Sam’s because let’s be real, everyone needs a little bubbly water in their life!
The smartwater® sparkling water gives me the fizzy feeling that I miss! Since I found it last week I have been drinking it up! I carry a bottle in my bag, I usually have one in my lunchbox and I have even been mixing it in to my energy drink. Talk about a refreshing pick-me-up! YUM!!
So in answer to what I drink all night, I drink water. Regular water, smartwater® sparkling water, an energy drink and occasionally coffee (but only if I’m cold). What can I say, I know what I like and I like water in whatever form is available to me!
So there you have it folks, that is what I eat and drink when I work night shift. As you can see, it’s pretty much just like what you would eat during the day but at night! If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment.
Have you tried smartwater® sparkling water??
robin rue says
My dad worked the night shift for my entire life growing up. He just retired after doing it for 30 years and still can’t get back into a “normal” schedule after doing nights for so long.
Alli Smith says
I’m such a morning person and I don’t think I could ever work the night shift. My son-in-law worked it for several years. I know I would have to keep plenty of SmartWater sparkling water on hand. I need to stock up the next time I’m in Sam’s.
I could never be a night shift worker more of a morning person. Drinking water is key to everything. Everyone I know who works the night shift eats the same just at different times.
Amber Myers says
I try to drink a lot of water as well. I haven’t tried this Smartwater before. I’ll have to give it a taste. My husband has worked a night shift many times in the military! I’ve been on night shift when the kids refuse to sleep.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
My husband worked overnights many years ago. Now he works the 3-11 shift. He still eats the same foods and things but on his time frame.
Tomi c says
My sister used to work night shift and has the craziest sleep schedule. I’ve never worked night shift so it would probably be a really had transition for me. I can totally see protein shakes helping you make it through the long night hours though.
I have never worked the night shift, but we love Smart water. I have been buying it for our daughter for years now. It is her go to.
Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com says
This is great information! Working 3rd shift I gained about 10 pounds just eating out of control. I learned to have a schedule. Love your routine.
I used to wait tables on the night shift years and years ago. I ate the same stuff as anyone else, just while they were all in bed.
Sarah Bailey says
This is really interesting, I can’t imagine what it is like to work a night shift. The Smart Water sounds interesting, I’ve seen it in store so may h ave to pick some up.
chubskulit rose says
My husband is the one that always prepares protein shake especially when he is busy with his homework. I don’t think I can work a night shift.
Karen Morse says
This is a great guide for people who work night shifts. I think it’s really important that you don’t starve yourself or miss meals.
Sara Welch says
These ideas are pretty spot on. I actually used to be nocturnal!
Kita Bryant says
Smart water is one of the few bottles I will buy. It is either them or Fiji!
Heather Stone says
I feel ya! I work in EMS so our shifts run 24 hours and I can be up all night so my eating and drinking schedule can be so strange. I am not a coffee drinker but I do like smoothies or protein power smoothies. I haven’t gotten into any of the engery drinkers but I have a few partners that love those Monsters. I love water too! I just got a new water bottle to bring with me on shift.
Angela Ricardo says
I used to work graveyard shifts in a call center company. Throughout the night I munch and drink. I don’t remember keeping track but most of it is coffee. Thank you for sharing this post. I personally love smart water and solely drink that while I was pregnant.
I can’t imagine working the night shift! That being said, I work a 6 hour shift during the day where I don’t take a break and I’m very active, so it’s a challenge to stay hydrated and healthy. I can use these tips too.
Our Family World says
I worked the night shift for a decade and my body got used to it. Water was essential to my survival when I was workng that shift. It not only kept me awake and alert, it kept me hydrated too. It was water and roasted nuts that kept me on my toes. I agree with you. Working the night shift if pretty much like the dayshift, only backwards.
Alison Rost says
It’s good to have a system like this or a schedule that you can follow so you can still eat healthy even if your day is pretty much the night time. I think it’s awesome that you’re sharing this as well. So informative!