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The Best Foods for Boosting Energy and Focus during Long Shifts

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Fueling Your Body for Long Shifts: The Best Foods for Energy and Focus

Who doesn’t love a good snack? Working long shifts can be both mentally and physically exhausting.

A good meal after a long shift is something you look forward to, but working irregular shift patterns can lead to snacking and eating more than you think.

it is essential to watch what you eat, as different foods can affect you in many ways.

Here are some of the best foods for boosting energy and fueling your body during long shifts.

You must adequately fuel your body for lengthy shifts to keep energy and focus throughout the day. Being careful of your eating habits is vital whether you're a nurse or front-line worker, especially if your schedule is unpredictable and can easily encourage unhealthy snacking. Choosing the right foods may support your overall health and nutrition during long work hours.

When working long shifts, include the following meals in your diet to maintain a high energy level. Due to its high fibre content and complex carbs, muesli is a great choice to fuel your body in the morning. The fibre, protein, and healthy fats in nuts and seeds make them a practical snack that can keep you full and focused. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, and broccoli, to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. For long-lasting energy and muscle preservation, lean protein sources like chicken, fish, turkey, and tofu are crucial. Enjoy a piece of high cocoa-content dark chocolate for a rapid energy boost.

These nutrient-dense foods can help you feed your body, which will help you perform at your best and keep your attention focused throughout long shifts. To maintain your energy levels and general well-being, consider the importance of a balanced diet and make informed decisions.

Oatmeal: A Power-Packed Breakfast for Long-Lasting Energy

Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is an excellent way to fuel your body for a long shift. Oatmeal is rich in fibre and complex carbohydrates, which provide the body with a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Additionally, oatmeal contains vitamin B, helping convert food into energy.

Oatmeal is a versatile breakfast option that can be customized to suit your taste by adding different fruits and nuts.

Nuts, Seeds, and Snack Ideas: Boosting Energy Levels Throughout the Day

Snacking on nuts and seeds during your shift is an excellent way to boost your energy levels. Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, which can help keep you full and focused. Good nuts include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Nuts and seeds are great snacks or can be added to salads and other dishes. Making a trail mix is one way to incorporate nuts and seeds into your meals.

Vegetable salad in a clear bowl
Fruits, Vegetables, and Lean Proteins: Essential for Sustained Energy

Fruits, Vegetables, and Lean Proteins: Essential for Sustained Energy

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining energy levels and staying focused. The best fruits and vegetables for boosting energy include bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, and broccoli.

Fruits can be eaten as a snack or added to breakfasts or desserts. Make a refreshing fruit salad or smoothie by blending some fruits and yogurt. OR make a hearty vegetable soup by boiling and mixing vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes.

Fueling Your Shift: Powering Up with Lean Protein Sources

Eating lean protein during your long shift can help keep you full and focused. Lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, turkey, and tofu provide the body with essential amino acids that help maintain muscle mass and energize you keep you.

Lean protein can be added to salads by mixing grilled chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Dark chocolate on a table
Dark Chocolate: Energizing Treat for Long Shifts

Dark Chocolate: A Delicious and Energizing Treat for Long Shifts

Dark chocolate can be an excellent choice for a quick energy boost during your shift. Dark chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two natural compounds that can help to boost energy levels and improve focus. However, it is essential to choose dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits.

Choosing the right foods can make a significant difference in maintaining energy levels and staying focused during long shifts. Start your day with a healthy bowl of oatmeal, snack on nuts and seeds throughout the day, and include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. And if you need a little boost, indulge in dark chocolate. With these food ideas, you can easily power through your long shift.



  1. What are your favourite snacks to take on a long shift?

  2. Do you find yourself eating different snacks on a night shift?

  3. Could you improve your snacks to help you stay energized for longer?

  4. Could you improve your snacks to help you stay energized for longer?

  5. How do you currently prioritize nutrition during your long shifts?

  6. Are there any other foods or snacks that you find particularly helpful for maintaining energy and focus?




The Vegan Society" ( The Vegan Society offers a wealth of information, recipes, and resources for individuals following a vegan lifestyle.

Gluten-Free Living" ( Gluten-Free Living provides guidance, tips, and recipes for those following a gluten-free diet, whether due to celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

"Plant-Based Dietitian" ( Plant-Based Dietitian is a website run by registered dietitian Julieanna Hever, providing evidence-based information, meal plans, and resources for those interested in a plant-based diet.

"The Dairy-Free Diva" ( The Dairy-Free Diva offers a variety of dairy-free recipes, tips, and resources for individuals who follow a dairy-free or lactose-free diet.

"The FODMAP Formula" ( The FODMAP Formula provides information and resources for individuals following a low-FODMAP diet, which is often recommended for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or digestive sensitivities.

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