What To Eat (and Drink) On Early Shift.

Do you work a lot of early shifts?  They’re pretty brutal aren’t they?  Especially when the alarm clock goes off at “stupid o’clock” as one of my clients so beautifully described.

It’s why this week I want to talk about ‘What To Eat (And Drink) On Early Shift.’

Whether you’re starting at 5am, 6am … or even 3am like I used to when I was working at the international airport (they really did hurt I can assure you – lol!!) – those feelings of fatigue really kick in thanks to the disruption to the quantity and quality of your sleep.

In geeky science terms, we refer to this as the homeostatic sleep drive or sleep pressure, and sleep rhythm.

From a quality perspective, early shifts can wake us up right in the middle of a sleep cycle which is a bit like stopping your washing machine in the middle of it’s cycle, and pulling out the washing when it’s still soggy!

From a quantitative perspective, if we haven’t tucked ourselves into bed at a reasonable hour then the fatigue effects of that early shift can be magnified even further.

So when it comes to establishing what to eat and drink on early shifts, I like to approach it from 2 key areas:


HSW 66 – Addressing Fatigue with John Toomey

In today’s show we’re talking all things fatigue because let’s face it, when we work 24/7, it forms a huge part of our way of life!

John Toomey is based in Melbourne, Australia and is affectionately known as ‘The Fatigue Professor’.  After completing a Physical Education degree in 1981, John worked for 7 AFL teams as a conditioning coach and/or nutritionist and has since written multiple books, e-books, published 100’s of articles, lectured in Universities and presented over 2000 seminars in workplaces across Australia and around the World.  To say he’s qualified to talk all things fatigue is a massive understatement!

In this episode John explains:

  • How drinking water helps to reduce fatigue, by increasing blood volume and enhancing circulation
  • The optimal amount of water intake required for every 25kgs of body weight
  • How dehydration can prevent your core body temperature from dropping by 1 degree, preventing the body from acquiring that deep, restorative REM sleep
  • Why resistance to being at work, creates even more fatigue than the work itself
  • Why placing “intentions” at the beginning of your shift, can help to improve your energy
  • How nourishing the microbiome in the gut, or gastrointestinal tract, with optimal nutrition also helps to increase energy levels

Links mentioned on the podcast:

The Wide Awake Program / App

Website – http://fatigueprofessor.com

To contact John – info@fatigueprofessor.com

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/johntoomey-thoughtleader/

Do You Ever Feel Like A Wilted Flower?

Do you ever have days when you look and feel a bit like a wilted flower?

You know when your whole body just aches all over and you feel flat as a tack! Now there could be a number of reasons for this but let me ask you one question.

Do you water your plants regularly? If not, what happens to them? Yep, you got it- they become wiltered.

And this is exactly what happens to you when you don’t drink enough water.

You see, many people confuse thirst as hunger and instead of getting a glass of water they get something to eat instead.

If you are feeling thirsty it is your body’s way of saying “Hey, I’m dehydrated – please get me some water!” Now eating food on the other hand, will not hydrate you.

Many also confuse this thirst with cravings, and reach for something sweet or fatty to eat like chips and/or chocolate. And guess what happens next? Yep – the clothes start to get tighter as the weight gain begins!
Now because you’re still thirsty and dehydrated, fatigue sets in and you quite literally become a bit like a wilted flower in need of a good watering.
In addition to helping you fight fatigue, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true “magical potion” for permanent weight loss.
So start your day by drinking a full glass of water as soon as you get up because your body hasn’t had a single drop for at least 8 hours. (What am I saying, I’m talking to shift workers here …. 4-5 hours if we’re lucky!!)
And continue drinking water throughout the day to ensure you stay fully hydrated.


After all, ‘The Wiltered Flower Look’ – is not a good look!
P.S. – Oh, and don’t forget to neglect your plants as well!!