Night shift can be tough. Your internal clock is backwards, there is no sunlight and the food choices, quite often just aren’t there. This document will help you build your plate in a manner that will address these shifts in your eating schedule.

When an individual wakes up for night shift it is important to understand that although typical breakfast foods are not available, the nutrients which they provide are. That being said, like any time of the day, we need to address that our body requires protein, carbs and fats in order to get your body going and that can best be accomplished by knowing what the right foods are for the job.

It is important to identify a good protein source for your meals. The rule with protein is “the less legs it has the better” – meaning fish, poultry and then red meat in order of health benefits and leaner meats. That being said a choice like fish or chicken upon waking may be the easier digestive choice to get your metabolism started. Most supper meals will have one of those protein sources, so I recommend choosing one of them.


In regards to carbohydrates, I would recommend a hearty carbohydrate to get your metabolism into action and this could include:

  • All bran
  • Raisin bran
  • Muslix
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Rice
  • Or vegetables such as:
  • Turnip
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Carrots

Essential Fats come in a variety of foods including…

  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Olive oil

Therefore upon waking try to get a source of these included in your meal; for example you could have peanut butter on whole wheat toast or 2 omega 3’s with your meal.

For your final meal of the day it is important as well, follow the best foods by category document in order to hit all the important nutrients:

Protein sources:

  • chicken or fish (if available)
  • cottage cheese
  • eggs
  • yogurt


  • All Bran (not a substantial energy source so it is ok)
  • small bowls of cereals listed in best foods document
  • vegetables
  • yogurt
  • small piece of fruit (not too much due to high sugar content)

Essential Fats:

  • Omega 3’s
  • Peanut butter
  • Fish
  • Nuts

Remember that before bed you don’t need a lot of energy so your plate should have a significant serving of protein and a small serving of carbohydrates. This meal is opposite to breakfast where you need energy to start your metabolism.

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