7 Things Nurses Should Eat and Drink During A Stressful Work Day

7 Things Nurses Should Eat and Drink During A Stressful Work Day

Nursing has been considered the most underappreciated profession. From long shifts to endless charting, nurses are always on their feet. As noble as the profession of doctors is, hospitals cannot survive without a dedicated nursing staff. With low incomes, nurses are expected to do a lot during their shifts. The sad reality of our society is that this profession is not given its due respect. People will always treat nurses as inferior compared to doctors. Nurses have to deal with snobbish doctors, demanding patients and rude patients’ attendants/families. Also, they have to deal with a mountain load of work like tracking all important vitals, filing test reports and administering medicines at the right time, which pretty much takes hours and hours. On top of that, some hospitals are low staffed, which adds up to the misery of the nurses.

The outbreak of Coronavirus at the end of 2019 opened the eyes of society to how little attention was given to the health industry. Nurses are the backbone of this industry, and this profession has suffered a great deal since the beginning of this pandemic. By risking their physical and mental health, and personal and social life, they slaved through their job. They sacrificed their meals and slept to stay close to their patients in case of any emergency. Some wouldn’t even take bathroom breaks.

Under immense burden, many nurses saw how their training was lacking somehow. In such difficult times, they were required to rise up and take charge, showing excellent administrative skills. Many universities offer affordable nursing degrees online to help them develop expertise in critical management areas such as informatics, financial management and legal issues in healthcare. In addition, it allowed many nurses to manage their shifts and pursue this degree with ease.

According to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while many nurses rose up to the challenge, the U.S. healthcare sector has lost nearly half a million workers since February 2020. 18 percent of healthcare staff have quit since the start of the pandemic, while 12 percent have been fired. Thirty-one percent of the remaining workers have thought of quitting.

These stats just show how stressful it is for healthcare workers, more importantly, nurses, in current times. To be able to manage this immense workload, nurses have to be physically and mentally fit. As mentioned above, nurses are the backbone of hospitals; for this backbone to be strong, nurses should focus greatly on their diets and food intake.

A healthy, balanced food intake can do wonders. And especially taking quick snacks during busy shifts can help you feel energized. We have listed some food items in this article that are packed up with all the nutrients and energy needed to keep you going.


Do you feel drained during a hectic shift? Do you seem to lose attention because there is so much to look after?

Stress is known to affect your energy levels and mood. Vitamin B and potassium keep your blood pressure normal and keep your mind happy and relaxed. A handful of nuts, especially pistachios, can help in stressful shifts. Just carry some in your pocket every day and snack on them. This way, the stress will not get the best of you, and you can happily continue working.


Do you crave quick sugary snacks during your shifts? A doughnut probably or some frosted cupcakes?

It is a misconception that sugar and carbs give you energy. If anything, raised sugar levels can be extremely harmful. But then again, stress reduces sugar levels that can make you lethargic and affect your work. Balancing a normal amount of sugar and carbs can help you stay energized. The best thing to eat in busy times is oatmeal. Good quality oats have healthy amounts of carbs and sugar that can give you the desired energy and not make you feel too bloated to perform well on your job.

Herbal Tea

Are you a coffee person? Have you tuned your mind to not function without caffeine?

Caffeine is known to help the mind fight stress and recover, but higher amounts of caffeine can be harmful. Many herbal teas like chamomile, ginger, green and peppermint have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and relaxants that help their drinkers cope with anxiety better while benefiting their bodies. A cup of herbal tea on the go can keep you afloat during a busy day.

Omega-3 Enriched Food

Sometimes, when you manage to find some time to sit down for a quick meal, what do you go for? Burgers? Fries? Why opt for unhealthy fat when you can opt for healthy fat.

Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acid regulates the body function of the heart, lungs and mind. These acids also have been shown to help with mental health. These foods include fatty fish like salmon, tuna and halibut. If you are not a fan of fish, you can opt for omega-3 eggs, soy milk, nut milk or omega-3 infused supplements like fish oil.

Citrus Fruits

Fresh citrus and juices contain high amounts of vitamin C. In a study published January 2015 in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, vitamin C reduces stress levels and prevents anxiety. Any fruit is easy to eat during a busy shift. You can even be on the run and eat it. Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and strawberries are packed with vitamin C. You can also opt for a yummy lemonade. It has vitamin C as well as a moderate amount of sugar and salt that can keep your sugar levels and blood pressure normal.

High fiber foods

Do heavier meals or snacks make you lazy and affect your work pace? Eating street food or unhealthy makes your stomach queasy?

Fiber-rich foods are gut-friendly. They are light on your stomach and easy to digest. They also reduce anxiety, depression and stress. Examples of such foods are beans, green peas, berries, almonds, pistachios, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and lots of greens like kale and broccoli. Whole grains are also rich in fiber. So draw up all your spices and be creative with these foods for a delicious, healthy meal.

Dark Chocolate

Who is not a fan of chocolate?

Before you stock up on candies, we must ensure that only dark chocolate has a unique natural substance that gives the sensation of euphoria, just like being in love. The antioxidant in cocoa helps reduce stress by relaxing the blood vessels. This improves blood circulation and blood pressure. Therefore, we should warn you; you must make sure to consume only up to 1.4oz per day as high consumption can increase your calorie intake.


Healthcare workers have a lot at stake. They literally have other people’s lives in their hands. Any mistake, big or small, can cost someone their life. This is why nurses need to stay vigilant and active during their shifts. Hectic days can get the best of everyone and can bring the morale down. This is why looking after your diet and incorporating healthy vitamins, minerals, and fats can help you cope well with anxiety and stress.