Sunday December 8, 2019

If Doing Night Shift, Eat Small Protein-Rich, Complex Carb Snack to Stay Alert, Productive

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person's circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake

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Night, Protein, Snack
To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal. Pixabay

If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal.

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person’s circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake. Managing fatigue is thus critical for workplace health and safety.

“Night shift work is linked to certain chronic illnesses and diseases, including metabolic gastrointestinal issues, ulcer, obesity and heart disease. People who do night shifts don’t get sufficient sleep, which impacts their metabolism and appetite,” Shalini Bliss, Head Dietitian, Columbia Asia Hospital, in Gurugram, told IANS.

“They also tend to have a poor diet and irregular eating habits, which can affect their health and performance. If you are doing night shift, you should eat a small protein-rich, complex carb snack instead of a full meal during the break,” she said.

Night, Protein, Snack
If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. Pixabay

Published in the journal Nutrients, researchers from the University of South Australia surveyed 44 people to test the impact of a snack, a meal or no food at all during night shifts.

The study found while all participants reported increased sleepiness, fatigue and decreased vigour, a snack lowered the impact more so than a meal or no food at all. The snack group also reported no discomfort, as noted by the meal group.

“The findings show the strategic eating pattern on night shift may contribute to more alert and better-performing workers,” said study lead author Charlotte Gupta.

Sharing his experience with IANS, New Delhi-based Varun Matta, who does night shifts at an MNC, said, “I have been doing night shifts for over two year. I have found that people often complain about restlessness, migraine and headache. Every alternate week, I have seen an ambulance leaving office due to these problems.”

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Neha Pathania, dietitian at Paras Hospital in Gurugram, told IANS the human body through thousands of years of evolution is programmed to sleep during night and work during the day.

“While no food is a strict no-no, a heavy meal can slow the body metabolism and signal the body to go to sleep. The best option, therefore, is light healthy snacks, including fruits and fluids,” she said. (IANS)

Next Story

Ice Baths Decrease Protein Generation in Muscles: Study

Ice baths not helpful for repairing and building muscles

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Ice baths
Researchers have found that ice baths do not help in repairing muscles. Pixabay

Successful athletes such as Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis-Hill are known for using ice baths after exercise, however new research suggests that ice baths aren’t helpful for repairing and building muscle over time, because they decrease the generation of protein in muscles.

According to health experts here, rather going for ice bath people can opt to get mild massage, consume protein before bed, and drink plenty of water.

Ice baths, also known as cold-water immersion, are still touted as a popular strategy for both acute recovery, on a timescale of hours and days, as well as adaptation to training over weeks and months.

“Yes taking ice bath has certain rejuvenating and refreshing properties which may help one to be active, but is not a proven fact that it will certainly help in muscle building as science behind such conclusions is not robust,” Gaurav Rathore, Associate Director, Department of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

“At the same time it can bot be recommended to general public as our athletes have very controlled and disciplined environment, hence in certain conditions they come up with their own idea of fitness,” Rathore added.

Baths
Rather going for ice baths people can opt to get mild massage. Pixabay

He suggested that rather going for ice bath one can opt to get mild massage, consume protein before bed, take enough sleep, rest, and drink plenty of water which are also essential components for muscles building.

Thestudy, published in the Journal of Physiology, found that ice baths are particularly ineffective for the latter, adaptation.

Acccording to Yash Gulati, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi told IANS: The idea behind using ice baths is to reduce the inflammation and not for repairing or building the muscles. The purpose of the ice baths is to decrease the swelling after acute pain.

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“But there’s no impact of ice baths on the generation of new proteins in the muscles,” Gulati said.

Gulati added that alternatives ice baths can be physiotherapy and strengthening exercise. (IANS)