How Clinicians Can Optimize Nutrition and Hydration in The Workplace
Whether you're a doctor, nurse, therapist, or another healthcare provider on call at all hours of the day, or an office receptionist looking after patients who are still awake when you get there in the morning, nutrition and hydration play an integral role in your ability to perform at your best. In order to stay healthy and strong in your chosen profession, you need to balance protein-rich meals with hydration elements like water and caffeine during your busy days. It's easy to overlook these vital nutrients at work especially when you're getting so much done! DirectShifts brings you few simple steps today so that you can develop a plan that works for you and helps keep your blood pressure up while keeping up with demand!
The Role of Nutrition and Hydration for Immune Support
Nutrition and hydration aren't just important when you're fighting a virus, they're also crucial factors that support your lifelong health. In the short term, staying hydrated and eating a nutrient-dense diet can help prevent dehydration, which can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, rapid heartbeat and other symptoms. In the long term, proper nutrition can help you avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies and support your immune system, which is critical to keeping you healthy and supporting recovery if you become sick.
Frontline healthcare workers have a small window of time each day in which to eat and drink, so it's essential for them to focus on nutrients that both satisfy their hunger and meet their nutritional needs. Here are four nutrients that should be prioritized:
*Omega-3 fatty acids
*Carbohydrates (including fiber)
*Fluid balance (including water)
- Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you full for longer periods of time throughout the day. To get more of this nutrient, try spreading your protein intake throughout the day and consuming high-quality protein with each meal.
- Fiber is another important nutrient that contributes to feelings of fullness. A study recently concluded that when compared to participants who consumed a low-fiber scone, participants who ate a scone made with resistant starch (a type of fiber) experienced decreased hunger levels for three hours after eating it. Fiber also helps with food digestion and helps the body absorb critical nutrients.
- Healthy fats are another way to get more calories into your body without adding extra sugar or fat from junk food. Healthy fats include nuts, olives, fatty fish, and soybeans which can help you meet your daily calorie needs more easily when you're on the go! Foods with healthy fats include fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and some plant oils like avocado or coconut.
- The daily recommendations for vitamins and minerals are an important step when building a healthy immune system. Specifically, vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc can help support the immune system. Vitamins A, C, and E can be found in many whole foods, including both plant- and animal-based products like fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat, and nuts. And zinc can be found in beef, chicken, yogurt, and legumes.
It's also important to remember that these nutrients are not just "empty calories"--they have important functions in our bodies that help us function at peak performance!
How to Achieve Hydration at the Workplace
- When it's tough to take a water break, drinking an electrolyte solution such as PedialyteÂ® is one way that frontline workers can stay hydrated. Whether you're preparing for a marathon or about to pull a double shift, Pedialyte is an advanced rehydration solution that can help protect you from the mild to moderate dehydration typically brought on by heat, exercise or other fluid losses.
- When your shifts are done, healthcare workers should drink ample amounts of water to stay hydrated all day long. Don't overload your body with water though, because that may cause overhydration or too much water and not enough electrolytes. Drink until your urine is clear or a pale-yellow color, which signifies adequate hydration. To ensure adequate consumption of fluids, add flavor to water with fruit slices or fresh herbs.
- Healthcare workers are on their feet for long periods of time, which can lead to dehydration. One of the best ways that healthcare workers can optimize their hydration throughout the day is by consuming water- and nutrient-rich foods, such as cucumber, celery, peppers, and watermelon. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can get up to 20% of your daily fluid needs from foods alone. Water is crucial for optimal health and well-being. It helps flush toxins out of our bodies and keeps us hydrated so we don't feel tired or fatigued. Water also helps regulate body temperature by helping sweat evaporate more quickly when it's hot outside; this reduces heat build-up in our bodies which could lead to illness or injury due to overheating (such as sunstroke).
Tips to stay in Shape.
Keeping your immune system in top shape is a key part of staying healthy, but it's not always easy to do. That's why we recommend that you follow these five tips:
1. Get enough sleep. Adults should aim for seven hours of sleep each night.
2. Exercise regularly--at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day for five days each week.
3. Wash your hands properly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before eating or handling food or touching other people's food (including yourself).
4. Practice food safety by washing all produce under cold running water before eating it, keeping raw meat separate from other foods, and refrigerating perishable foods appropriately so they don't spoil too quickly once you bring them home from the store!
5. Make sure your immune system is strong by getting plenty of rest when sick or injured so it can fight off germs better than ever before!
In the workplace, clinicians are managers and leaders of their own lives. They are responsible for their own health and wellness, which includes paying attention to proper nutrition and hydration. They must prioritize their health over work responsibilities if they have any hope of performing reliably, but only if they think about their well-being. HR leaders must lead by example by implementing innovative policies to get their colleagues thinking about both health and wellness in the workplace. Check the link to read how DirectShifts' clinicians have chosen to look after their health in the new year: As a Healthcare Professional, why are New Year's Resolutions So Difficult to Maintain? (directshifts.com)