Sport and night work

bodybuilding tips

Sport and night work

Working non-traditional hours can wreak havoc on your sleep, nutrition, and training. If you work at night, it is of the utmost importance to be able to organize yourself to train with regularity and maximum energy. Some prefer to go to the gym just before going to work, while others will prefer to go before sleeping, or sometimes during their working hours if circumstances allow.

People who work nights are more likely to gain weight than those who work during the day, in particular because their circadian rhythm is disturbed, and that appetite and energy are no longer felt with as much precision as when we live by day and sleep at night. Also, you may be tempted to stop training, or to train less, in order to be able to take advantage of your moments of rest to sleep and recover.

Here are some tips for finding the right balance and be able to organize yourself as well as possible so as not to sacrifice your passion for sport, and thus keep in shape and in shape despite staggered schedules.


During work

Given the family responsibilities you certainly have, appointments, sleep, food and other activities that are rightfully priorities in your life, it may be difficult for you to find the time to train before your shift. night. Instead of surfing the Internet or hanging around during your shift, try to exercise if environment and circumstances permit. Keep a pair of light weights, a jump rope, and resistance bands with you, and do bodyweight exercises with rubber bands and small dumbbells.

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After work

If exercise can sometimes prevent you from sleeping for a few hours after a session, it can also perfectly help to sleep. If your night shift ends around 6 or 7 a.m., wait until everyone is at school or work before going to sleep. You will reach a deeper and more restful phase of sleep within three hours of the end of your night shift. Take the opportunity to train before going to bed!

When is the best time to train?

The best time of day to train when working night shifts largely depends individual’s preference. For one or two weeks, go train before, during or after work, and see what works best for you. No matter what time of day you choose, treat exercise as an important appointment that you can’t miss.

The consequences of night work

A significant impact on health

Shift work can affect your health in two ways.

  • Odd schedules disrupt your lifestyle: you sleep less, you see less family members and friends, and you are more easily tempted by junk food when you are at work.

  • Working nights or rotating shifts interfere with the body’s circadian rhythm, the normal sleep-wake cycle that controls the release of hormones, restores energy, and allows your body to function optimally. The release of melatonin and cortisol is disturbed, which facilitates the storage of calories from food.

  • During the day, our body temperature is normally higher and all bodily processes are running at full speed. As evening approaches, these functions begin to slow down. Night shift work puts your body in conflict with its natural rhythm. Your metabolism, cardiovascular system, digestion and hormonal balance can be upset.

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How to eat well when working at night?

Structure your diet

Before going to sleep, eat a meal a little higher in carbohydrates and containing less protein, in order to raise your serotonin levels which will make it easier to fall asleep.

Choose your snacks wisely

If you work at night, snack little during your shift and prefer structured and complete meals. If so, choose snacks that are low in saturated fat, low in sodium, and have a low glycemic index.

Examples of healthy snacks include fruit, dried fruit, yogurt, vegetables, a turkey sandwich, whole grain crackers, part-skim cheese, or even better, whey protein. Whey protein is low in calories and very rich in essential amino acids. What’s more, protein reduces appetite and will help you satisfy your hunger between two meals.

Stay hydrated

Drink water during your working night to prevent fatigue, constipation or slow transit, and to curb food cravings. Try to drink, on average, about 3 liters of water per 24 hours.

Molo on the caffeine!

Too much caffeine during your shift can prevent you from sleeping well after work. Avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, cola) four to six hours before bedtime.

In conclusion

So adapting your training to your lifestyle comes down to one thing: being pragmatic.

  • Don’t use work as an excuse and instead remember that you have the control and the ability to adapt, whatever the situation.

  • It all adds up. Every little change. Every meal you change. Every minute of exercise.

  • Plan your day: Spend 5 minutes identifying what you will eat and when you will train. That way you’ll be much more likely to stay consistent and have good results.

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Also read:

Sleep to build muscle and burn fat

Food to improve sleep

The best foods for sleep

The home workout program


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