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Looking for drink options that won’t send your energy levels plummeting?
Travel nurse jobs sometimes come with long shifts and a little pick me up is essential, but some drinks give you an initial burst only to send you crashing an hour later. Finding the right balance of energy effectiveness and sustainability is tricky. Consider five drinks that give you an added push without the drop that makes you want to take a nap in the middle of your shift.
It goes without saying that water is the ultimate drink. It gives your body everything it needs to keep going, restores fluids and electrolytes that you lose during a long day at work, and quenches your thirst at the same time. It is also one of the most cost-effective drink options around, so it won’t blow your travel budget.
The amount of water that a person needs varies based on activity level, but if you find you are getting tired halfway through a shift, drink more water and see if that helps. It may take a day or two to put everything back in balance.
Black coffee gets a bad rap, but is a good choice if you need a little pick me up. Coffee contains antioxidants and flavonoids that make it a healthy drink option in moderation. The downfall is you have to drink it black. As soon as you start piling on the sugar and cream, the benefits drop. These are loaded with fat, sugar and an increased caffeine content that will cost you later on. Stick to the hot, black stuff for a healthy energy boost.
Green tea, in particular, is a good energy choice that offers health benefits. There is evidence that green tea is one of the healthiest drinks out there, according to research scientist Christopher Ochner, Ph.D. It contains catechin antioxidants that fight cell damage, improves working memory and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, so you can focus.
The jury is still out on whether diet sodas are bad for you or not, but they can help fool you into thinking you are getting a sugar push without the crash that comes with real sweet drinks. If you have a soda habit, then a diet drink can help you make the transition to make healthier choices.
It is worth mentioning that the “diet” label that comes with these drinks may be misleading. Studies suggest that drinking diet soda may actually contribute to weight gain and is associated with excess fat around the belly. If you need a sweet treat now and then, though, diet soda is a fair choice.
There are pros and cons to drinking 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice. They do fulfill some of the daily dietary requirements, but fruit juice often has as much sugar as soda. Vegetable juices are lower calorie choices but are often loaded with sodium.
The best advice when it comes to natural juices is moderation. A small, four-ounce serving can provide an energy boost without the drawbacks, but more than that is not recommended.
The most practical approach to making smart drink choices is to create a workable combination. Water should be the first thing you reach for, but combine it with coffee and tea to keep things interesting. Limit your diet soda and juice intake to one or less a day or just when you are craving a treat. For more travel nursing tips, browse our resources section.