What’s the Best High Energy Food for Travel Nurses? - TNS 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Traveling can be exhilarating and exhausting. 

Long flights, cramped buses, and unfamiliar destinations take their toll. 

And once you finally get to your assignment, you spend most of your working hours on your feet. There is rarely a moment you are not on the go. 

Sometimes you wonder how you’ll push through the rest of your shift — five hours into your work.

Are there more high-energy foods you can eat to give you the shot-in-the-arm you need?

In this article, you will learn about some energy-boosting foods for travel nurses that can help you feel more energized and alert. 


Table of Contents



Top 5 Categories of High-Energy Food for Travel Nurses

As a travel nurse, you are constantly on the move, working long hours, or being on call. No matter what, you want to always be ready to help your patients.

You need food that will give you sustained energy throughout your long shifts, such as:

  1. Lean and plant-based protein
  2. Fatty fish
  3. High-fiber foods
  4. Nutritious sweets; and
  5. Healthy sources of caffeine

Want even more detailed help with choosing the right high-energy foods?

Keep reading for a breakdown of food suggestions in each of these categories. These energy-boosting foods for travel nurses can help you stay energized and focused on your health and fitness while you are on the job.


energy boosting food for travel nurses


#1: Lean and Plant-Based Protein

When you’re on the go, it’s important to make sure your meals are packed with energy. 

Lean proteins are the perfect way to do this. They’re high in nutrients and low in calories, making them ideal for those who need a snack to keep them going for hours without slowing them down.

Consider keeping the following lean and plant-based protein choices on your weekly menu.



Eggs provide energy through a significant source of protein, as well as vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin D. 

You can add eggs to your diet:

  • Boiled or fried with vegetables
  • Hard-boiled for an egg salad sandwich
  • Scrambled with vegetables or bacon for breakfast; or
  • In any other way you like them



Nuts are not only a substantial source of protein but also high in:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Healthy fats
  • Fiber; and
  • Antioxidants

They are also a high-energy food for you to pack as snacks or bring along in your bag when you’re working all day.


Greek Yogurt

Another energy-boosting food for travel nurses is Greek yogurt.

It is a creamy protein that is also:

  • Low in calories
  • High in probiotics
  • Packed with calcium; and 
  • A great source of vitamin D 

If you’re looking for a way to stay energized throughout your shift, try getting your Greek yogurt fix at a drive-thru window or vending machine.


Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a simple but excellent high-energy food for travel nurses. It’s packed with:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12; and
  • Phosphorus

It’s also high in riboflavin and zinc, while low in fat.

A cottage cheese snack is easy to make — just add some fruit or veggies, and you’re ready to go.


String Cheese

String cheese can be a fun way to get your energy and protein. 

And string cheese contains vitamin D, which helps build strong bones.

Eating string cheese is an easy way to get some extra calcium into your diet if you’re not getting enough from other sources.



A simple and nutritious plant-based protein, known as edamame, can provide the energy boost you need as a travel nurse.

What is edamame?

It’s a type of soybean that is harvested while it is still green, making it a tender and tasty food that can be boiled or steamed. 

Eating edamame can provide an excellent source of: 

  • Protein
  • Fiber; and 
  • Calories 

It’s also low in sodium and fat, making it a healthy snack option when you need an energy boost as a travel nurse.



Turkey contains high amounts of protein and iron, two nutrients that are important for energy levels. 

If you prefer to eat your turkey in the form of chili or soup, try adding beans or lentils for additional protein and fiber — an important combination when you’re burning through calories at work.


high energy food for travel nurses


#2: Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are the good fats found in most fish. 

These healthy fats help reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health, which can help you feel less fatigued. 

Omega-3s are also needed for brain development and function, so it’s important to eat fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, regularly if you can.



Tuna contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of heart disease and help to control blood pressure. 

Tuna is also a wonderful source of vitamin D, which has been linked to:

  • Building strong bones
  • Reducing inflammation; and
  • Strengthening your immune system



If you need a substantial source of omega-3 fatty acids, consider eating salmon. 

People who eat fatty fish — like salmon — regularly, have a lower risk of:

  • Depression
  • Dementia; and
  • Heart disease




#3: High-Fiber Foods

You might be surprised to hear some of the best high-energy foods for travel nurses are high-fiber foods

Fiber is found in many fruits and vegetables. Whole grains and legumes are also high in fiber, which can help you to feel full faster, making it easier to avoid overeating. 

Keep reading for some tasty high-fiber foods sure to help you keep your energy up.


Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, but also:

  • Low in calories
  • Packed with vitamins; and
  • Essential for getting your recommended minerals

You will get the most nutritional value by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables — but frozen and canned can pack a punch of energy as well. 



Oatmeal provides an excellent source of energy with a low glycemic index

Whether you like your oatmeal as …

  • Rolled oats
  • Steel-cut oats; or
  • Quick oats

… adding a spoonful of peanut butter can make your oatmeal even more delicious while boosting the protein content.



Not only is lightly salted popcorn high in fiber, but the American Health Association has linked the consumption of popcorn to a lower risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Some cancers
  • Diabetes; and
  • Other health problems 

Popcorn, that isn’t drenched in butter and other toppings, is a naturally low-calorie snack option, so feel free to indulge.



Hummus is a plant-based protein full of fiber. It’s made of: 

  • Chickpeas
  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil; and
  • A variety of spices

For travel nurses who find themselves constantly moving around, hummus makes a perfect snack. 

It keeps well without refrigeration, so you can carry it in your purse or lunch box for longer shifts.


#4: Nutritious Sweets

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a sweet treat like a protein bar or dark chocolate. 

Here are some high-energy foods for travel nurses that can keep you going on your busiest days.


Protein Bars

Besides being high in protein, protein bars are portable snacks that can be found in a variety of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds — while still giving you a long-lasting energy boost. 

Protein bars are available in lots of fun flavors, including:

  • Almond and cherry
  • Oatmeal raisin; and
  • Chocolate peanut butter


Dark Chocolate

You may not think of dark chocolate as an energy food, but it:

  • Is packed with caffeine
  • Contains antioxidants; and
  • Has less sugar than milk chocolate 

If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat that can boost your energy levels for up to three hours, go for a bar of dark chocolate.

Tip: The darker the chocolate, the better the benefits.


#5: Healthy Sources of Caffeine

Although coffee is a popular choice for a quick source of energy, it’s also known to cause anxiety, jitters, and other adverse effects in some people.

If you’re looking for a healthier boost of energy, try:

  • Green tea
  • Black tea; or
  • Oolong tea

These beverages are more nutritious than caffeine-laden coffee because they contain polyphenols that can increase your cognitive performance and help protect against some cancers.


energy boosting food for travel nurses


Trusted Nurse Staffing Is Here To Help With All Your Travel Nursing Needs

Just as a high-energy snack can provide you with the sustenance you need to keep going on a long shift, Trusted Nurse Staffing can help provide you with the support you need to find nursing jobs all over the United States.

Trusted Nurse Staffing is a leading travel nurse staffing company that works with nurses like you to help find the best assignments for your lifestyle and needs. 

We understand nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. Without travel nurses, hospitals would be unable to staff their shifts. 

Our goal is to make your travel nurse job search easy and enjoyable, so you can quickly find the position with the best pay, benefits, and work-life balance.

Are you ready to start a career in travel nursing? 

If so, the professional team at Trusted Nurse Staffing is eager to help. 

Click below to get started.