The list of celebrity revelers who partied too hard to make it to their gig the next day is long and legendary. Some — like Rihanna and Justin Timberlake — have mended their ways. Others, not so much.
But celeb or not, what you consume the night before can have a profoundly negative impact on work the next day.
Doctors have long known that late-night indulgence in drugs and alcohol can cause serious problems at work, increasing the risk of accidents and missed deadlines.
Now there is evidence that late-night unhealthy eating also triggers physical problems such as headaches, stomachaches, and diarrhea, as well as emotional strains that negatively impact how people behave at work throughout the next day.
A new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that unhealthy late-night eating — specifically junk food and snacks — makes many people inclined to avoid work-related tasks the next day, and to be withdrawn and unhelpful around colleagues.
That’s more proof, say the researchers, that both what and when you eat has far-reaching effects on your well-being.
"The big takeaway here is that we now know unhealthy eating can have almost immediate effects on workplace performance," says Seonghee Cho, study co-author and assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University.
To improve your work performance, adopt a plant-based diet free of red meat, egg yolks, added sugars, and fried and ultraprocessed foods. Confine your eating to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with 80% of your calories consumed before 3 p.m.