With finals season upon us, it can be a stressful time for not only our minds, but our bodies as well. While we're spending hours cramming in the library, we usually forget that we need to give ourselves the proper fuel to carry through with our studying. Here's a list of foods that help us and hurt us, while we try to learn a whole semester's worth of philosophy in one sitting.
1. High Sugar Snacks
It can be tempting to just eat the whole bag of Oreos that your friend brought to the library with her, while you're trying to power through, because of your high stress level. Even though you think the comfort food will help you, in the long run it could actually hurt your studying. When your body intakes high amounts of this kind of sugar at once, you can crash and become irritable, and even crave more unhealthy snacks. Nobody needs that kind of distraction while they're trying to focus. If you need a quick fix, try snacking on dark chocolate in small portions. It has antioxidants that can actually help you improve your memory.
2. Empty Calories
If you're preparing a meal before you study, it can really help if you avoid grabbing things that aren't going to be able to provide you with substantial energy. This relates a lot to the high sugar snacks as well, so try to avoid simple carbohydrates as much as possible. White bread and pasta can easily be switched out for whole wheat, to give you extra long lasting energy.
1. High Protein Foods-Chicken, Cheese, Nuts, Etc.
When we consume foods with high protein levels, it helps give us long-term energy that we can use throughout our time studying. To help on long study days or even on the day of the final itself, eat eggs for breakfast.
Fruit gives us a boost of sugar naturally, not like chemically processed sugar, which can give us a boost of energy quickly, along its crash. Before you go to the library for the night, it can be easy to just bring an apple or banana along. You won't regret it when you're sleepy late at night and need a pick me up.
If you're a sushi lover you're in luck, stressful study nights can actually be a great excuse to order in! Fish like salmon and tuna contain omega-3's that can actually improve your mood. When you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown, after you realize that you have no idea if what you're reading in your stats textbook is even English, sushi can be the perfect mood booster. Chances are, after eating it, you will feel happier than you felt before eating.
3. Other helpful tips
Try to avoid caffeine binges! It can be hard to not consume the 5th cup of coffee, when you're still hitting the books at 3 a.m., but caffeine overdose can actually be counterproductive to your body when you study. It makes you jittery and uncomfortable, and it can keep you from your studies. Try to drink water instead, and keep the caffeine intake to a minimum.
May the snacking be ever in your grades' favor!