Various berries

The time for finals is approaching quickly and the thought of having to excessively study can be overwhelming. Spending hours studying can do more harm than good with unhealthy habits. Eating the right snacks can help keep you focused and boost your memory.

I usually drink a lot of coffee and random snacks available at the library. Chips, popcorn and candy are my typical choices. Most places, if not all, on campus, sell chips, candy bars and coffee, but these aren’t ideal snacks to have while studying.

The sugar in coffee gives you short bursts of energy then makes you crash causing you to drink more, and it isn’t very healthy. Instead, try to eat whole grains found in a sandwich, cereal or energy bars. Your body needs the energy to study and the sugar in whole grains is released slowly, as opposed to high sugar snacks, so the energy will last longer and you won’t crash. With a good supply of energy you can concentrate much better.

Protein is a good option when studying. Protein gives you energy and keeps you full so you don’t binge eat snacks. Peanut butter, eggs and nuts are good sources of protein that are packed with vitamins to give you an extra boost.

Nuts

If you need caffeine to keep you awake, try drinking green tea instead of coffee. Too much coffee can make you jittery and unable to focus or sleep later on, and the high quantity of sugar is unhealthy. Green tea has the caffeine to make you feel awake without the added sugar. It’s full of antioxidants and can help you concentrate.

Fresh fruits provide a healthy source of sugar to give you energy. Sugars in fruit are more natural. An apple is much better for you than a chocolate bar. Fruits, especially blueberries, contain a lot of antioxidants that boost your short memory. Dark fruits such as blueberries and red apples are best, but any kind of fruit will do.

Sometimes chocolate cravings are too strong, so if you’re going to give in, eat dark chocolate instead of milk or white. The antioxidants in dark chocolate help lower blood pressure to reduce stress and improve the flow of blood in your brain and heart so your whole body functions more efficiently.

Most of these snacks are relatively cheap and conveniently sold on campus so it won’t be hard to make the switch to healthier snacks. Unfortunately, the Campus Store and the library sell unhealthy snacks that look enticing when you’re tired and stressed. If all else fails, pack your own food to avoid temptation. Snacking properly while studying will help you short term with your exams, help you sleep better and make you feel healthier. 

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