Stock up on study snacks now in preparation for finals

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Gum, for staying alert, and a durable water bottle, for staying hydrated, are must-haves for long study sessions in preparation for finals week. (Hannah Hunsinger | Photo lllustration)

Late nights, thick textbooks and uncountable quantities of review problems. This is life the week before and the week of finals. Rather than waste time running to the grocery story or the campus bookstore every day, here are some things that you should stock up on now to help make those last two weeks of the semester a little more bearable.

Healthy snacks:

Load up your shopping cart with your favorite fruit and vegetable snacks, since these can help you get good, healthy energy to your brain as you study.

According to a website called Healthy Brain For Life, one healthy snack you should check out is avocados. This fruit actually helps strengthen message transfers in your brain, so snacking on some chips and guacamole while you study could be extremely beneficial.

An article in Women’s Health Magazine suggests looking for things that contain coconut oil, as the triglycerides in it act as a fast-acting energy source. Consider switching out those potato chips for toasted coconut chips, or your Jif peanut butter for some Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread – which combines peanut butter and extra virgin coconut oil for a healthy (and vegan) alternative.

Another simple snack idea is celery with peanut butter – throw some raisins on there if you want to revisit your Ants on a Log days.

Gum:

While gum sometimes feels like it may be a waste of money, investing in a pack or two might actually increase your focus.

A 2011 study showed that chewing gum during a stressful task (like studying for finals) can actually increase alertness and enhance performance during testing situations.

In other words, get some gum; it may help you close that grade gap between a B and an A.

Unhealthy snacks:

For when you are just so frustrated with studying that you want to quit, have your favorite snack on hand to binge on. A little junk food won’t kill you, and it’ll provide some needed comfort during this overwhelming time.

If you want to indulge on something sweet that does more than just taste good, dark chocolate might be worth checking out. According to WebMD, dark chocolate has antioxidant properties to boost your mood and will add a little extra kick of its natural stimulant: caffeine.

Drinks:

While many people may sip (or chug) some coffee to stay alert and awake, its high caffeine content may actually dehydrate you – doing more harm than good.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, even mild dehydration can make you tired or give you a headache. Neither of those things will keep your brain focused on the task at hand, i.e., studying.

So buy a durable water bottle now to keep close at hand then; it will not only remind you to drink up, but the breaks you take walking to the water fountain for refills will give your brain and eyes a much needed break.

During your next visit to the grocery store, make sure you stock up on the food you need to survive finals. It will help keep you alert and ready to study, while saving you some cash since you won’t be running to Sonic for every study break.

Now get to studying, only four more weeks until finals!

Emily Moore is a freshman in mass communications.

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My name is Emily Moore and I'm a senior majoring in English and mass communications with a minor in leadership. I love to read, write and edit. During my free time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, rock climbing and spending time with my friends.