Best Study Snacks to Help you Revise
Choosing the right brain food during the exam period will help you de-stress, sleep better and keep pennies in your pocket. We’ve researched the best options!
When you’re stuck in the library till late, it’s tempting to grab a snack from the vending machine or library cafe to lower your stress levels with a quick sugar injection. However, not only will this burn a great big hole in your pocket, it’s not great brain food either.
We’ve done some research into finding out which are the best foods to eat during times of high stress, and when you need to keep focused for long slogs of time.
Best healthy study snacks
Here are the best brain foods for studying:
1. Fresh veggie sticks
Chop up some carrots, celery, cucumber, or any other raw vegetable you fancy. Just make sure they’re nice and fresh, making a ‘crunch’ sound when you bite into them (much to the annoyance of those sitting next to you, but who cares – you put up with their crisp munching). These sorts of snacks are easy to carry around (you can even just stick them in a plastic food bag) and the process of biting into them actually works as a bit of stress relief in itself.
Nuts are full of good fats and magnesium, which help keep cortisol (stress) levels low. Like the veggie sticks above, the physical distraction of munching on nuts one by one can work as an edible stress ball whilst giving you loads of useful energy. An added bonus is that walnuts are particularly good for improving your memory as they’re full of omega 3 and polyphenols (also good for stress).
According to a study by Columbia University, the smell and taste of coconuts can help return your blood pressure to normal levels during times of stress. We’re not really sure why that is, though. Maybe it’s the totally tropical connotations? Grab yourself some coconut pieces or a pot of coconut yogurt to test out their theory.
Bit of a weird one, but apparently since asparagus is packed full of vitamin B, it’s the ideal snack for de-stressing. It can, however, turn your pee a funny color, and we’re not sure it’s that practical a library snack. Worth bearing in mind anyway.
Pretty much all berries are packed with vitamin C which is good for loads of things, particularly reducing stress and keeping your immune system strong. This is handy during the exam period since, as we all know, this is the time when everyone around you starts getting sick (yourself included). Berries can be expensive, but try buying boxes of them frozen from the supermarket and separating them into freezers when you get home, then you can take them out of the freezer each day.
Bananas are amazing for a number of reasons: For a start, they’re full of vitamin B-6 which is great for producing happy hormones by boosting the serotonin levels in your body. Bananas also keep your blood pressure down and regulate your blood sugar levels, which will help prevent the feeling that the world is ending when the days before exam time start closing in. Keep calm and grab a banana. Watch out though – they do tend to ripen quite quickly! Make sure you store them properly to make them last longer.
7. Dried fruit
They might look a bit weird and wrinkly, but dried fruits are really good for you, as they’re full of fiber, iron, potassium, and antioxidants.
The only issue is that since they’re all shriveled up to 1/4 the size of a normal piece of fruit, they’re easy to over-consume, so watch you stick to set portions.
What to drink when revising
We all know that familiar but indescribable stench that floats around the library during the exam period – the unmistakable honk of energy drinks! Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar… whatever your poison, it might ‘give you wings’ for an hour or so, but you’ll come crashing down pretty hard when it wears off.
Research has shown that whilst these drinks – as well as other heavily caffeinated drinks like strong coffee – help you focus in the short term, the benefits wear off pretty quickly.
It’s also really easy to drink too much without realizing and this will increase your stress levels massively as your heart starts pumping too fast. If you’ve ever experienced this before, you’ll know the results ain’t pretty.
A great alternative drink during study time is to opt for sipping cups of tea instead (this is aside from your 6–8 glasses of water, of course, which are crucial for brain health, but you knew that already didn’t you).
Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all great options – not only do they contain just the right amount of caffeine to give you a boost, but they also contain theanine which, when combined with the caffeine, works well to improve your focus.