Food Do’s and Don’ts to Survive Finals Week

Finals week is quickly approaching, and for many students, stress levels will skyrocket a week before finals even start. One thing that’s certain is that finals week means staying up late and filling yourself up with coffee, Ramen and possibly a fat sandwich (or two) from CARs. No matter what you’re eating, it’s all right, as long as it will help you survive the torturous all-nighters that you will be pulling during this time,right?

Wrong! Eating recklessly will make all of your restless, hardworking nights almost worthless. But don’t worry, if you think this way, you are not the only one; many college students have become victims of crashing atop their laptop and books (slightly drooling) because they are unaware that what they are consuming will only help them for a few hours.

A common side effect of finals week is stress eating, so many grab the first thing they see. Much of the food that we tend to eat during this time is unhealthy. These foods can have the opposite desired effect and make you fail your exam, not ace it.

Some of the foods that you should stay away from during finals time include caffeinated beverages, such as soda and energy drinks; high sugar foods, such as cookies, candy and ice cream; high sugar-containing cereals; regular chips; greasy foods, such as pizza and hamburgers; and fried foods, like French fries or chicken nuggets.

You might be thinking, how do I eat healthier if I do not have many healthy options around me? Here are some tips that might help you when trying to eat healthy during finals week. 

•   Get your vitamins and minerals: By making sure that you are consuming these two things, especially Iron and B vitamins, you will help keep your physical and mental energy up. That way, while you study, you will be able to retain information and not get distracted. Some foods you could eat include ground beef, kidney beans, whole-grains, wheat germ, eggs and nuts.

•   Carry snacks around: It is always good to keep small Ziploc bags of snacks just in case you get hungry. These baggies can include cut up apples, carrot sticks, cheese or crackers. You can also carry around an orange, banana or any other healthy snack to crush your cravings. 

•   Eat at regular intervals: Make sure to be eating regular meals throughout the day. By doing this, your nutrient and energy levels will stay stable throughout the day. This will also help get rid of those midnight empty calorie cravings. 

•   Don’t eat BIG: Avoid eating big meals throughout the day. Instead, try eating five to six balanced meals to keep your brain running.

•   Eat Breakfast: A cup of coffee and a donut will not do you any good. Try to have some protein, calcium and fiber with a piece of fruit or a vegetable. A bowl of cereal with milk and a piece of fruit would do the trick. Or try a cereal bar with milk.

•   Fruits are your best friends: Fruits are one of the best choices for keeping your brain running and working at its very best. Fruits are also the best type of sugar to consume because it will give you the right type of energy that will not make you crash later in the day.

•   Drink a lot of water:  Staying hydrated throughout the day will help you because it keeps the body running and your blood flowing.