After spring break, professors go into overdrive piling up papers and tests leading up to finals. Finding it difficult both to keep up with class and to maintain some type of social life, some college students turn to daunting all-nighters, which squeeze at least an extra seven hours out of the day. All-nighters are not a healthy exercise. All-nighters at Fordham leave students susceptible to the mercy of 24-hour Dunkin Donuts, pizza delivery, or the dreaded snack machines. If you are trying to retain information for a huge test the following morning you need to fuel your body with the right kinds of foods.
Eating snacks that are high in unhealthy fat and sugar and have low nutritional value will get you nowhere fast. Eating the right portions, however, throughout the span of several hours rather than constantly grazing will help your mind focus on the task at hand. Here are five types of foods you should be eating throughout the night to ensure you are refreshed and focused during your big exam.
1. Protein, protein, protein! The deal with protein is common knowledge when it comes to gaining muscle and losing weight. What you may not know is that protein does an exceptional job at keeping you alert, making it the perfect type of snack for late-night study sessions.
2. Complex carbohydrates as opposed to starchy simple carbs will provide your body with the right amount of energy. Whole wheat and gluten-free options are great and are becoming more popular in the supermarket aisles.
3. Natural sugars are acceptable to eat during an all-nighter. It is the artificial sugars that you want to avoid. Too much sugar will cause your blood sugar to spike, which will inevitably lead to a crash. Snacking on natural sugars like fruits including apples, oranges, and berries will keep your body refreshed, but don’t have them all at once.
4. Healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats help promote a good well-being, which helps you manage your moods and fight fatigue. Most importantly for our all-nighter purposes, healthy fats help you stay on top of your mental game.
5. Water, this one should seem obvious. Drink 2-3 glasses of water every hour to keep your system flushed and moving. This will keep you from becoming dehydrated. Avoid heavily caffeinated drinks such as soda and lattes like the plague as these will lead you to a disastrous crash before you even finish.
Trainer and star of the Style Network’s Wicked Fit, Katie Boyd, says these snacks pairs that will keep you attentive throughout the night:
- Handful of raw almonds with an orange
- Kashi cereal with soymilk
- String cheese with a few rice cakes
- Bowl of plain oatmeal with sliced strawberries
- Peanut butter smeared on apple slices
Avoiding greasy and fatty foods seems to be the key but overeating on healthy foods can be just as detrimental and cause you to fall asleep on your keyboard. Katie’s tip “make sure to portion your meals for the night beforehand in Ziploc bags and eat every 3-4 hours to make sure you are getting constant boosts of energy and not grazing like a cow!”