Who hasn’t reached for a bag of Doritos or a can of Mountain Dew during a late night study session before? Studying for long hours can result in mindless eating out of boredom, stress, or pure sake of staying awake. While this snacking may be hard to avoid, we can at least make healthier snacks choices when we start to feel the study munchies coming on.
When you think of healthy snacks, chomping on celery or an apple may come to mind. Yes, these are good options, but you may be more inclined to choose healthy snacks if they are tastier and more appealing. Let’s take a look at some easy yet tasty and healthy snack choices for the study munchies.
Celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli are all easy and ready to snack on.
- Try dipping these in hummus for added flavor and protein.
Apples, bananas, grapes, and berries are also easy and ready to snack on. Other fruits like oranges, mangos, peaches, plums, etc. are also great choices but they typically result in juicy messes or are hard to peel.
- Try adding yogurt to your fruit for more taste, protein, and calcium.
- Dipping your apple or bananas in peanut butter takes a bit more preparation time but is well worth it for the taste and added fat.
Nuts provide a great source of healthy fat and are very easy to snack on. Just watch your portion size so that you don’t over eat these dense caloric snacks.
- Cashews, almonds, and walnuts are all great options.
- Try different versions of trail mix for added fruit, taste, and texture.
Beef jerky, turkey jerky, you name it, it can probably be turned into jerky.
- Any form of jerky is a simple, quick, and healthy snacking option that packs a lot of protein.
- This is a lower calorie snack, meaning you can still mindlessly munch on it like you do with Doritos, but with much less calories and other additives.
And last, but certainly not least, small bites of dark chocolate!
- The type of chocolate contains antioxidants and natural stimulants. This means it can act like caffeine, providing a boost of energy and helps your focus better.
- Just remember, this is a snack to eat in moderation.
Why do we find ourselves wanting to snack while we study in the first place?
The number one reason is most likely from stress. Studying for long hours, staying up late to cram, and the impending doom of an exam are all stressful situations. Stress releases more cortisol which not only increases our appetite but it makes us crave sugar and carbohydrates!
Our cravings for sugar and carbohydrates may sound initially rewarding, but in the long run they can actually hinder our studying capabilities. Have you heard of brain fog? Or have you ever experienced it yourself? Brain fog can come on after eating a lot of sugar as these foods cause a quick spike and then subsequent drop in blood sugar levels. This quick rise and fall leaves you feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and more likely to miss out on some keep points while studying.
However, healthy and nutritious foods, like the ones listed above, power our brain longer than quick and sugary foods do. You may also find benefit from supplementing your healthy snacks along with frequent, short rest breaks, drinking plenty of water, and practicing other stress relieving activities like yoga, reading, listening to music, or going for a walk.
See how much better you feel after switching to healthy snacks for your study munchies.