7 Tips to Fuel for Finals

By Lindsey Joe, RD

Finals are just around the corner, and clocking major study time before the end of the year can put added stress on your body as well as your mind. Exercise these seven tips to get the energy you need to ace finals.

1) Break the Fast for Brain Power — Research shows that our brains and bodies suffer without a morning meal to fuel us up. Be sure to enjoy some whole grains (like whole grain waffles or cereal and oatmeal) for long-lasting energy that will keep “hangry” feelings at bay. Then keep the good momentum going by aiming to refuel every three to four hours.

2) Don’t Skimp on Sleep — Despite the common practice of pulling an all-nighter after running out of time to study, it’s actually a better idea to go ahead and get some rest. Allowing your body to shut down and recharge for seven to nine hours a night will ensure a better mood and attention span for your finals ahead.

3) Hydrate for a Clear Head — Thirst, dizziness, sluggishness, even headache can be early signs of dehydration and highly unwanted the day of an exam. Be sure to stay hydrated and sip on something every so often that you can easily toss in your bag. Portable options like bottled water, fruitwater, or vitaminwater zero are great zero calorie options.

4) Veg Out (couch not included) — Certain veggies like kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, turnip greens, swiss chard, spinach and salad may help improve your memory. Munch on that!

5) Be Berry Good — The pigments that give berries their bright color may also have memory boosting effects! The darker the berry (think blackberries, blueberries and cherries) the sweeter the “berry boosting” brain power.

6) Go from Omega to Alpha — Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health and performance. Operate in high-def the day of finals by enjoying more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids including walnuts, ground flaxseed, and fatty fish (such as salmon or tuna).

7) Make a Motivating Mantra — Being in the right mindset is key to killing it during finals. Pick a powerful song lyric or compelling quote that ignites your inner nerd and encourages you to “bring it” on the day of an exam!

Lindsey Joe is a registered dietitian and weight management expert based in the Nashville area. She maintains her own blog, Handmade Healthy, and is a self-proclaimed foodie at heart. She also consults for food and beverage companies including The Coca-Cola Company.