When it comes to studying for exams, most teenagers believe that guzzling down energy drinks and coffee is the only way to stay awake. However, there are plenty of foods that keep you awake for studying right there in the pantry.
Even if studying itself makes you sleepy, eating some of these foods can help you stay awake, energetic, and focused on your studies.
You may have known about some of these foods that can keep you awake. But you probably weren’t aware of every single one. Even I didn’t realize that Walnuts and Fish could help prevent us from falling asleep.
So, here is a list of 15 foods that keep you awake for studying:
Blueberries are a perfect topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Also, blueberries also help boost concentration because of their abundant flavonoids and their ability to promote blood flow to the brain (1).
These superfoods can also be popped into your mouth while you study to help calm your stress.
2. Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate is probably the most popular sweet treat in the world. Dark chocolate, as compared to milk chocolate, is chock-full of brain-boosting flavanols that make them a great food to keep you awake for studying.
The flavanols in dark chocolate are found to boost blood flow to the brain, potentially improving cognitive function and focus (2).
Beans may not be a common late-night food for those trying to stay awake, but it does work.
This superfood contains protein, complex carbs, and B-vitamins that boost energy levels without the subsequent dip in energy like with sugary foods (3).
The downside of this stay-awake food is that you will need to spend some time cooking it. But this may also be a good idea to help refresh or distract your mind from your studies.
Carrots are a crunchy snack that you can really only eat when you are alone.
However, carrots contain luteolin that may boost memory function as well as energy levels (4).
You can also consider a carrot smoothie if you don’t want to be munching on carrots like a rabbit.
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, which can help boost energy levels quickly after you eat them (5).
This is great for those who want to stay up late as this is precisely when your body is low in energy.
In addition, orange juice can help perk up your taste buds while you study, allowing you to feel refreshed.
6. Green Leafy Veggies:
Green leafy vegetables promote many health benefits, including improving brain health and cognitive function (6).
They contain several antioxidants, fibers, and Vitamins (like Vitamin E), which provide their potential benefits.
You can cook your veggies into your meals or blend them into a smoothie if you want.
Walnuts are one of the most common dry fruits that contain antioxidants and omega-3 fats that make them great brain food (7).
In addition to their ability to boost brain function and focus, walnuts can also help give you a concentrated dose of energy you need to get through the all-nighter.
8. Pumpkin Seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are a great snack throughout the day. But it’s during the all-night study sessions that these simple seeds really work their magic.
The Zinc found in pumpkin seeds is shown to boost brain function and memory retention (8).
So, if you want a fun snack that is healthy and helps boost your memory, get a bag of pumpkin seeds from your local supermarket.
Avocado on toast is one of my favorite snacks of all time, especially if I’m struggling to finish a project on a deadline.
The buttery avocado flesh contains plenty of folate which can promote concentration and memory (9).
If you are looking for a healthy snack that will promote your studying, get yourself some avocado while you study.
Eggs are a staple food in most families, especially for those with growing children.
The reason for this is that the humble egg contains plenty of proteins that boost brain function (10).
Of course, eggs also come with additional health benefits like stronger bones and improved height growth.
Coffee is one of the most common ways students stay awake during exam times.
So, if you are going to drink coffee to stay away for studying, be sure to stick to only one cup for the whole night.
12. Green Tea:
While Green tea also contains caffeine, this drink contains plenty of antioxidants that help improve your body performance.
In addition, green tea also helps boost brain function while lowering anxiety, according to studies (12).
Peppermint has that calming minty taste and flavor that can help your mind stay alert.
In addition, the sucking action can also help you relax and get rid of the anxiety you have built up to complete that assignment by the next morning.
It also contains some sugar, which can also help give you a boost in energy.
Fish is not a common choice for midnight snacks that are known to boost concentration during studying.
However, fatty fish (like salmon) contain essential fatty acids like omega-3, which can boost cognitive function (13).
So, if you are like me and don’t want to cook fish just to study all night, get some sushi takeaway instead.
Water is not really a food that boosts cognitive function. However, being dehydrated is definitely going to mess with your ability to stay awake.
Drink plenty of water to ensure that your body (and brain) are hydrated enough to function a peak performance. Whatever you do, stay away from sugary and caffeinated drinks.
Bonus Tip: Get Some Sleep
While you may think that staying up all night cramming for that exam is going to help, the fact is that it probably won’t.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation lowers cognitive function and memory retention while increasing anxiety (14).
That said, if you think that you need to stay awake for the whole night to finish up that assignment, be sure to eat these foods.