Picture this: you have a midterm tomorrow, but you feel groggy and unfocused. You have a hard time remembering your name, much less what you studied on the previous page. Don’t worry—Spoon’s subject-specific snacking tips are here to help you conquer that curve.
Treat yourself to a smooth, nutty snack of yogurt and nuts to one-up your fellow quick-witted and competitive classmates. Yogurt contains lysine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and boosts confidence. Nuts contain the amino acid arginine, which increases inferential reasoning skills, fundamental to critical thinking. It’s everything you need to come out on top.
Are Freud’s theories all starting to look the same? Try some turkey slices wrapped around sticks of light string cheese or cucumber spears. A principal nutrient in turkey is niacin, which improves both short-term and long-term memory. The low-level glucose supplied by cheese boosts your ability to concentrate and process information.
Biology (and related subjects)
Any science residing beneath the biology umbrella, whether it be environmental science, chemistry or public health demands focus, memorization and critical thinking. The solution: egg yolks, which supply choline, a nutrient in the vitamin B family. Choline constructs the “memory” neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which enhances visual memory, recall and retrieval.
Math (and related subjects)
To get through late night calculus problem sets, try dark chocolate. It contains flavanols, which increase the flow of blood into the brain, thereby enhancing your analytical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Prepping for math, economics, physics or engineering requires you to be on top of all three.
Too many court cases to memorize? Liven up with some oatmeal and a cup of coffee. According to researchers from the University of Innsbruck, the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee improves memory skills, reaction time and neuron signaling in the brain. The whole grains in oatmeal provide release glucose at a steady rate which then supplies a steady stream of blood and sugar to the brain that enhances concentration and memory.
Indulge in some nuts and seeds while you code late into the evening. Nuts and seeds (think pumpkin seeds and almonds) promote smooth and steady blood flow, which keeps your memory sharp. Their unsaturated fats ensure a continuous supply of oxygen to your brain. A well-fueled brain prompts your deductive and problem-solving skills to work into overdrive.
Carrots and hummus are just what you need to annotate Shakespeare’s sonnets. Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which keep a consistent flow of blood to your brain and allow for sharper concentration and critical thinking. Fiber is found in both carrots and hummus, and which helps keep you satisfied for longer.
Long story short, snack smart for better midterm results.