As you are reading this, final exams have just started. Or, if you're lucky (like myself), you already started taking final exams last week. With all university sanctioned exam times, comes the serious need to study (or cram, no judgement). The problem is when you're sitting in the library for 12 hours, adamant about not losing your seat to get a snack, you get hungry. And when you get hungry you can't study, and, well, that borderline grade in chemistry is not going to be moving in your favor if you study while hungry.

Several studies have been conducted to underscore the major ramifications hunger has on brain function. Pretty much all the research comes up with the same conclusions; not eating over long periods of time reduces a person's ability to recall, focus, and cope with environmental changes. Essentially, you can't focus or remember what you just studied and you are more likely to be cranky.

And while it may be better to leave your seat at the library to go actually grab a meal, that is easier said than done. I often find myself fearful of either losing my seat or having to place trust in my fellow student to not take my stuff. So, my solution is to bring several snacks with me to the library. Here are my top 5. 

1. Fruit Salad

candy, apple, salad, berry, strawberry, fruit salad, sweet
Kristine Mahan

This is a sweet treat that won't give you the crash you'd get after eating an over-priced chocolate bar from the vending machine. The fruit provides vitamin C, a great immune supporter that will help you get through the all-nighters you're about to pull. The combinations of fruit are also endless, allowing you to switch up your recipe everyday. 

2. Peanut Butter and Celery sticks

buckwheat, porridge, yogurt, milk, cereal
Caitlin Shoemaker

Don't knock it until you try it. The peanut butter provides protein to keep you fuller for longer and the celery gives you the fiber you need to maintain your digestive health. It also is a great mess-free snack that your studying neighbors will appreciate (no one wants your accidental spillage on their textbook). Try it with different nut butters or even add raisins or chocolate chips to make the childhood classic 'ants on a log'. 

3. Chia Seed Pudding

Kristine Mahan

Chia seeds are a personal favorite of mine because of their high content of omega-3s (great for brain health) and their ability to take on any flavor I choose. They are also a quiet snack that won't disturb others like many vending machine staples would.

I like to make chia seed pudding with a little bit of almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon. I either let it sit in the fridge overnight or microwave it for 30 sec intervals until it reaches a pudding consistency. 

4. Protein Bars

milk, chocolate, candy, peanut butter
Elena Bailoni

I always have some sort of protein bar with me because I never know when I am going to need that afternoon pick me up snack. They are also a really great compact alternative to quickly eat when you are walking across campus to take your final exam. And with so many different options to pick from, everyone can find something they like. Check out this amazing article that ranks some of the best protein bars out there.

5. Nut butter and Honey Sandwich

chocolate, butter, peanut, peanut butter
Jocelyn Hsu

Some may argue that this isn't a snack, but my appetite begs to differ. This is sandwich is the bougie version of the classic PB&J.  The honey is a natural source that fights off infections, and, like peanut butter, the nut butter adds protein and healthy fats that will hold you over till your next meal. Nut butter comes in all different flavors and variations; So, before you go out and buy the first one you see, make sure you know the difference between them

There you have it, my 5 favorite snacks to have during finals week.  So do your GPA and stomach a favor and try one of these snacks. Best of luck on your finals and see you in the library!