Finals week. Long gone are the days of hanging out on the Hoval and enjoying the beautiful spring weather. It’s finals week and the only people “lounging around” are those trying to snag a quick “power nap” in Dinand before they start reading the next chapter of their history textbook.

The lethal combination of limited sleep, physical and mental stress, and lack of motivation certainly doesn’t leave much room for healthy eating. At school, we often find ourselves too busy to eat and end up mindlessly substituting meals with a bag of chips or a smoothie.

Nourishment is vital for academic success. While you might be saving time by grabbing a “slice” instead of a well balanced meal, the extra time saved will leave you feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate later.

Use these tips to help give your body the energy it needs to ace your exams:

Drink Plenty of Water


Photo by Holy Cross Dining

Did you know water can improve your energy and state of mind? Even mild dehydration has been found to increase stress; something we definitely don’t need extra of during finals.

Sick of the bland taste? Try adding some lemon or lime for extra flavor. Or, swipe into Kimball and indulge your tastebuds in the delicious fruit infused water at the salad bar.

Avoid Sugary Drinks


Photo by Christin Urso

Don’t substitute water for soda, energy drinks, or other high sugar liquids. Although tasty, these drinks lead to some major crashes just a few hours later, leaving you tired and groggy.

The large amounts of sugar (and sometimes caffeine) in these drinks also increase anxiety and nervousness, which are definitely not what you need during a test.

Snack on Trail Mix


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Trail mix is college favorite, especially among athletes like myself.  It is easy to eat, delicious, and provides tons of energy.

If you’re feeling adventurous, create your own (healthier) blend by mixing almonds, pistachios, dried cherries and chocolate chips. Or if you find yourself short on time, grab some from the Lobby Shop, but make sure it’s not loaded with too much salt or sugar.

Treat yourself to Dark Chocolate


Photo by Jennifer Cao

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Everyone needs a pick me up sometimes and this one will leave your taste buds and your brain happy.

Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, which increases alertness, memory, and clarity. So don’t feel guilty for indulging every once in a while, especially during exams.

Grab some Almonds


Photo by Davon Bolton

Almonds contain high levels of fiber, magnesium, and protein, all which will increase energy.

With all that energy, you should be able to stay up much later to finish cramming for your exam. Fill up a bag, head to Dinand and skip the usual milkshake run (at least for tonight).

Listen up health nuts, check out some more healthy eating articles below: