It goes without saying that being a student means you are busy. Between classes, study groups, jobs, and the rare extracurricular, sometimes our days can span 12+ hours. And in the midst of this award-winning juggling act, sometimes the simple things, like food and water, fall to the wayside. I’ve had many a day when I realize, as my head hits the pillow at night, that I’ve had only a banana or a granola bar that day. In order to perform our best, we must fuel ourselves properly. If the tank runs empty, you will never make it through those 8am-10pm days. So here are some tips and tricks for staying well fed and hydrated throughout your busy days!
Fruit is Your Best Friend
Fruit is perhaps the best food a student can eat. Sucrose and sugar from fruit helps stabilize blood sugar because they are disaccharides, which means they contain both glucose and fructose. Unlike starchy vegetables and grains that break down into pure glucose, sucrose breaks down into glucose and fructose, which lower insulin.
Not only is fruit an incredible source of energy, it is also super convenient. No need to prepare or package, fruit is a simple, self-contained, portable (not to mention delicious) food.
I know this one may sound self-explanatory, but if you are not packing a water bottle with you every day, its really easy to forget to drink. Try placing your water bottle on the desk in class, instead of keeping it in your bag. Its presence in your visual field will prompt you to sip on more water throughout the day. Dehydration leads to fatigue throughout the day, so the more water you drink, the more alert you will feel.
Sometimes, things fall apart. We sleep in late, and rush out of the house without a single thing to eat or drink. In these circumstances, it is important to make smart decisions when you are forced to eat out. I beg you to avoid the mid-morning coffee, which will leave you exhausted come mid-afternoon. Instead, seek out options that will help you to get through the day without huge spikes in energy levels. Fruits (again) are filled with simple sugars and carbohydrates, which provide fast energy. Or seek out protein sources, like bean salads, which are easy to digest and will provide you with slow release energy throughout the day.
Ultimately, the easiest way to keep yourself going throughout your busiest days is to remind yourself that fuelling your body is a self-love practice. Support your body and it will support you in return.