So, you’re trying to hit the books…but does it feel like they’re hitting back?
Maybe you’re studying for a major exam but just can’t seem to retain any information. Or perhaps you have a ten-page paper due tomorrow and just can’t get motivated to sit down at the keyboard.
If you’re experiencing a mental block, caused by a lack of focus or low energy, don’t be discouraged. Hitting a wall happens to everyone.
Don’t Do This:
Many of the things people do to support their focus and energy end up backfiring. Nicotine, caffeine, and sugar-laden, fat-filled treats provide a quick high probably by increasing dopamine levels, soon followed by a low as dopamine production plummets, which might have negative long-term effects. Avoid the quick fix of consuming junk food and energy drinks, which only provide a temporary boost in energy.
Do This Instead:
If you struggle with attention and concentration, eating a proper diet built on high-quality protein, omega-3 and other healthy fats, and high fiber) can help your focus, energy and other higher brain functions. It’s especially important to eat protein with each meal and snack, which helps to stabilize your brain energy levels and maintain focus. Eating the right foods can help you have more energy, a better mood, and more mental sharpness, which is a recipe for success in every area of your life.
The next time you feel yourself dragging during a study session, dump your coffee or energy drink, toss your sugary snacks, and pick up one of these foods to get the natural lift in energy you need:
Top 10 Healthy Snacks for Studying
1. Well-balanced Snack
For an energy enhancing snack, eat two slices of lean deli turkey and a dozen grapes. This well-balanced snack is high in protein and antioxidants and should tide you over until your next meal.
2. Eat More Edamame
Replace finger foods like Skittles or M&Ms with shelled edamame (which is roughly the same size as those candies). Edamame is high in protein and fiber and is the perfect low-calorie snack for when you get the munchies.
3. Dip Your Apples
As a healthy alternative to eating chips and dip, slice up an apple and dip the wedges into almond butter for an appetizing anytime snack. For variety, use any organic, sugar-free nut butter as a great-tasting, protein-packed dip.
4. The Smooth Way to Study
Instead of sipping on coffee or a sugary soda, make a brain-healthy smoothie that can provide essential nutrients while curbing your hunger. With a variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from, there are countless possibilities for customizing a healthy smoothie. Add a scoop of protein powder to turn your smoothie into a meal. Here are recipes for two delicious smoothies: Cherry Mint Blast Smoothie and Vanilla Tahini Protein Shake.
5. Pack a Snack
If you’re heading off to the library to do research for a paper or to join a study group, bring along some healthy snacks so that you won’t be tempted to seek out a vending machine. Emergency rations can be a lifesaver if your blood sugar drops and you get a snack attack. Examples of healthy snacks are low-sugar dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, and cherries), vegetables (baby carrots, celery, and snap peas), and nuts (almonds and walnuts).
6. Disguise Healthy Snacks
If you have kids who naturally gravitate toward chips, cookies and candy bars for their after-school snack, it’s time to reclaim their taste buds. Even the pickiest eaters are more willing to try new foods when they’re disguised as something fun. Here’s how you can create a tasty penguin snack.
7. Go Nuts Over This Snack
Almonds and cashews are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber that can help balance blood sugar levels. They’re also packed with magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in converting food into energy. Walnuts have more plant omega-3 fats than other commonly consumed nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and pistachios.
8. An Egg-cellent Source of Protein
One of the few foods considered to be a complete protein, eggs contain all nine essential amino acids that the body can’t create on its own, and a really impressive total amino acid profile. Additionally, eggs are full of vitamins needed for the body to produce energy, such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and B12. That gold yolk color also provides carotenoids that help the eyes keep working and very likely also help with mental processing.
9. Eat Like a Bird
Protein-rich foods like seeds and nuts take longer to digest, which may help satiate your hunger until your next meal. A handful of tasty pumpkin seeds contains more protein per ounce than almonds.
10. Healthy Chocolate Bars
For some people, eating a chocolate bar is a near-euphoric experience. Chocolate has no end of blissful, health-promoting properties that support a positive mood and the ability to think clearly and focus. Unfortunately, most chocolate bars are burdened with harmful ingredients like sugar (lots!), dairy and synthetic flavors that virtually cancel out chocolate’s powerful health benefits. Instead of chewing on a sugary candy bar, reach for a nutritious chocolate bar instead—one that will sustain your energy rather than making it crash after a brief spike.
BrainMD offers two delicious chocolate bars that are sugar, dairy and gluten free: Brain in Love and Brain on Joy (which has plant-source omega-3 DHA in it and tastes great). Stock up so that you’ll never be tempted to eat an unhealthy chocolate bar.
In addition to healthy snacks, supplements can also help support attention and mental stamina.
Focus and Energy
It’s not uncommon for people to have periods where they feel tired or unfocused. BrainMD’s Focus & Energy was designed to gently prevent fatigue without lowering blood sugar, to promote mental sharpness, and to improve your mental productivity by performing at a higher level particularly under stress. This supplement features an incredible array of “adaptogens,” traditional plant concentrates proven to improve mental performance when under stress.
Unlike many other dietary supplements claiming to provide adaptogens, Focus & Energy provides concentrates that are clinically proven from clinical trials. Its high potency green tea extract is very high in EGCG and other polyphenol antioxidants and was chosen specifically to intensify oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain. Then there are three other highly concentrated adaptogens, and choline to make the attention neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic medicinal revered over thousands of years for its mental sharpening benefits. BrainMD chose the Sensoril® standardized concentrate because of the multiple clinical trials that establish its use. Rhodiola thrives in the most extreme Siberian climates and is a favorite in the East. This concentrate is doubly standardized and clinically validated. Asian (Panax) ginseng leads all other ginsengs for its almost immediate mental focus benefits, and this concentrate is loaded with 15% brain-active ginsenosides.
If you’re looking for a natural energizer and mental sharpening supplement, one that likely will also improve your physical endurance, Focus & Energy is your best option. And unlike the energy rush you can get from your stimulant of choice (coffee, diet soda, caffeine pills), there’s no dramatic drop in mood and energy with this nutritional supplement. This formula, like all of BrainMD’s other supplement products, is safe, natural and non-habit forming.
At BrainMD, we’ve dedicated our 60-plus years of combined dietary supplement experience of providing the highest purity ingredients for the focus and energy you need when studying. Give Focus & Energy a try – we even carry a 7-day trial kit. For our full list of supplements, visit us at BrainMD.
Keith is grateful to have the opportunity to write about supplements since many of them have made a dramatic difference in his life. He is often heard around the office saying, “We have supplements for that.”