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Student often pull an “all-nighter”.

Deadlines approach and there may be a mountain of work to get through in 24 hours or maybe less.

So students head to shop to fuel their evening. The stereotypical shopping basket may look like this..

-red bull
-coca cola
-doughnuts
-chocolate
-sandwich
-haribo

Basically sugar and caffeine.

This piece is not going to touch on caffeine, that’s a whole topic in its self. Many people are very set in their ways when it comes to caffeine. If you take it from someone who relies heavily on it then its very possible they may react badly and vice versa.

That subject is for another day, this post is about the food.

So.. Some science.

Blood sugar levels should be kept constant throughout the day (ignore training nutrition for now), these sugar filled treats students are eating to try and stay awake will dramatically alter this. When carbohydrates are ingested, insulin is released to control blood sugar levels. Something high in refined sugar such as sweets or chocolate or a bottle of coke will cause a large rise in blood sugar levels, in return a large amount of insulin will be released. This results in the “crash” feeling.

If you do need to do an all nighter you should avoid these foods because
1) they won’t help you stay awake
2) they are are very likely to lead to fat gain.

You should opt for foods such as
– nuts
– seeds
– berries
– apples
– protein sources: chicken, turkey, fish.
– boiled eggs
– natural peanut butter (go easy)

These may seem like boring foods but there are tasty options to each of them. If you think nuts are boring, then get a flavoured option like sweet chilli or smoked. Add some paprika to the boiled eggs. Get a berry mix instead of just blueberries. They may not be seen as optimal but they are far better than a bottle of coke or haribo.

For those thinking there’s sugar in fruit, how is that different? It’s all natural sugar. Not refined sugar.

If you are desperate for some chocolate then make it a high percentage cocoa dark chocolate.

Don’t forgot how important hydration is. In addition to water a dioralyte sachet may be beneficial as its isotonic which will increase cell’s ability to absorb water and further hydrate you… (Also very good for a hangover).

So..if you’ve left your assignments late, don’t opt for sugar if you want to stay awake and focused.

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