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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

For many, fast and easy meals is the go-to during exam season. Needing to eat but having no time to stop and make a healthy meal is what causes a lot of negative outcomes for students. Not only do you feel sluggish and not have clear skin, but the lack of proper nutrients doesn’t help with your success in your classes.

Think of your body as a car. When you’re low on gas, you’re running out of energy to keep moving. You’re tired, you have trouble focusing and you find it hard to study and write papers. According to studies done by the CDC, “Hunger due to insufficient food intake is associated with lower grades, higher rates of absenteeism, repeating a grade and an inability to focus among students” (2014). This makes total sense, as you need the energy to complete daily tasks and without intaking energy (food), you’ll be running on fumes.

Not only do you need to make time to eat, but the quality of your meals is also super important. A balanced meal of protein, fats and carbs will fuel your brain for those long hours of studying, as opposed to fast food or instant ramen. According to the same study by the CDC, “Lack of adequate consumption of specific foods, such as fruits, vegetables or dairy products, is associated with lower grades among students. Deficits of specific nutrients (i.e., vitamins A, B6, B12, C, folate, iron, zinc and calcium) are associated with lower grades and higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness among students” (2014). Again, this makes so much sense. Think about how hungry and tired you are when you have McDonald’s compared to when you make a healthy meal at home and you have more energy and are full for longer.

Snacks are also super important. Having a bowl of chips is easy and tempting but it won’t keep you full or energized for long. A better option is an apple with peanut butter, fruit, cheese or even a protein bar if you’re looking for something premade. Also, reaching for something caffeinated when you’re tired is a common go-to but you shouldn’t do this. When you’re tired, you’re most likely in need of food or sleep. Grab a snack before reaching for the pot of coffee. Regardless of if you’re hungry or not, a snack will help with the caffeine jitters.

Making healthy meals and snacks is easier said than done during exam season. Try to prep balanced snacks or meals beforehand so you can grab and go. Next time you get groceries, prewash and cut your produce, then they’ll be ready to eat or use when you want them. If you’re really short on time, peanut butter and banana on toast is a quick and healthy option.

Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf

Véronique Perrault

Wilfrid Laurier '25

Hi! I'm Véronique and I'm a writer for Her Campus Laurier. I like to write about a lot of different things so, stay tuned! When I'm not swamped with studying, I love curling up with a good book, playing with my dog and doing puzzles.