We know that times can be stressful when you’re a student, especially in the lead up to exams, and with that it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it is vital to your learning that you do.
Research has shown that students are better at retaining information and learning when they are well nourished. Eating healthy meals has also been linked to higher grades, better memory, and faster information processing. So, if you’re eating well, you’re performing well too!
As well as your mind and body, your diet can also have an effect on your mood. So, if you’re not properly fuelling your body, your mood can be negatively affected, which may have a large impact on your wellbeing.
In this blog we have 5 tips to help you towards a healthy lifestyle and success at College!
Eat regular meals and snack smarter
Eating regular meals is so important in maintaining your energy levels. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, and ensures you are energized throughout the day rather than experiencing spikes of energy followed by a drop off. This can also have some effect on the hormones that control your mood and your ability to concentrate.
When studying it can be tempting to reach for quick and easy sugary snacks to keep us going throughout the day, but excessive sugar consumption will only provide a temporary rush of energy following by a crash in blood sugar levels. This can cause fatigue and ultimately leaves us more tired and burned out in the long run.
Instead, why not try snacking on protein rich foods like nuts, figs, dried fruit, eggs, and yoghurt. These foods have been proven to improve memory retention, mental alertness, and increase energy levels.
It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration, which can cause fatigue, forgetfulness, and sluggishness.
It can be tempting to reach for highly caffeinated drinks such as coffee or energy drinks, but they will not sustain you throughout the day. Overconsumption of energy drinks can be especially harmful as it can result in raised blood pressure, headaches, sleep disturbances, and stomach aches.
Instead, why not reach for water? Water speeds up the chemical reactions that happen throughout our body and can quicken the rate at which our brains can process information.
Water is also free! We have lots of drinking fountains throughout the College campus, so you can stay hydrated and save money too! Bring a reusable water bottle into College to take advantage of our free drinking water.
Eat your greens
You should be including green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, and green beans throughout your diet as they are all packed with vitamin K, B6, and B12. This helps to build pathways to the brain and can improve your alertness and memory.
Eating healthy does not mean that you must restrict yourself or refrain from enjoying treats or more indulgent foods every now and then, but instead urges you to make a conscious choice to eat foods that will provide you with adequate fuel throughout the day, ready to smash those assignments and exams!
Sleep and rest are essential for your learning. The brain is always active and working, even when you’re asleep and this is when the memory consolidation process takes place. Studies suggest that insufficient and excessive sleep can affect memory processing, and lack of sleep can lower your ability to learn new things by 40%. So, you can’t really benefit from the time you put into your studies unless you sleep.
Screen time before bed can also negatively affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Active use of your phone like texting or social media can delay the time it takes you to get to sleep, affecting how long you sleep for.
The recommended hours of sleep for a teenager are between 8-10 hours and for young adults it is 7-9.
Regular exercise can also help with your learning. Research shows that physical exercise release proteins in the brain that can help improve memory and increase cognitive performance. Also, doing any intense physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and promotes cell growth. This means that doing just 20 minutes of exercise before you study can improve your concentration. Here at Middlesbrough College we offer a range of sport enrichment opportunities for you to get involved with alongside your studies. Take a look and get involved!