Posted by: Kelsey Avers | April 18, 2010

Snacking through the all-nighter

Did you totally procrastinate on the final draft of that 12-page research that’s due tomorrow at 10 a.m., and now you need to pull an all-nighter? For the technical and planning side of your problem, read MegaNerdRun’s post, “How To Pull An All-Nighter.”

But alas, this blog is all about the food aspect of anything and everything, so here is a list of five snack-and-drink rules to follow when trying to stay up all night and focus on schoolwork (that SHOULD have been done last week!):

Water = Good.

Caffeine and candies are not your friend
Instead of sodas and energy drinks, drink two full glasses of ice water every 30 minutes. The cold will keep you awake, and you will be able to keep active and alert by having to pee every hour or so. Eating candy might taste good and keep you awake for a small bit, but you’ll start to feel drowsy eventually.

Protein stays up with you
Eat protein-rich foods during your cram session. Sandwiches, cheeses and other dairy products are good snacks that will keep your energy level stable.

Eat and drink apples
If you are snacking on cheese, drink some apple juice with it, or munch on some sliced up apples. This will help your blood sugar stabilize so you can stay awake longer.

Snacks are greater than one large meal
Snacking will be your friend during your all-nighter, whereas a large meal will make you full and drowsy.
Good snack choices include: Cottage cheese with fruit, low fat cheeses, low-fat yogurt, celery and carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers, broccoli, grape tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits and whole grain crackers.

Water isn’t the only thing you can drink
There still are some good beverages you can drink if a night full of drinking only water just isn’t cutting it for you. Sipping on iced tea (keep light on the sugar), club soda and natural fruit juices will also help your eyes stay open.

Chew gum
It has been studied that gum helps you concentrate and focus, and also reduces stress and anxiety. So get to chewing!

Did you get all of your work done and find that you have a few hours left to sleep before turning in your book report? Time to spoil that tummy with bread, cereal, pasta or any other carbs. But before you start indulging, make sure to read “Having trouble sleeping? The culprit: your late-night diet” to learn about foods that will result in restless sleep.

This blog post is not encouraging procrastination or all-nighters as it is not a healthy habit to get accustomed to. But sometimes, finals come way faster than expected, and it’s necessary, maybe 2 or 3 times per year. But really, the best gift you can give your body is sleep, so try to remember to do your work on time; your body will be happy, and your grades will be great!



  1. Good advice in both Blog updates! Now could you find something to help ME sleep? All those things on the other Blog update I do, but no luck I am still awake all night! Thanks for all of your great info. I am not a starving studying college student, but alot of this is very practical stuff for all ages to use!

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