It’s late September: Autumn colors are becoming more and more visible by the day, the morning air is crisper than ever and falling leaves have begun to leave our trees bare. Between exams, papers, internships, information sessions and so much more, we too are stripped bare. Fall is upon us — but it’s not alone: Prelim season is also here, and it’s here to stay.
Prelim season feels never-ending. It often means late nights, skipped meals and a distinct drop in Big Red Bucks after buying 10 cups of coffee in a three-day span. Unfortunately, we can’t survive on just coffee forever. Here are my recommendations for the best study snack for each type of snacker:
Kind Bar Plus, Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants
Saturated & Trans Fats: 1.5 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 8 g in total, 4 g of added sugar
Sodium: 20 mg
Protein: 4 g
Why I like it: It’s sweet, tangy and crunchy: The Kind Bar has it all. The bar has a low glycemic index, meaning that your body will metabolize it slower than most foods, providing you longer-lasting energy. As an added bonus, the Kind Bar Plus has 20 percent of your daily value of antioxidants, which are crucial in helping to reduce stress.
Best for: The On-the-Go Snacker. It’s the perfect snack to eat while running from class to your club meeting: It’s small, easy to carry and keeps you full enough to tide you over until your next meal.
Good Health Veggie Straws, Sea Salt
Saturated & Trans Fats: 0.5 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugars: 0 g
Sodium: 200 mg
Protein: 1 g
Why I like it: Veggie Straws are basically the guilt-free version of potato chips. They’re salty and crispy in all the right ways. What you may not know? Veggie straws are packed full of vitamins and nutrients from different vegetables. One bag has 25 percent of your daily value of Vitamins A and C, both of which are proven to reduce stress levels.
Best for: The Mindless Snacker. I get it: You stress eat. Who doesn’t? This salty snack is low in bad fats, calories and sugars, making it the perfect snack for binge-eaters.
Sabra Hummus with Pretzels, Classic
Saturated & Trans Fats: 3 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 1 g, 0 g of added sugar
Sodium: 840 mg
Protein: 10 g
Why I like it: This is the perfect snack to fill you up. With 10 grams of protein, this pretzel and hummus duo helps to renew your energy. The tangy smoothness of the hummus contrasts perfectly with the salty crunch of the pretzel to give you a more dynamic snack option.
Best for: The Procrastinator. You have a paper due at midnight for a class you’ve never been to: You have no more time to waste. Sometimes, you even have to tough it out and skip dinner — this snack is the perfect replacement. The high protein value in the hummus will give you enough to burn through when working frantically.
Saturated & Trans Fats: 0 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 25 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 1 g
*Nutritional Values are averages sourced from the United States Department of Agriculture
Why I like it: The best apple is crisp, juicy and sweet. Apples are a strong energy source and are full of vitamins and antioxidants, reducing stress and energizing you at the same time. They don’t contain any energizing caffeine but does have a substantial amount of carbohydrate energy, providing an energy rush similar to the one provided by coffee.
Best for: The Sleep-Deprived Snacker. It’s creeping towards midnight and you know you have a long night ahead of you. You’ve already drank three cups of coffee but go for another one to help keep you up. Instead, you should reach for an apple. Unlike caffeine, there are no jolts, crashes or jitters that come with apples. Over half of the sugar content in apples consists of fructose, which takes longer to digest; this provides a longer, more stable energy choice compared to coffee.
Don’t just snack, snack smart. The next time you’re dying for a pick-me-up at Olin, ditch the extra cup of coffee and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to (try to) ace that next prelim.