24-hour Library: 5 foods and drinks to keep you going through a late night study session

Studying late at the Library? Tummy grumbling? Energy-levels dwindling? Here are our food and drink suggestions to keep you going…

**WARNING** This is not a fun post. Unfortunately Monster and Haribo are not the best thing to keep your focus when you are working through the night, so if that is what you want to hear then stop reading now (but don’t, you should read it well – it’s delicious and your teeth won’t fall out at 27).

If you are one of those night owls who wants to make the most of the Library’s 24/7 opening hours, then you need to fuel it right. You’ve got to be more of a Mo Farah than a Usain Bolt to make it through to that dawn finish line.

1. Healthy dinner

If you are planning a big study session then it is essential you have a proper meal before you get started, it will help you maintain focus, lessen the temptation to gorge on biscuits once you are in the library and avoid the embarrassment of a rumbling stomach in the silent study areas.

Make sure your meal is a good balance of protein, carbs and vegetables. Aim for something low in sugar and quick release energy – this will make you feel great for about half an hour then you will crash spectacularly and find yourself being woken by one of our lovely stewards at 8am. This rice and bean burrito would be an excellent choice, plus it is cheap, easy to make and (if you don’t use the yogurt) vegan friendly.

2. Fruit

24-hour Library: 5 foods and drinks to keep you going through a late night study session
Figure 1 If you start to make creatures out of your fruit, it’s probably time to get some sleep

I know, I know. I sound like your mum. But she has a point. You need to eat some fruit. Not only will it stop you getting scurvy but it also helps to keep your energy levels up.

If you are somebody who likes to graze on food, get yourself some mixed berries (fresh or dried) to keep your sweet cravings away and avoid those midnight munchies.

Also bananas are pretty excellent. They are source of potassium, which energises the brain, and magnesium, which helps you focus, along with the slow release energy keeping you alert for longer. To be honest, they are probably magic, go have one now.

3. Nuts

Another great choice for you snackers out there. Nuts like cashews, almonds and pecans are full of good stuff like vitamin B3 (helps fight fatigue), mineral magnesium (improves memory) and calcium (need to keep those bones strong to carry all those books).

However, avoid salted, chocolate covered and honeyed nuts as the added sugar and fat outweighs the healthy benefits.

4. Cereals

Ok, so Frosties and Coco Pops might be out for a late night study session, but muesli and granola isn’t half bad nowadays.

Packed full of oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds as well as a little bit of sugar and calcium, this is the perfect mini meal to boost your flagging energy and starve off temptation of a seven item fried breakfast in the café. You can even get these clever little cereal cups to keep your yogurt/milk cool and your granola crisp. Genius!

5. Plenty of water

And finally, of course, water. As tempting as it is to have a triple espresso and ride the wave of caffeine, in the long run this won’t help. Remember caffeine dehydrates you, which leads to lack of focus, low mood and headaches resulting in a rubbish study session (and probably a very grumpy you, and nobody wants that). Keep a bottle of water with you and make sure to take regular sips (and you can even make use of our snazzy water machines).

So there you have it, stick to these foods and your late night study sessions will be much more productive and enjoyable.

But please remember none of these foods are a replacement for a good night’s sleep. Try to keep all-nighters to a minimum and make sure you balance them out with a good rest afterwards.

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