We’ve all been there. Late at night, staring at a pile of books, with months – maybe years – worth of notes littering your desk and falling on the floor, covering your bed, your walls, and generally sapping your energy away. Figuring out how to concentrate on studies is among the biggest challenges for students. Staying full of energy for studying is an uphill, yet essential, battle.
There’s the strong temptation to reach for a can of almost pure caffeine (with heaps of added sugar) as a study aid and think that, whatever this may do to your body in the long term, it’ll focus your mind. Sugar-packed study drinks are often chosen to help achieve the almost impossible: revise, retain and regurgitate everything you’ve studied for in a single exam. Energy drinks for studying aren’t the only way to fuel your revision fire. There are healthy study snacks, drinks, and routines to get into.
Below we suggest healthy alternatives to caffeine boosts. These healthy study habits will help you not only for your studying but will prepare you for a lifetime of healthy brain activity. From caffeine-free drinks for focus to natural concentration boosters, these healthy study enhancers will keep your psychical state on par with your heightened concentration levels.
According to the NHS, these are the potential risks associated with energy drink consumption:
- caffeine overdose (which can lead to a number of symptoms, including palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and, in some cases, even death)
- type 2 diabetes – as high consumption of caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity
- late miscarriages, low birthweight and stillbirths in pregnant women
- neurological and cardiovascular system effects in children and adolescents
- sensation-seeking behaviour
- use and dependence on other harmful substances
- poor dental health
- somewhat ironically, given their association with sportiness, obesity
It’s important to understand the long-term impacts your short-term study habits can have. If you’re wondering how to focus on study without energy drinks, we’ve put together this handy guide. Here are our healthy solutions to improving cognitive function without putting your health at risk:
1. Healthy drinks, not energy drinks
- Juices and Smoothies – Dark green vegetables such as spinach, parsley and kale are a great source of B vitamins. Study drinks packed with these nutrients help our body run at a peak metabolic rate. With the best source of energy coming from whole foods, you should combine your new high metabolism with a diet full of vitamins and nutrients to boost energy for studying and feel fuelled and focused all day long.
- Green Tea – Although green tea for study focus contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, its healthy properties decrease risk of heart disease and cancer. There’s also evidence that green tea helps improve mental clarity and performance, providing the perfect platform for those hardcore revision sessions.
- Water – Dehydration is closely linked to fatigue. If you’re a student struggling for energy, make sure you drink plenty of fluid every day. Free of sugar or calories, water is the best way to hydrate your body. Top tip for studying – starting your day off with ample H20 is a refreshing and energy-affirming way of kickstarting your study session.
2. Tidy And Organise Your Study Space
- • Tidy your room and especially your desk: A tidy desk is a tidy mind! If there’s clutter and mess, your mind may be preoccupied, and you won’t feel overly comfortable. Maintaining full focus on the task at hand is the key to achieving successful study and revision.
• Have a study plan – There’s nothing worse than realising the night before an exam that you’ve not opened a single book on the subject for weeks. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – planning your studies is essential to mapping the route to success. Have a detailed study plan, get a calendar and allocate sufficient hours to studying for an exam or writing an essay.
• Turn off electronics – with a world of contact and entertainment in the palm of our hands, it can be easy to get distracted. Maintain your study focus by turning off phones and any other distracting electronic gadget. Where possible, get your favourite chilled study playlist playing from your computer, allowing you to store your phone away. Ignoring your electronics and external factors is one of the best ways to focus on studying.
3. Exercises For Energy, Productivity, And Focus
Exercise is heralded for getting your mental states into shape as well as physically. Beau Scott from Cardiff Sports Nutrition says numerous studies have repeatedly shown that a good diet and regular exercise can have a positive impact on our productivity levels. Exercise for students in study season can boost energy and clear the mind.
Actively striving to achieve or maintain a good level of health and fitness can benefit students’ efforts to study in a number of ways. A healthy diet that is rich in vitamin and minerals from a varied diet as well as high quality multivitamins improve the body’s immune system. Less illness means that productivity levels will not be decreased. As such, keeping a healthy body and mind is one of the most important tips for helping students to study.
Regular exercise leads to a greater expenditure of energy, and in order to meet these demands your body will increase your metabolism to make more energy freely available. Exercise enhances your body’s efficiency at using glucose and oxygen as energy both to the body, and more importantly, the brain to keep you concentrated and performing.
Take advantage of London’s many parks and gardens to go for a healthy jog to focus your mind before hitting the books for a super productive study session.
4. Practice Mindfulness And Deep-Breathing Exercises
Mindfulness and deep-breathing exercises are great ways to keep your mind focused, steady, and calm. This way to stay focused has been backed up by Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience researchers, who noted the impact breathing exercises have on the production of noradrenaline.
An example simple breathing exercise for students which will clear your mind and get you fully focussed for studies is, as follows;
• With your eyes closed, inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds
• Hold your full inhalation of breath for 2 seconds
• Exhale through the nose for a further 4 seconds
Getting into the routine of doing this breathing exercise 3 times prior to kicking off your studies will set the tone and help you focus your energy on studying. Give it a whirl and see how you feel – if you have any alternative breathing exercise to share, let us know in the comments!
5. Taking Regular Downtime And Study Breaks
One of the best ways to use your energy effectively when studying is to schedule regular breaks. Even if you’re in the mindset of ploughing on, the quality of your work is likely to suffer. Mental energy is not an infinite supply, and it’s important to be efficient with your work. Taking regular breaks while studying allows you to recharge and operate at the peak of your powers for longer.
However many breaks you require while studying will vary, although segmenting them based on the length of your task is a good idea and splits a large task into several smaller objectives. Also, ensure that you get into healthy habits for your breaks. Replace coffee with a short stroll or some brain food to keep your focus at peak levels. Treat each break as a milestone.
Don’t rely on sugary energy drinks when there’s these healthy cognitive enhancers ready to wake you up! You may also be interested in – Student accommodation London.