Remember to take some time for breakfastBy Kourtney Jakubowski | 04/14/2016 11:13am
With finals coming up, students will need to focus in class, the library, or wherever they may be.
“When we think about academic performance, eating breakfast, especially something with those carbs and protein in it, is proven in the research to improve concentration levels,” said Sheena Gregg, a registered dietitian and assistant director of the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness.
Toward the end of the semester, many students think they should eat breakfast, but don't have time. Many professionals, however, recommend eating breakfast and talk about both the benefits of eating breakfasts and the downfalls of not eating breakfast.
Undrea Coppin, a junior majoring in human development, said she would eat breakfast every day if she could.
“I used to eat breakfast a lot in high school, but since I came to college, I don’t have time to,” she said. “For me, it would definitely benefit me to eat breakfast because sometimes I’m sitting in class and my stomach is growling and that’s all I can focus on. I should, but I don’t.”
Will Petty, a freshman majoring in civil engineering, said he only skips breakfast if he's really in a hurry.
“You’ve got to have breakfast to focus,” he said.
Gregg said breakfast can improve all aspects of bodily function, not just brain function.
“Eating breakfast is one of the most frequent recommendations that I give to my patients that come to the Student Health Center, mostly because it is the best way to wake up their metabolism in the morning,” Gregg said.
Other students say they feel better when they make breakfast.
“The random times I decide to make breakfast, like an omelet or something, I can tell it wakes me up," said Elizabeth Harpe, a sophomore majoring in biology. "I feel ready for the day.”
However, many times students are in Coppin's time-crunch situation.
“I usually just don’t have time," said Julia Anderson, a freshman majoring in biology.
She said she tends to eat breakfast around three times a week and mainly at Fresh Foods on campus.
For students living off-campus, it becomes even harder to squeeze in a good meal.
“I commute to campus, so my breakfast time is driving to campus,” said Steven Vuong, a senior majoring in nursing. He also said his normal breakfast consists of coffee rather than food.
Gregg said a healthy breakfast doesn't have to be a lengthy ordeal, and, for the students who prefer a liquid breakfast, a healthy alternative to coffee would be a smoothie, protein shake or glass of milk.
“I’ll tell students [to eat] something as simple as a banana with peanut butter or a hardboiled egg with fruit, a glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich or a protein bar and a glass of fruit juice," she said.
Gregg suggests fruit and nuts, which also improve brain function – especially for finals week.
“For something like a test day, where you have projects going all day long, in addition to breakfast, you should have snacks throughout the day so you aren’t hungry through the day,” Gregg said.