We’ve all been there. You have to pull an all-nighter and you didn’t have time to get a proper dinner. Instead of eating junk food all night, we’ve rounded up the 10 best healthy snacks for an all-nighter. These healthy snack options will keep you full and energized to keep studying into the wee hours of the morning.
1. Green Tea
So this one isn’t a snack so much as it is a beverage, but I still highly recommend trying it out. Green tea is great for your health in general since it doesn’t add calories or sugar to your diet but it is packed with antioxidants and can help relieve stress. In addition, most green tea contains caffeine. So, if you need a little help staying awake but you don’t want to get jittery from energy drinks, green tea is a perfect alternative.
2. Small Fruits like Berries or Grapes
Small fruits make perfect finger-foods, are super convenient, and aren’t messy the way other fruits can be. They are also packed with vitamins, nutrients, and natural sugars that will help keep your energy levels up. Bonus points: if they’re cold they can help kick-start your energy and can be very refreshing!
3. Frozen Burrito
Obviously, the burrito shouldn’t be frozen when you eat it, but this is a great option if your hungry for some real food. Having a few of these bad boys in your freezer can really save your butt at times like these, especially if you don’t feel like cooking or going out to pick something up. I highly recommend Amy’s Organics burritos (which have vegan and gluten-free options) because they have very simple and contain natural ingredients; but any burritos that fill you up and make you happy are perfect!
4. Dark Chocolate
I like to consider dark chocolate a health food. Whether or not that’s entirely correct is irrelevant. Dark chocolate is healthier than other kinds of chocolate and eaten in moderation can help reduce stress and blood pressure, all while giving you a boost of antioxidants! Plus, chocolate has a little bit of natural caffeine to help keep you going through the night. If you need something a bit stronger, you can find caffeinated chocolate in shops around campus, some coffee shops, and many grocery stores.
Popcorn can be such a good idea for when you need a quick break. Sometimes you just need to walk away from your work for a little while, pop some popcorn in the microwave, and take a minute to just enjoy it. It’s an easy comfort food and it’ll help keep your energy levels up. Just make sure to wipe your hands off before going back to work and you’re golden!
6. Chinese Takeout
Ordering Chinese is a pretty quintessential hungry college student thing to do, and doing it during an all-nighter seems appropriate. Of course, there may not be restaurants open at two in the morning, but ordering it earlier in the night is such a good move. It’s filling, delicious, and you’ll probably have leftovers that you can eat later in the night or the next morning when you don’t have the time or energy to make a real breakfast.
This one isn’t super healthy, but like Chinese food, it is a great late night staple. Again, you have to be aware of when shops are open, but getting a pizza (or three) will provide tons of leftovers and will make you very happy. Pizza is also a great idea if you’re pulling an all-nighter or study session with other people! You can all chip in and enjoy a few slices together while bonding over how stressed you are.
8. Ice Water
I know this sounds like a cruel joke, but ice water is sort of a pro-tip of mine of how to stay awake. The jolt of cold you’ll get when you drink it will help shock your system into being more awake and alert, not to mention that staying hydrated is important to the body’s energy levels. If you ever see me chugging water in class, it’s probably because I’m fighting to not fall asleep on the spot. Ice water isn’t a standalone snack, but it’s a great addition.
9. Tortilla Chips
If you’re someone who likes to snack while you work, tortilla chips are a great alternative to potato chips. They’re healthier and less greasy so they won’t weigh you down the way standard potato chips do. I recommend eating over a napkin, plate, or container of some sort so and crumbs don’t make a mess.
10. Ice Cream
The last snack on this list definitely isn’t healthy, but if you’ve had really long night and need a good comfort food, ice cream is a great go-to. Plus, it’s a great way to reward yourself for the hard work you put in! Binge-eating it probably won’t make you feel great, but a healthy serving can boost your energy and help you feel a little happier and less stressed!
Honorable mentions for worst snacks for pulling an all-nighter
Salad or Any Other Low Calorie Foods
All-nighters aren’t an occasion for perfect health, so cut yourself some slack and let yourself eat some more fun food. Eating something very low-calorie like a salad (depending on what dressing you use) won’t help your energy levels much and won’t be easy to snack on while working.
While sometimes energy drinks are a necessary evil, in general, they are something to stay away from. They might help keep you awake but they’ll also make it harder to focus and be still long enough to get any work done.
Candy, Sweets, and Refined Sugar
Some people gravitate toward sugar as a quick energy boost, but this can lead to a pretty severe sugar crash. And if you thought it was difficult to study before, you’re going to hate it when your energy levels plummet. Plus, sugar makes it hard to concentrate and sit still, so maybe avoid the sweets until the next day when you can reward yourself after getting all your work done.