Have you ever turned to comfort food late at night before a test to lower your stress levels? The answer is most probably yes. Stress eating is when one impulsively eats because of a negative emotion.
Oftentimes when high school or college students have upcoming exams, they tend to stay up late, trying to cram in last bits of information. During these stressful times, students often resort to food to calm their nerves and keep their focus.
In addition, people who stay up later in the night are predisposed to eating more because of the amount of time that has elapsed since they ate dinner. These two components combined result in compulsive overeating of fattening foods.
Although stress eating at night may be harmful when one consumes most of their nutrients for the day during that time, eating moderate amounts of healthy food will do no harm. As a matter of fact, in some cases, eating a small amount before bed can improve a person’s health.
According to a study done by Maastricht University Medical Centre, protein intake before bed can aid in muscle protein synthesis. “Protein ingestion before sleep increased whole-body protein synthesis rates … and improved net protein balance.”
So, the next time you decide that you “cannot study without a snack,” pick a small nutritious food. It may even help you do well on your test!