Question: I have trouble concentrating. What can I do to help me focus and study for longer periods of time?
You are not alone in wrestling with this! Many students find themselves overwhelmed, juggling several assignments and a seemingly endless flow of distractions.
Alex Swanson says that just one hour of studying and focus will use up your entire glucose supply! Therefore, make sure to eat protein rich meals regularly and always have snacks and water/electrolyte packed drinks in reach. Think of studying as a mental workout. You wouldn’t go to the gym without your water bottle, now would you? Replenishing and rehydrating is just as important at the library.
Still need an extra boost? Try to resist reaching for the coffee if you are prone to nervousness. Nothing will destroy your concentration like a dose of anxiety. The reason coffee can increase feelings of stress is due to caffeine’s role in elevating stress hormones, such as cortisol. Alex Swanson says, “these hormones are responsible for increased heart rate and blood pressure, a sense of ‘emergency alert,’ increased blood pressure, low immunity, sleeping health-issues and weight management.”
One alternative is to use ashwaghanda and rhodiola rosea; effective safe adaptogens that help your body adapt to stress. This unique combination simultaneously helps you relax and stay on task. I began taking this a few months ago, and I find that it has provided me with a new mental clarity and ability to complete my assignments more efficiently (contact Swanson Health Center for product recommendations). Be sure to always check with your health care provider before taking any new supplements, especially if you are taking other medications.
So there you have it: hydrate, eat protein-rich snacks, kick coffee to the curb, and consider adaptogens as a safe alternative for some extra help! Good luck!