Trail mix in German is “Studentenfutter,” which literally means “student food.” “Student food” in American is “pizza,” which literally means, “You are eating bullshit. Stop that.” 

I have no idea as to the origins of the German word but it’s a great coincidence because this post is about how trail mix is the best study fuel out there. It’s light enough to keep from bogging you down. The sugars and carbs offer a short-term energy boost and the unsaturated fats stick with you until the 4 a.m. mark. That makes it FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Really.

Plus, it’s easy to store/prepare (even without a kitchen) and it’s cheap — if you mix it yourself. 

Three things to keep in mind when building your mix:

  • Glucose, which comes from sugar and carbs, is what your brain feeds on. But studies show that too much will impair you instead. That means you should go easy on the dried fruits since they’re sugar-coated — raisins are particularly bad. Likewise for chocolate. 
  • Caffeine is proven to help. So, that dash of chocolate is worth it, especially if you’re not on coffee. 
  • Don’t count calories. Trail mix is high in calories. That’s just how it is. During finals, dump the diet and make sure you don’t go hungry. 

Customizing your concoction is actually really fun. You pretty much can’t screw it up. 

Here’s my recipe: 

  • 1 part shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 part (loosely packed) dried cranberries
  • 2 parts raw almonds
  • 2 parts roasted peanuts
  • And, 1 part M&M’s, depending on my mood 

As I’m sure you noticed, I’m missing a few traditional mix-ins. Here are a few you can try in your own amalgamation: 

  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Chocolate
  • Oats
  • Granola
  • Coconut
  • Ginger
  • Soy nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds

Got your own blend? Show it off in the comments.