Food for thought: food before your exam

healthy foodsSome students may not consider the importance of eating the right foods before an exam - well, more fool them. Your brain requires quality nutrition to ensure optimum performance. It's all too easy to get into the habit of eating unhealthily during exam time. Junk food, energy drinks and lots of chocolatey treats often replace normal meals as a way to "keep energy levels up." This is a big mistake guys. It can be harmful to your long-term health and can impact negatively on your exam performance. 

Here's some food for thought to help you through this stressful time in your academic year: 


This is the first and most "obvious" option. Beans, eggs, seeds and nuts are high in protein, which promote brain activity and alertness - YES, this time mother really does know best. Why not take a multigrain snack bar or some fruit? These foods have been known to promote quick thinking and release the energy needed to focus on your paper. 


If you usually skip breakfast in favour of sneaking a light snack as you pass through your door, avoid this on exam day. This meal is INCREDIBLY important when preparing for a long day in an exam. Make sure you have the time to prepare a hearty meal beforehand. Now is not the time to experiment with new foods you are unsure about - find a routine you're comfortable with and stick to it. If you are uncomfortable with eating solid foods first thing, try a simple fruit smoothie to give yourself that much-needed boost.

Time your meals

If your test is in the afternoon, it's important to get some food a few hours before. It's all too easy to let the stress of an exam consume your day, without taking time out to boost your energy levels - leaving a few hours between your mealtime and the exam means you have properly digested your food. Don't just walk into your exam after eating a full English breakfast; your body will be focused on digestion and you'll feel groggy. This goes for a 9am exam as well; make sure you are awake, fresh and fed before you set off. 

Eat Smart

Most importantly, just eat smart. If certain foods don't work for you, this is no exception - don't be afraid to stick to what works best. In general, fast foods and sugary snacks aren't good for you. You don't need us to tell you that, right? It's common sense. That's exactly the attitude you should have as you stand beside the venders, pondering over a pre-exam sugar-rush. These foods not only take longer to digest, they can make you hyperactive and jittery before your exam (never a good thing). 

So long as you know what foods do and don't suit you, there's nothing to worry about.


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