Exam season can be tough for all of us (I say, from my privileged position of not having any), but that is no time to skimp out on our most basic of requirements! Food, as well as sleep and going outside, seems to go out of the window – ergo the library seems to be packed 24 hours a day.
Last year I wrote about why you should avoid takeaways when revising, so now I’m ready to lecture you on what foods can help you learn more material (hopefully)!
For the morning:
- Foods high in carbohydrates, such as porridge, cereal and toast, provides a slow energy release throughout the morning – perfect for 9am exams and early revision.
- Adding some protein to your carbohydrates (e.g. eggs and smoked salmon) gives you a greater amount of nutrients, such as Omega-3. When in the brain has this it can improve cognitive function too!
- DO NOT skip breakfast! Having food in the morning helps keeps up your energy levels up for the entire day – they don’t call it the most important meal for nothing!
For the afternoon & evening:
- Having light and healthy snacks every few hours is seen to aid metabolism, and is less to make you feel sluggish, bloated or lethargic. Some examples of snacks include handfuls of nuts, fruit and popcorn.
- Make sure your evening meal is balanced and not too big portion-wise. When I say balanced, I mean half of it should be vegetables (no, fries don’t count)! Again, this gives a better diversity of nutrients and doesn’t make you feel sluggish etc.
- Try to avoid night snacks unless your doing an all nighter with revision, in which case snacks that are small but have high energy (e.g. nuts, yoghurt pots or cereal) are ideal.
What about liquids?
- Water is your best friend! Have the recommended amount per day (1.5 – 2L) to help with concentration and productivity.
- Coffee, contrary to popular belief, should not be excessively consumed during the exam season. Instead, having a cup or two around the mid-morning and mid-afternoon should give you the boosts you need. This is due to around these times of the day, cortisol levels are low, so you’re more likely to feel tired and less motivated unless you have caffeine.