Posted on 20th May 2013
What to eat before an exam
Exam period is truly upon us and while people are cramming ideas into their brains, they can forget that sometimes what you eat during the day of your exam can be just as important as what you managed to revise all those weeks beforehand. So what should you eat (other than exam papers and other people's brains of course)? Read on to find out.
First off, DO NOT miss breakfast as it's really key to making sure you have energy throughout the day. Even if you're not hungry because of nerves or because it's the morning and you aren't made to be awake at 7am, eat it all up. And porridge, that delicious sludge, will release energy slowly throughout the day and will keep you going well up until lunch. Plus it means you won't feel as hungry later on so you're less likely to have a far too big lunch and leave yourself comatosed and sluggishly digesting for the rest of the day.
Top Tip: Try adding a dollop of honey or some yummy blueberries or raspberries to your porridge for extra oomph.
Eggs on toast
Protein leads to greater mental awareness so a couple of tasty eggs, boiled or poached, are a great start to the day. Throw in some healthy wholemeal bread (ok, with a little bit of butter spread on top) Top tip: Try not to overcook the eggs so that the yolk stays deliciously dippable.
Bananas are amazing! They're tasty, release energy slowly, are full of delicious vitamins, and will make you feel full for longer. They also contain high amounts of potassium which make you more alert, just what you need to concentrate in the exam!
Top tip: Got an itchy mosquito or spider bite? Rubbing it with the inside of a banana peel will stop you wanting to scratch.
Wholemeal pasta with tuna or salmon is a great lunch option. You'll get some low GI carbs (for energy), thiamin and fibre from the pasta, and the protein and omega 3 from the tuna will keep your brain sharp.
Top Tip: A squeeze of zingy lemon will make the fish taste even better.
Yes, this post is about what to eat but don't forget to DRINK too, and a lot. Keeping your brain and body hydrated is very important as it'll help the oxygen flow to your brain, helping to make you more-well- brainy!
And while we're on the topic of what to drink, be wary of coffee. As a massive coffee addict I do feel a little hypocritical saying this, but do be careful drinking coffee just beforehand; you'll get the initial energy boost but that will peter out after a few hours. It's the same deal with sugar; while chocolate will make you feel buzzed at first, make sure you've also eaten something with some slow-burning carbs. Oh, and don't have coffee the night before as you won't sleep as well with the caffeine in your system.
Top tip: Buy some flavoured water if you want to make drinking more interesting (but watch out for products with high sugar contents).
You're about to have a major nerve wracking exam, so you deserve a little comfort food right? Something greasy and filling and smothered in ketchup? No! Resist the temptation, and save it for once the exam is done and dusted. By filling up on grease, you'll feel sluggish and your brain won't be as awake as it needs to be. You want to be a little on edge, not spending all your energy digesting.
Top tip: If you want a tasty treat to keep up morale, try a healthy but yummy option such as a breakfast bar or a fruit smoothie.
Wishing all those exam troupers out there the very best of luck!
Of course no meal can make up for not knowing your stuff on the day of the exam. If you're feeling the exam heat, why not find out how we can help. Email or call us on 020 7352 8800.