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How your eating habits can impact on your exam success

What you eat can be important around exam time


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education


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Eating well is good for both your mental and physical health. When it comes to exams and studying, you want to be at your best so that means eating the right foods to ensure your concentration levels are where they need to be. We have put together some tips to ensure that you can eat your way to exam success.

Eating well at exam time

When it comes to planning snacks and meals at exam time, it's important to make sure you're eating well.

Avoid skipping meals

No matter how rushed you are, try to avoid skipping meals especially breakfast. Starting your day with breakfast gets your body going and maintains your concentration for the day. Have a look at our breakfast for busy people article.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

It might sound like hard work but try to add fruit or vegetables to every meal if possible. Simple ways to increase your fruit and veg intake include smoothies, adding banana to toast, adding fruit to porridge or breakfast cereals. Here's some advice on getting enough fruit and veg.

Drink plenty of water

Try to drink eight glasses to keep your body hydrated. By drinking enough water you are also less likely to be as hungry. If you’re not a fan of water on its own try adding a sugar free diluted squash.

Wholegrains

Wholegrains give your body the energy it needs to function. Eating wholegrains with a low GI such as brown pasta, brown rice, or brown bread will give you a constant supply of energy to get you through the day.

Things to avoid around exam time

Just as there are foods that can help us when we're trying to focus, there are also foods that are best avoided.

Unhealthy snacks

It can be tempting when studying to reach for unhealthy snacks. Snack foods such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate and sweets can be high in sugars and saturated fat, and low in certain vitamins and minerals. Reaching for something high in sugar can cause you to crash, and they won't leave you feeling your best.

Instead try to keep fruit such as apples, blueberries or bananas on hand for those moments you need a snack. Check out our article on swapping favourite snacks for healthier alternatives.

Avoid too much caffeine

Coffee and soft drinks may give a short term boost to your energy but in the long run will result in an energy crash that just isn’t worth it.

Black tea also contains caffeine, so consider swapping it out for non-caffienated herbal tea during exam time. 

Avoid energy drinks like Red Bull as they will result in a caffeine and sugar rush that won’t do your body any favours.

Avoid too much alcohol

When you’re studying alcohol is not your friend. It will dehydrate you, disturb your sleep and destroy your concentration the next day.

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Published September 17th, 2015
Last updated August 21st, 2018
Tags healthy eating exams
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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