No doubt about it, you have to eat something before an exam. Research tells us that young people who don’t eat breakfast demonstrate a 20% – 40% reduction in thinking skills (e.g. concentration, alertness and memory).
But don’t go thinking that eating something is going to be better than nothing.
Sure, a bacon and egg muffin with a hashbrown and expresso coffee may feel like a great idea the morning of an exam (especially if you’ve had a sleep deprived night of cramming facts) but please resist the urge to eat this greasy sludge and consume ridiculous quantities of caffeine!
Here’s the thing, if you eat a lot of food (particularly heavy, greasy food) before an exam you run the risk of decreasing your ability to think clearly and effectively (caffeine will just make you jumpy and increase your stress levels).
Your digestive system will be competing with your brain for oxygen rich blood (and your brain needs this in an exam!).
Whatever you decide to eat before an exam, make sure you eat it 2 hours before the exam to allow for digestion and peak mental performance.
What are the sorts of breakfasts that will fuel your brain for an exam?
1. Porridge with raisins and fruit
2. A bowl of muesli with cut up fruit (I recommend blueberries and/or banana)
3. Wholemeal toast with avocado and tomato
4. Wholemeal english muffin with an egg
5. Wholemeal toast with baked beans
What should you avoid eating for breakfast before an exam? (Note: These are examples of breakfasts students I work with typically have)
1. Coco-pops (or any sugary cereal for that matter)
2. Energy drinks
3. Fatty bacon and sausages
4. Hot chips
5. White bread with jam
If you have any other healthy breakfast ideas, let me know!