When it’s exam season, students want to do their very best. In order to make the most of your studies and follow the best exam strategy, you need to be in your best condition. But you won’t be able to achieve your goals if you don’t take care of your health. And since you are what you eat, here are some tips to help you eat healthily through exam season!
- Breakfast is the most important meal
When we wake up, our body is running low on energy because it hasn’t had food for a long while. This is why breakfast is important. It gives us the energy we will be using throughout the day. If we eat the right things, breakfast can also give us essential vitamins and minerals. It’s essential to keep a steady supply of glucose as you go about your day because glucose will help you maintain concentration. You need to be able to focus perfectly during exam season. Skipping breakfast will deprive you of energy for the day.
- Have more meals, only smaller
If you eat smaller meals more frequently and avoid large meals, you’ll be able to keep your nutrient and energy levels more stable. This will stop you from wanting to snack on empty-calorie foods. Large meals only end up making us feel stuffed and lethargic. Our body’s energy levels actually start depleting about 3 hours after our meal. So, having smaller meals scattered throughout the day can keep our energy levels balanced.
- Snacks: approach this beast with caution
During exam season, snacks often serve as motivators. However, instead of snacking on unhealthy foods that are high in fat, try to go for healthier snacks. Fruit, dried fruit, yogurt or nuts are easy and appetizing options. Studying for hours on end can make you sleepy and distractible, so having a healthy snack can wake you up and give you the energy you need.
- Drink lots of water
In order to stay hydrated, you need to drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids daily. Coffee, tea, or fizzy beverages don’t count. The fluids that will hydrate you include fresh fruit juices, herbal teas, and, of course, water. Hydration is important because it improves the performance of your brain and helps you stay focused. We often mistake thirst as hunger, so be careful of those pangs
- Brain foods!
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t all you need to power your brain. Cruciferous vegetables, berries, nuts, dark chocolate all have ingredients that are great for your brain. Try including as many brain foods in your diet as possible to keep your focus sharp.
- Say no to caffeine
Caffeine, while the go-to energizer for countless students, actually does much more harm to your health than good. For one, too much caffeine will dehydrate you and leave you jittery. It can also lead to insomnia, nervousness, stomach problems. It is a psychoactive drug and it acts as a stimulant. While caffeine can offer some benefits, its negative consequences far outweigh them.
- Don’t skip meals!
Although you might be able to convince yourself to keep studying even as your stomach growls, it’s a bad idea through and through. Skipping meals should never be an option. When you resist hunger for a while, you end up overeating when you actually sit down to eat. Your blood sugar levels will drop, If you don’t have the time to get up and make a proper meal for yourself, you can have some fruits or nuts. Or prepare your meals for the day at once instead of cooking for yourself each time
- The magic of Omega-3 fatty acids
You might already have heard that Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your brain. Studies have found that these fatty acids significantly improve memory and concentration, increasing brain volume. Couldn’t you use something like that during exam preparation? The best sources of Omega-3 are oily fish (like mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout) and seeds (like flax, chia, and sunflower). They’re also found in dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach.
- Too much sugar is trouble
Sugary snacks actually seem more appetizing than usual when you’re studying. However, refined sugars are nothing less than your enemies if taken too often. Instead of having cakes, muffins, pastries, chocolates, biscuits, etc. as study snacks, you should set them as your rewards instead. Tell yourself you will have a bar of chocolate if you meet your study goal for the day, but try to avoid high-sugar foods as much as possible. This is because high sugar foods take a long time for your stomach to digest and you’re left feeling sluggish. There are other ways to give yourself the energy that you get from a sugar rush.
Staying healthy during your exams should always be a high priority. If you follow these tips, you will be able to keep your brain and body performing their best. Your diet strongly affects your overall performance and ability to study, so you should take measures to maintain a healthy diet. Good luck!