Exam time. It has finally arrived. During exam week, it is easy to become so consumed with studying that you forget to take care of yourself, but you are the one taking the exam, and without the proper care and nutrition, you may find that your final grade does not reflect the hours of studying you put in.
Here are 5 tips to keep your body and mind at its best during exam week.
EAT! Coffee does not qualify as a meal. The caffeine may help you stay up, stay focused, and stay alert, but it can also trick your body into thinking its not hungry. It is. If you take adderall or other similar supplements, you must remember to eat. Although you may find that your body is very much awake, without food, the mind becomes groggy and unable to absorb the material as well. Don’t rely solely on supplements or vitamins. Paired with food, these are great, but the body needs the substance of actual food. A vitamin C chew is not as good for your body as an orange.
Eat lightly at regular intervals several times a day. Three big meals may slow you down mentally and physically. Eating a hearty meal may make you feel like you are in serious need of a nap afterwards. Instead, try eating lightly five or six times a day.
Who has time to prepare meals five or six times a day? Eating lightly does not mean eating junk foods with empty calories. DO NOT find yourself living off of food from a vending machine. Before you head off to study, pack some healthy meals and snacks. It’s easy, cheap, and will be ready for you when you need it. Instead of wasting energy later trying to find out where and how to get some food, you can remain focused on your studies because your snacks will be in your bag right next to your books.
Ideas for exam foods on the go:
- Sandwiches: Bring a sandwich filled with vegetables and a source of protein. If you don’t want to make it yourself get one at a sandwich shop like Subway before hand. Save it for when you need it, and avoid having to leave the library to find food.
- Fruit: Apples, oranges, and bananas are great snacks and easy to pack. Rich in nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and vitamin B, fruits are some of the best foods for your brain. Adding peanut butter to the apples and bananas kicks it up a notch too.
- Try packing some carrots and hummus. This snack will fill you up and is a great source of vitamins and protein.
- Grab some granola bars to snack on; they’re easy, healthy, and tasty.
- Nuts. Bring along some almonds and cashews to munch on while studying.
Stay hydrated. Drink caffeine in moderation, and make sure to pair each caffeinated beverage with water or juice. Drinking too much caffeine will make you jittery. Another good beverage choice is anti-oxidant-rich green tea. Caffeinated tea can be a good alternative to coffee as well.
The night before the exam, eat a balanced dinner and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleep is imperative to the studying process. When you wake up, BREAKFAST. Review the test material as you enjoy a balanced breakfast. Have a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit, or have some eggs and an English muffin with a large glass of orange juice. Whatever you like, make sure to get some protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and fiber.