Think Smart

Glass of orange juice

With new experiences around every corner you need to have your wits about you. Being thirsty or hungry, may mean that your ability to concentrate on the simplest of things is reduced. So it’s important to eat and drink regularly.

To make best use of your brain power and always perform at your best try not to skip meals, especially breakfast. If you snack between meals, choose healthy options whenever you can. It’s also important to make sure you drink regularly throughout the day, especially in hot weather. Why not carry a water bottle with you. Make sure you have a drink at breaks and lunchtimes and after sports. Try not to rely on sugary drinks from vending machines and shops.

Fluids - What Counts?

Water, fruit smoothies, pure fruit juice, milk, sugar-free squashes and flavoured waters. Or tea (regular or fruit), coffee, low-fat chocolate or malted drinks if you want something hot.

So What’s The Best Brain Food?

Now for the scientific stuff. The brain relies almost entirely on the body’s carbohydrate stores to work properly. Because we use up carbohydrate stores quickly, it’s important to keep refuelling every few hours. Especially during exams. But there are smarter choices. Foods high in sugar can raise the body’s sugar levels, but only temporarily. It’s much better to have foods which gently raise sugar levels over a longer period. These are usually more traditional foods, eaten as part of regular meals like new potatoes, pasta, beans, porridge and muesli. These foods often have a low glycaemic index (low Gi) foods.

Top Tips For Exam Times

When preparing for exams it may feel like there’s no time to prepare a proper meal. It might seem easier to snack on biscuits, crisps or chocolate or even to skip a meal and keep going.

But skipping meals and eating badly won’t allow your body to perform at its best. It’s just not a good recipe for success. Try these tips for healthier exam planning:

  • Make sure you include meals and meal breaks on your revision timetable.
  • Give yourself a head start by having breakfast.
  • Balance your meals – you need to have enough energy to get you through.
  • Keep hydrated – take your water bottle with you to revision sessions and exams.
  • Try to include 5 fruit and vegetables each day, they make handy snacks.
  • Take a break every couple of hours, go for a walk or do something active, it will help you feel good.
  • Plan your snacks, try not to grab just anything.

Check out healthier snacks and meals in our healthy recipe section.

Recipes

Get some great ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

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