Exam preparations require lots of deliberate planning and adequate time management. LSE LIFE will be organising a number of programmes to help students prepare effectively, organise study schedule and manage the anxiety of the period. But the kind of food we eat is also important during exam preparation.
Certain kinds of food increase alertness, enhance memory retention, and can increase energy levels and general wellbeing. Here are a number of foods that can help you during exam preparations:
1. Stay hydrated
Water accelerates the chemical reactions in our bodies and can quicken the rate at which our brains process information. Dehydration, on the other hand, can cause fatigue, forgetfulness and sluggishness. The NHS recommends we aim to drink around 1.2 litres of water a day for good mental health and general wellbeing. So, get a handy water bottle today beside your reading desk.
2. Go easy on sugar
There is often the temptation to snack on sugary food while studying. It has been discovered that this is counterproductive because excessive sugar consumption leads to a temporary rush of energy which is quickly followed by crashing blood sugar levels causing fatigue among other things.
3. Healthy snacking
Instead of sugary foods, try to snack on nuts, cottage cheese, figs, dried fruits, oatmeal, eggs, and yogurt. These protein-rich foods have been proven to improve memory retention, mental alertness, and increase energy levels.
4. Try green tea instead of caffeine
Coffee shops often have bumper sales during exam period for obvious reasons. To stay awake and alert, students often resort to caffeine. However, it has been discovered that caffeine only provides short-term support and often comes with side effects like migraines and fatigue in the long run. Green tea is a good alternative to high-caffeine options, as it provides antioxidants as well as boosting your concentration.
5. Leafy greens
Vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale are packed with vitamin K, which helps build pathways in the brain, as well as naturally occurring nitrates and antioxidants. They also contain B6 and B12 which are associated with improvements in alertness and memory.
Remember - you are what you eat. Exam period is not the time to skip meals or eat junk food. Rest adequately and take care of your physical and mental health. You need to be the best version of yourself for the exams, so eat right, exercise and study.
Photo and words by LSE Social Media Ambassador Victor Agboga.