In today’s technologically connected world, people become more informed and are ever getting inquisitive. One of the predominant concerns of this populace is health, wellness, and nutrition. Parents and students, in particular, are asking about what the right nutrition is for boosting brain performance. Exams, after all, are constant, and especially when high stakes ones such as the ACT or the SAT are looming.
Long standardized exams like the ACT or SAT can be akin to a mental marathon. Endurance is important when it comes to overcoming these academic feats. Healthy eating habits are necessary to cope with the stressful times of test prep. So what nutrition tips can guide you to be able to perform optimally on your SAT or ACT test day?
See to it that you are eating.
That is, you shouldn’t skip your meals, especially breakfast. When you are nervous, munch on something healthy and filling. The food that you eat provides energy to your brain, and it is crucial. You shouldn’t be distracted by hunger when you are tackling your exam. This means that your focus should be on answering its items. What if you feel that you can’t stomach your food? Sip a glass of smoothie or protein shake instead.
Eat foods that boost your brain.
Foods that are rich in protein are good choices. They enhance mental alertness. On your exam day, recommended foods would be nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt. For breakfast, you can opt for wholesome combinations of oatmeal, cereal paired with low-fat milk, non-sugar muesli, and egg, toast, and jam as well as porridge. Other nutrition-laden brain foods are walnuts, fish, flaxseeds, prunes, figs, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, and blueberries. Certain fruits are also considered to be brain fuel, and some of them are bananas, cantaloupes, oranges, and strawberries. Pertaining to vegetables, smart choices would be broccoli, spinach, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and raw carrots.
Skip eating foods that block the brain.
White-flour foods should be avoided on your exam day. Examples of these are muffins, cookies, and cakes that require excess time and energy for your body to digest. Steer clear of foods that contain high levels of refined sugar, too. Among these are candies, chocolates, and desserts. What about turkey? It’s a major no-no to consume on your exam day because it contains an essential amino acid called L-tryptophan. It will make you feel sleepy. Certain combinations of foods such as proteins and starches should be avoided because these foods, when taken together require added time to digest.
Beverages that boost the brain are smart choices.
Water is favorable to drink before and while taking your exam. Tea is likewise preferable, but without lots of sugar. You’d want to ward off dehydration that can negatively affect your concentration and energy levels. Even if you’re not thirsty, drink water because thirst signifies that your body is already somewhat dehydrated.
Avoid drinking beverages that block your brain.
Alcohol should be totally out of the picture on your exam day. Other than being drunk, it’ll make you feel nauseous and headache-stricken that’ll hamper your performance. In fact, you ought to absolutely refrain from drinking at any time around your exam time to prevent fatigue, dullness, and hangovers. Do away with colas and sodas, or even caffeine. But if you primarily have a coffee habit, just drink a small cup. Don’t suddenly cut-off your coffee-caffeine boost because it can cause withdrawal headaches.
Keep it light for your meals.
Your goal for eating is to merely feel satisfied but not completely full. Otherwise, a big breakfast or lunch will tend to make you feel drowsy, heavy and dull. A light meal of salad with salmon or chicken is preferable.
Keep away from ingesting new foods.
It is not a good idea to try a new energy drink or supplement prior to taking your exam. The purpose of this is to shun untoward reactions or incidents as your exam time approaches. It’s best to consume foods and beverages that your body is accustomed to at this point.
You can take supplements.
Students are likely to be fond of eating junk food and therefore lack essential vitamins and minerals in their bodies. Multivitamins can help in this aspect, particularly Vitamin- B supplements that boost the functioning of the brain. At the same time, calcium, zinc, and iron can help you combat stress, both physically and mentally.
Along with these healthy-eating habits, make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep, rest and relaxation. These help calm your nerves, revitalize your energy and boost your brain power. Cramming late at night is not a good idea, especially as your brain may be exhausted already. On the night of your exam, stop your studying early in the evening. Granting that you have adhered to a well-scheduled ACT or SAT test prep, your efforts should suffice for now. Take time to relax, pack your bag and take a shower before heading early to bed. Set your alarm and take comfort in the fact that you have done all that you can to give it your best shot come the big day of your ACT or SAT.
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