By Sam Harrison
As the end of the academic year approaches, the thought of long summer days and catching up with friends may well be on your mind. For most of us, we must first tackle those long library days of revision and then finally…exams! Now, without a doubt this period can be stressful and a little draining, but MetMUnch are here to provide you with some simple nutritional nuggets of information to help you on your way.
1. Breakfast Is King (Or Queen)
Now admittedly, it’s a cliché but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your body has been fasting for the hours you’ve been asleep and requires a hearty breakfast to kick-start all its intricate functions.
A satisfying meal of scrambled or poached eggs on whole wheat bread gives a brilliant dose of protein and slow releasing carbohydrates. Eggs also contain a vitamin called Choline, which has been linked to better cognitive performance and protecting against memory loss (especially pertinent when revising).
2. Eat For Energy
To better aid the long hours of revision, your body should be providing the brain with a steady supply of glucose. Through aerobic respiration, glucose is the key source of energy within the body, and your muscles and brain (with that, your concentration) need it to thrive.
Foods with a low glycemic index rating such as sweet potatoes, quinoa or oats, release glucose into the blood stream gradually. This will increase concentration levels for longer periods (sadly, we can’t say the same for nachos or cookies).
3. Water Your Brain
Water allows a large proportion of the chemical reactions to take place in our bodies, so the speed at which our body and brain functions is directly inhibited when we become dehydrated.
As mentioned earlier, after a period of sleep, we need to replenish certain things the body needs to operate optimally, and this includes water. Checking the colour of your urine is a strong indicator of hydration levels. The darker it is, the more water you need to drink. The NHS recommends we aim to drink around 1.2 litres of fluid a day, preferably water.
4. Move Your Body
Take a break from the books and get some exercise. Even a 30 minute walk can do wonders by boosting your concentration levels whilst naturally elevating your mood.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan
The key to maintaining a healthy body and mind when revising is preparation. A little forward planning goes a long way to negating the risk of reaching for poor food choices which may hamper your revision.
Ten minutes spent planning your meals before you go food shopping will be worth it on results day!
6. Treat yourself!
Perhaps most importantly – set aside some time to enjoy your favourite foods or drinks in a guilt-free way. This will not only help to keep you motivated, but gives you something to look forward to at the end of a long week. I personally find the idea of pizza and cocktails especially motivating 🙂
Best of luck, everyone!