The first thing you need to understand is that everybody is different. Our bodies may look similar on the inside, but our body chemistry is widely different. This is the reason why some people are allergic to certain foods, or why some people have food intolerances, and why some people have side effects from drugs when others feel no side effects at all. When a person is old enough to take exams their body chemistry is close enough to being an adult that many of the adult body rules apply.
Children’s and adult’s body chemistry differ wildly. For example, some sedatives that work on adults will have no effect on children. And some drugs that would kill a child would have no effect at all on adults. The time when most people take their school/college/university exams is close enough to their adult chemistry that similar rules can be applied to most of them, but they are also in the throes of puberty, including the minor changes that can continue late into a person’s twenties.
Just because one person experiences certain effects from one food, does not mean that you will feel the same effects. Keep in mind that we are all different and you may feel different effects than those mentioned in this article.
1. Digesting Can Make You Tired
This is the last thing you want. Digesting a meal can take up over 10% of your body energy--maybe even more if you eat a very large meal; that is why people often sleep after a big meal. Eating food that is not going to make you sleepy is a good. You must also make sure to chew your meal correctly to lower the amount of work your stomach has to do.
Try a few protein rich things that do not need too much chewing such as eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts, whole-grain cereal with milk, porridge, muesli or oatmeal, .
2. Eating Too Much in One Sitting Makes You Tired
To avoid this you should eat a smaller meal. But if you have a hankering for a big breakfast or meal, you should each food with lots of water in. Fruit is a very good option in this direction, but things such as Chinese food are also good, as they contain lots of water.
3. Eat Things That Will Not Sit Heavy on Your Stomach
Again, if your stomach is working away then you will be too tired to concentrate by the time you sit your exam. Try foods such as fish, blueberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, prunes, figs and flaxseed.
4. Try Food That Make You Feel Good Later
Eating raw vegetables may not have you feeling too good as you eat them, but later in the day, they promote a happier attitude and make you feel a little sprightlier. Try vegetables such as raw carrots, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, spinach, asparagus and broccoli. They may taste horrible as you eat them raw, but you will feel the benefits later, and they make a better snack than eating a bag of potato chips.
5. People May Tell You to Avoid Relaxation Foods
Foods such as potatoes, rice, turkey and bacon are known for making you feel relaxed and even sleepy. This is only true if they are eaten in large quantities (again, if you eat a large meal with them in). If you eat them in small quantities, you may find that they help to remove some of your pre-test nerves. If you are prone to pre-test nerves then high quantities of caffeine is not recommended.
6. The Brain Blocking Foods
There are no brain-blocking foods. People tell you to avoid refined sugar in things such as candy, chocolate and cake. There is no need to worry in this case, unless you eat massive amount prior to your test, because your body filters out and metabolizes most of the sugar before your exam even starts. People may tell you that if you eat too much that it will make it hard to think. This is a semi-truth. Chocolate, sugar, sex, roller coaster rides, etc., will make your brain produce endorphins (your body’s own happy drug). Too many endorphins in your system will make it harder to focus on a task. Try not to do too many of those things, too close to your exam.
7. The Popular Myths Dispelled
Sugar makes you hyperactive - this is only true for a minority of people, most people (and children) metabolize the sugar very quickly.
Cheese makes you sleepy - too much too soon to an exam may make some people sleepy if they have little fiber in their diet.
Not eating before an exam ruins your blood sugar - this is not true, as your body will start to break down your liver, fat and body minerals to produce energy. However, breaking it down from a food is more efficient, which is why you should eat breakfast the morning of an exam.
Not eating before an exam ruins your concentration - this is not true unless you have very little body fat. Otherwise, not eating won’t help you (as eating will), but it won’t hurt you either.