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Feeding the brain with a healthy, balanced diet.

This is critical for giving the brain the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Our brains use up a huge amount of energy (especially when concentrating), therefore eating three healthy, balanced meals containing the correct balance of carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables will ensure peak performance and sustained concentration during the exam period. 

We should be using the Eat Well Guide as a reference when thinking about what a healthy diet looks like 

Having a wholesome, well balanced breakfast is a must!

Even if there is little time, prepare something to take on-the-go … after fasting all night the brain needs to be woken up and supplied with some energy! Eating wholemeal carbohydrates are not only high in fibre but give long-lasting energy to keep the brain alert through the exam and incorporating fruits and vegetables will help protect the body from any un-wanted illness during this period of time.

Foods to include for breakfast would be: wholemeal breads, porridge, wholemeal (low-sugar) cereals, fruits, vegetables and good quality protein sources such as beans, eggs and milk.

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Eat healthy snacks. 

Choosing the right kind of snacks is essential during exam times. Snacks high in sugar will give a quick energy boost (or ‘sugar rush’) but this is quickly followed by a drop in energy where concentration levels can be somewhat reduced … not something that is wanted half-way through an exam! Keep those energy levels up with high fibre, wholegrain, healthy snacks.

Snacks ideas to include would be: Fresh fruit (bananas in particularly are great as they contain natural sugar and starch), yoghurt, popcorn, malt loaf, banana loaf, dried fruit or a half a wholemeal pitta with vegetable sticks and a hummus dip!

Stay hydrated. 

This is not something people usually think about when exam time approaches however this is one of the best ways to improve concentration. Our brains are mostly made up of water and therefore our hydration levels always need to be kept topped up. Without being adequately hydrated, risk of headaches, the feeling of tiredness and reduced concentration levels increase, which may make it more difficult to study and perform well. Aiming to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day is a must. No-added sugar fruit juices and milk count towards hydration levels too, however water is best!

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Overall wellbeing

Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and remaining positive is also important during the exam time. Factoring in breaks for relaxing and incorporating short, fun activities help improve positivity during this period of time.

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