Examination is a necessary aspect of schooling and education, which means that countless students each year must sit though exams to test their aptitude in the subjects they are studying. If one is able to ascertain what to eat before an exam, as well as what to avoid, then one can place themselves in the best position possible to ace their results (presuming that relevant studying has also been carried out, of course). This article will list the best food you should be eating before an exam, as well as what should be avoided.

Best Food to Eat Pre-Exam to Ace Your Results


Make Sure You Eat

It's easy to skip breakfast, especially when you are under extensive pressure (as one most likely would be during exam time). You should make it imperative that you do not fall into this trap when you are due to sit an exam, and make sure that you fuel your body effectively to boost your brain power and concentration.


Fruit Smoothie (with added protein)

As the morning of an exam can be hectic, the first option is quick and simple. Making a fresh smoothly with whole fruit will ensure that your body is supplied with vital vitamins, minerals and fiber. Adding high-quality protein powder to the mix will also add an energizing boost. The best part is that you can pour the mixture into a travel cup and take it with you (perfect if your are pushed for time).


Fresh Fruit

Following on from the previous point, eating fruits can have many positive effects on brain power and concentration, making fruit one of the best options when considering what to eat before an exam. Apples, blueberries and bananas are good options, and due to the fact that fruit contains natural sugar (as opposed to refined), one is unlikely to experience a sugar crash post-consumption.



Much like fruit, high quality vegetables also have the ability to boost one’s mental ability as well as concentration, meaning that consuming things like kale, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, will likely have a positive effect on your exam results. You can have them steamed or cooked in other says like spinach omelet.



It is well known that omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for the human body and mind, and fish contains these wonderful fatty acids in abundance. Consuming high quality fish, such as salmon, can help to improve one’s ability to think critically, enhance brain power, and improve ability to learn and retain information. The main thing to take from this is that omega-3 fatty acids are well established ‘brain food’. If you do not like fish, then you could opt for cashew nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts (all of which contain omega-3), or alternatively, opt for supplementation.


Oatmeal (with added berries)

Oatmeal is an excellent choice for breakfast before an exam, due to the fact that it is high in fiber and slow burning carbohydrates, meaning that you will be delivered a steady supply of energy to keep you going during examination. Adding berries gives this meal an anti-oxidizing boost, as well as adds an aesthetically pleasing dash of color.


Eggs on Toast

Many experts agree that protein helps to not only satisfy hunger cravings, but also to improve one’s ability to focus, and eggs are an excellent source of protein (and quick and easy to prepare). Serving scrambled or poached eggs with whole-wheat toast adds high-quality carbohydrates, helping to satisfy hunger even further, and ensuring that one does not become distracted during test-time by a rumbling in the stomach.


Seeds and Nuts

As stated above, foods like walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which, as has been established, is excellent for its brain-boosting qualities. Nuts and seeds also have other nutritional benefits, many being a good source of protein, as well as helping to aid in digestion and increasing fiber intake. Great options include those stated above, as well as flax seeds and sunflower seeds.


Protein Pancakes

One may notice a repetitive correlation between many of these points regarding what to eat before an exam, that correlation being protein. This is because protein is extremely important for those wishing to operate at optimal functionality. Protein pancakes are quick, easy, and delicious, often made with egg-whites and high quality protein powder, with added whole-grain for a long-lasting, energizing boost. This perfect mixture of high quality protein and carbohydrates will ensure that you are sufficiently fueled during your exams, helping you attain the best results possible.



Yogurt is also a good and easy source of protein, making it a great option for breakfast in the morning before an exam. The best way to consume this tasty treat is to add some fresh berries (full of essential nutrients), as well as a high quality whole-grain cereal or granola. This balanced meal is packed full of what your body craves and needs to achieve peak performance during an exam, and all you have to do is grab a spoon and consume, no cooking required!


Extra Notes: Eat Light

When considering what to eat prior to an exam, the quantity that one eats should also be considered. Eating large meals puts your digestive system under more strain than eating lighter meals as there’s more food to digest. This requires energy that could otherwise be used to ace your exam, meaning that it is better to eat light (and to stop eating when you feel as though you have had enough). It may also be wise to eat six smaller meals throughout the day (as opposed to the commonly practiced three meals a day method). This will give your body a consistent supply of energy, whilst minimizing the energy your body uses for digestion.

Ensuring that you get enough sleep is essential to one’s concentration levels and mental alertness, meaning that resting sufficiently before an exam will have tremendous results on your ability to perform well. Feeling tired within an exam will most likely sap your concentration and cognitive ability, so make sure that you rest and sleep properly.

What Not to Eat Before an Exam

Now that you have ascertained what to eat before an exam, continue reading to learn what foods (and beverages) to avoid.

1. White Flour

Many food items are made with this, including cakes, cookies and white bread. These foods require extra energy when digested, meaning that they should be avoided.

2. Foods High in Sugar

Sugar consumption can lead to a perpetual cycle of sugar highs and lows, the exact opposite of the stability one should hope to achieve within their energy levels before an exam.

3. Turkey

Turkey contains an amino acid named L-tryptophan, which can contribute to a feeling of sleepiness.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol has many long and short-term effects on the body and mind, meaning it should be avoided totally around exam time.

5. Soda

Soda is full of refined sugar, something which should be avoided if one wants to performs at optimal cognitive ability.

6. Caffeine

Caffeine does not give you energy, rather, it block your brains ability to ascertain when it is tired. If you want energy, opt for protein and carbohydrates for a sustainable supply (although one or two coffees can also have their benefits here and there).

7. Junk foods like oily and fried products


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