Exam Nerves – Don’t skip Breakfast

Cara Cunningham, MINDI, Community Dietitian

With the State exams commencing yesterday, it is imperative that those students leafing through exam papers for the month of June start their day in the most healthy and nutritious manner.

The worse start to your day would be to miss breakfast. The evidence is there from numerous studies to show that skipping a breakfast can mean loss of recall and concentration, not the best recipe when you are heading into an exam.

Breakfast literally means the break to the overnight fast. Your brain, although it is one of the smallest organs in the body, uses up to 20% of the energy you need each day. It needs to be constantly supplied with a steady stream of glucose. Before you reach for the sugar bowl or the glucose drink, the most important thing to remember to aim for is ‘a steady stream’! – That means foods rich in fibre that will break down slowly, releasing energy for your brain over the morning.

Good breakfast options would be a bowl of porridge, add some chopped fresh or dried fruit on top, wholegrain cereal with milk, orange juice, or some wholemeal bread toast with banana. If you are too nervous to eat try drinking a fruit smoothie.

A breakfast will keep you mind clear and focused for the day ahead, it’s the best start you can give yourself. And you know what your Granny used to say – a good start is half the job! Good Luck!

For more information on any of the issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster by telephone on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].

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