Snack smart to stop exam room slump

Cara Cunningham, MINDI, Community Dietitian

You may have thought the day would never come but its here so get set go for the marathon that is the Leaving Cer, but what do you do mid exam when the slump sets in?

Smart snacks will keep you going over the slump, and get your mind to concentrate back to the task in hand.

The best way to tackle a slump is to think both snack food and hydration.

Snack food

It is best not to go for sweets or any instant ‘hits’ of sugar – these tend to spike your blood glucose levels causing your body to release insulin, which may then cause your blood glucose levels to drop quickly; so having the opposite effect than what you want. The best way to tackle the slump is to look for foods that are high in fibre, will be broken down slowly by your body to give you a steady stream of energy, but also on a practical level will be easy to eat and to carry into the exam hall. Useful snacks ideas would be:

· Fruit – bananas are a good choice as they are pretty easy to eat!

· Dried fruit – like sultanas, raisins are handy

· Wholegrain cereal bars


Dehydration is death on your concentration levels – in fact a 1% drop in your hydration level will cause a 10 percent fall in your concentration. So, it is important to drink some fluid during your exam; but there is a happy medium; too much will make you need to go to the bathroom, not a very good idea during an exam if you are tight for time. Also, don’t forget the best choice is water, as any caffeine based drink will cause you to lose fluids, leading to more trips to the toilet!

Be you best for exams, keeping your concentration and being clear headed is vital. So snack smart, avoid that slump and good luck!

For more information on any issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at, The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, CHO 8 (Midlands ) Tel: 044 9395518 or email [email protected]


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