Taking tests or essays writing can be overbearing sometimes, especially large-scale exams like SATS, national exams, and more. However, aside from the anxiety and the pressure weighing down on you that can affect your performance, the things you consume may also have effects. According to study done by Columbia University, what you eat or drink before an exam can impact your performance. On top of all, it depends on quality, quantity of brain food consumed by students before a test or an exam.
One of the top beverages that people drink before an exam is coffee. Some people think that drinking coffee before an exam will help keep them awake. While it is true that coffee can serve as an energy drink before test to keep your mind active, too much can do the opposite. Drinking too much coffee can cause dizziness, nervousness, and headaches, three things you don’t want to have during an exam.
Is Caffeine Good or Bad?
Drinking any caffeinated drink before an exam can boost your mental alertness. This is because caffeine serves as a stimulant that keep your mind alert. It can also enhance memory. However, studies also show that drinking too much coffee can lead to increase anxiety and headaches. This is the reason why some people choose energy drink vs coffee.
But that is still not saying that you cannot drink coffee. Just make sure to drink it moderately. Remember to drink the optimal amount of coffee only so as not to affect your metabolism and mental alertness.
A lot of people drink energy beverages like red bull before test. This is because a lot of studies claim that drinking energy drinks can help. Now, even though energy drinks do have some helpful attributes, remember that it also contains sugar. Consuming sugar hours before a test is not advised. So, is coffee better than energy drinks then? The answer depends. Either of the two still contains sugar, coffee just has it less.
Sugar is indeed needed by your brain to function, but during a test it may interfere with your brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF. BDNF is a chemical in your brain that stimulates your memory and your learning. Drinking sugar can reduce the levels of BDNF which can affect your focus and concentration. So, if you really want to find a suitable energy drink for you, then water energy drink will do just fine.
If water seems too bland, you can also go for tea as well. Green tea still contains caffeine, but it is less compared to coffee. Tea, green or black, can also clean your body of toxins because it has elevated levels of anti-oxidants.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Let us say that you avoided coffee and decided to have water as what to drink for energy. That is great. But you also need to remember not to drink too much. If you drink too much water or any other healthy beverage, you will have the frequent urge to urinate.
Imagine you are sitting on your chair or desk, drinking gulps of water every minute. You might just end up spending more time in the toilet than on your test. Keeping on excusing yourself to go to the toilet does not only distract you and make you lose focus . It can also promote suspicion of you cheating during your bathroom breaks.
So, to be safe, drink water before the test and do your business in the toilet prior the test as well. Drink only if you really need to and don’t take frequent gulps just because you are nervous.
Keep to Limits
Aside from making sure that what you are drinking before tests helps you, it is also important to make sure that you drink only within your limits. This is because drinking too much of everything can also have adverse effects.
For example, if you decide to drink too much coffee, you may end with a headache and an even lesser focus than when you started because of too much caffeine. Drinking too much enery drink or even just regular juice may raise your sugar levels. When the level of sugar in your body increases, it can induce a reduction in the levels of BDNF in your brain which leads to lower memory retention.
Lifelong Memory Limits
Having a good memory and an even better memory return can be a great edge during exams. Hence, a lot of people do everything they can to improve their memory and stimulate it. There are a lot of healthy beverages that you can drink to help you keep your memory sharp.
Coffee and tea are great mental stimulators and memory boosters. However, tea far more outweigh coffee in terms of its health benefits. Tea has less caffeine as well as a better stimulant for focus because it helps regulate blood flow. The smoother the blood flow, the better your brain function will be.
Aside from tea, beet juice is also a good booster for focus and memory. Studies on beet juice consumption show that those who drink beet juice gain an increase in their white matter. This increase in white matter improves brain activity.
Instead of drinking commercial energy drinks before an exam, you can go for healthier alternatives instead. A good choice is coconut water. Coconut water is known as nature’s very own energy drink. Drinking coconut water not only cleanses your body but it also boosts your energy because of its high mineral and potassium content.
You can also try out acai berry juice. Acai berries contain a lot of B vitamins, fatty acids, protein and potassium which can help boost your energy reserves for that exam.
Exams are very important so it is also important to not just mentally prepare for it by studying. It is also important to prepare your body as well. Keep away from drinks that can hamper your focus and physical health. Remember to stick to the healthy stuff.
If you want to drink something to boost your energy, go for tea or coconut water or other natural juices. Do away with commercial energy boosters. If you want to enhance your memory, tea is still a good pick. Beet juice is also a good contender.