South Africa University Student Portal

1) Does caffeine give you a buzz?
Avoid relying on caffeine to keep you alert and awake. Caffeine stimulates every organ in your body and in small doses can be a useful study tool but too much can mean over-stimulation of your nervous system, increased heart rate and erratic sleep patterns.
Sources of caffeine include coffee, tea (to a lesser extent), cola drinks and energy drinks eg. Red Bull, Monster, Play etc. Energy drinks contain a mix of caffeine and sugar, which gives you an extra hit but they are equivalent to drinking a cappuccino, flat white or latte.

2) Boost brainpower
Omega-3 fats are known to boost brainpower and should be an essential part of every students diet. Fish, shellfish and fish oils are good dietary sources of these fats and are found in particularly ‘oily’ fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon.
Canned, fresh or frozen fish are all good sources of omega-3 fats. Try and include them 2-3 times per week.
3) Bugs
Probiotic’s are foods or supplements that contain live beneficial bacteria (bugs) that keep your gut healthy. Exam stress is one thing that can upset intestinal balance and probiotic’s may be especially useful during this time.
There are a number of sources of probiotic’s including liquids, yoghurts, capsules and powders. Danone yogurts are some of the best products on the market and can be found in the dairy section of the supermarket. Just drink one every morning for a boost.
4) Pump the Iron
Iron is essential for getting enough oxygen around your body and this is obviously important during study and exam time!
The best sources are liver (try reduced fat pate if you are not keen on liver), lean red meat, breakfast cereals and legumes (baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc) and to a much lesser extent chicken, fish and leafy green vegetables. Include some fruit or vegetables, which contain Vitamin C with your iron-rich food and this, will help with the absorption.
5) Liquid refreshment
Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids while studying to avoid brain drain! There are no rules that say you have to drink 8 glasses of water every day or else but regular intake is the key. Water will always be the best choice but you might mix this up with some coffee, tea or Milo for a change in pace.
Avoid getting stuck into sugary drinks like soft drinks, cordials and energy drinks, sure you will get a blood sugar boost but they will get smacked back down again quick smart.
As every decent coach will tell you, what happens in the first half of a game will determine whether the second half is grand final material. If you have made good food choices regularly you will arrive at the 3pm time slot in the day feeling energised and ready to tackle the second half of your study game. If not, your brain and body might want to have a rest or start looking for the lolly jar.
A successful nutrition game plan will mean your body and brain will perform at their best not just for studying but also for the grand final, your exams.
Article by Student Box