When it comes to prepping for the ACT or SAT, plenty of teachers and parents emphasize the importance of test prep, practice tests, and quality study habits. Though they’re certainly not wrong, it’s just as important to remember to treat your body right in preparation for high-pressure exams like the SAT or ACT. After all, your mind is an organ at home in your body, so proper nutrition goes a long way to boost your brain before the big day. How can students take advantage of the power of brain food? Take a look below.
1. Eat smart.
Nutritionists know that meeting your daily vitamin and mineral requirements gives your body and mind an overall boost when it comes to energy and performance. Both iron and B-vitamins are helpful in maintaining mental energy, so encourage your child to consume some of these power foods in the week leading up to a big exam: spinach, ground beef, kidney beans, whole-grains, eggs, and nuts are all excellent options.
2. Skip the supplements.
Sure, vitamin C tablets can help a student with his or her daily dosage in a pinch, but biting into a real orange is a lot healthier and nutrient dense than a chewable tablet. Don’t let your child skimp on whole foods in the days leading up to the SAT or ACT. Instead, focus on full, mindfully-sized, and balanced meals that combine multiple, vitamin-rich food groups. Not only will it nourish your child’s body, but his or her brain will reap the positive effects, as well.
3. Don’t underestimate a good breakfast.
You’ve likely heard it time and time again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But don’t let your child convince him or herself that a donut and a cup of coffee are enough to satisfy early morning nutritional needs. Eating a nutritious and appropriately-sized breakfast sets the stage for optimum metabolic activity throughout the day, while keeping hunger—the great distractor—at bay. Try preparing a protein and vitamin breakfast, using ingredients such as eggs, a whole-grain muffin, bananas, and yogurt.
4. Use snacks as a study strategy.
Maintaining blood sugar levels by incorporating a few varying nutritious snacks during studying not only help to keep your student on track during crunch time, it also makes sure that energy levels stay even. Especially students who tend to cram with the help of energy drinks or multiple cups of coffee, snacks go a long way in avoiding a blood sugar crash when the caffeine buzz wears off. A handful of almonds or a banana with peanut butter make great options for smart snacking.
At Achieve Academics, we proudly offer a variety of one-on-one tutoring and small group class options for students of all learning styles and academic goals. We recognize that successful study habits and test prep should be attuned to your child’s specific needs. Our holistic, tailor-made approach to test prep ensures that your child will master academic building blocks and study habits that will last a lifetime. As the SAT and/or ACT exam dates loom, keep in mind some of the techniques above to provide your child with the brain food necessary to ace his or her upcoming exam.