Many students underestimate the importance of a balanced diet. People often do not have the time or the desire to eat. Nevertheless, nutrition can have a clear effect on the ability to concentrate. Too much or too little food or unbalanced food has a negative effect on the ‘block capacity. We can also ask ourselves whether swallowing vitamin and mineral supplements make sense.
Sufficient food is one of the basic conditions for being able to concentrate. Several studies have shown that dieters score very poorly on intelligence tests (responsiveness, attention, mental processing and memory) compared to ‘normal eaters’. Lijners scored the same score on the intelligence tests as a person who drank two glasses of alcohol. When the groups were reversed, the same phenomenon was seen again: those who were on the line at that moment scored significantly worse on the intelligence tests. The poor mental performance, according to the researchers, due to stress caused by the regime. By constantly thinking about food and dieting, dieters have less ‘capacity’ to fulfil mental tasks.
However, when a scarce diet was taken for health reasons, this had no effect on mental performance.
Anyone who starts the block should put all diet plans in the closet and try to focus on the exam material. A constant concern about a few pounds too much can cause a mental burden so that people can study less concentrated. A balanced and non-overloaded diet that meets the following basic principles can also help support the exam period.
Nutritional tips for the block period
• do not eat too much but also not too little
• take 3 light meals a day after all a heavy meal with an overloaded stomach reduces the concentration
• avoid the use of large amounts of sugar (soft drinks, sweets, cookies, …). Too much sugar in the diet can cause peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels. A low blood sugar level occurs when you do not eat regularly or when you take in too large amounts of sugar. Of course, a low blood sugar level is detrimental to the ability to concentrate because blood sugar is the energy source for the brain.
• regularly provide tasty and light snacks, for example. fruit, a cup of milk, yoghurt, …. These ensure that your blood sugar stays up to standard.
• avoid an over-fat diet. Fats digest slowly and give you a languid feeling
• look for energy in coarse grains (wholemeal bread, oatmeal, muesli, …), vegetables, fruit and dairy products
• do not eat between your books, look for another space to eat. That way you come into contact with other people and you can put your thoughts on something else. Consider your meal as a moment of relaxation and take sufficient time for it.
• do not eat too much in the evening and not too late, because this can lead to a bad and restless sleep so that one can not concentrate well the next day.
• vitamin and mineral preparations are unnecessary when you eat well balanced.
• Alcohol is best avoided during blocks because it clearly affects your ability to concentrate. However, a glass of beer or wine before going to sleep can help you relax.
• Caffeine, for example in coffee and cola drinks, increases vigilance and delayed sleep. This is why coffee is often misused during the block. Try to limit the coffee consumption to a number of cups of coffee per day and stop drinking coffee in the evening. A good sleep is also essential to be able to concentrate properly.