Dear Parents & Students, the exam season is around the corner.

Coffee might seem like a favourite answer to how to avoid sleep during exams however, it is seriously not recommended. Not only is it dehydrating, the initial boost can be followed by a serious low. Also, too much tea or coffee can cause heartburn and acidity.

Existing on coffee, energy drinks, and junk food while cramming for exams is common among students. No wonder many students find themselves feeling exhausted, unfocused, and nervous on the big day instead.

Special Exam Diet Tips

Eating healthy food can help you boost memory, improve concentration and achieve top results. Here’s how.

  1. Enjoy regular meals.
  2. Stop for small snacks which include yoghurt, a handful of nuts or nuts mixed with dried fruit, a bowl of cereal with milk, a banana or other fresh fruit, 3-4 rice cakes or crisp bread spread with peanut butter or cheese, hot milk and honey.
  3. Eat food rich in iron and zinc for improved memory and concentration. These are lean red meat, fish and seafood, chicken, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain bread and wholegrain breakfast cereals.
  4. The levels of vitamin C in the body varies greatly with the physical and emotional stress. It dips when subjected to a lot of stress. So you need to add Vit C and B in your diet which includes vegetables, legumes, yeast spread, wheat germ, good grains, oranges, strawberry, guava, black currant, etc.
  5. You can top up your omega-3 fats by consuming oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, trout; seeds like flax, chia, melon seeds, sunflower also provide omega-3 fats. You can make a powder of the seeds and nuts and drizzle them over soups, dals, salads, chapatti flour, and almost anything you can think of.
  6. Water is your best friend. Drink at least 2 litres of fluid to stay hydrated and prevent fatigue. Ideally, most of this should come from water, but tea, clear soup low-fat milk and juices also contribute.

Diet for Exams: General Guideline

Early morning: 3-4 soaked almonds with the skin and 3 walnuts.

Breakfast: 1 glass of milk / Fruit milkshake without added sugar + 2 Whole grain bread and egg omelette sandwiches/ 1-2 whole grain or multigrain wrap or chapati with baked beans and veggie saute / 2 mixed veg and paneer parantha with a bowl of low-fat curd /1 bowl of savoury (with chopped veggies and masala) or jaggery sweetened oats with seeds, fruits and nuts.

Mid-morning snack: 3-4 Flaxseed and till laddoos or dry fruit laddoos + 1 glass of whey protein shake/ A colourful fruit platter.

Lunch: If you’re a non-vegetarian it would be wise to include oily fish twice a week in lunch.

3 chapattis + 1 bowl fish curry + 1 bowl sprout salad / 1 bowl brown or red rice + 1 bowl of palak dal with Seeds Cocktail

Half an hour after lunch: 1 glass buttermilk.

Either make spicy curries or make a smoked salmon sandwich for lunch. Make a powder of the seeds and nuts and drizzle them over dals, soups, salads, chappati flour, and almost anything you can think of.

Mid-evening snacks: 1 bowl of fruit and nut muesli with milk / 1 plate of moong sprout veg red rice poha + 1 glass of fruit milkshake.

Dinner: 1 bowl grilled chicken or fish preparation + 1 bowl brown rice pulao + 1 small bowl mixed veg raita / 1 glass of skimmed milk + 2 Whole grain Chicken veg sandwich.

Post dinner snack if needed: Trail mix containing seeds, nuts and fruits / puffed quinoa and pulse snacks; healthy khakras; flaxseed and til laddoos; healthy cookies made from oats, jowar and other whole grains.

What should you eat before an exam?

For morning exams:

Concentration, performance and memory are higher if you eat in the morning.

Try cereal and low-fat milk or toast with a spread. Also, you can eat some fruit (fresh or canned), an egg, yoghurt or baked beans on toast.

For afternoon exams:

Have a light lunch that won’t have you nodding off with post-meal sleepiness.

A bowl of soup and bread roll


A sandwich or wrap filled with lean meat or chicken and salad.