It can be a stressful time.

Impending exams, a revision schedule to stick to, lack of sleep, and not enough time to eat.

But one University of Sunderland expert is warning students not to forget to feed their bodies, as well as their minds this exam season.

But can you give yourself an advantage simply by eating certain foods? And does drinking plenty of water really increase your chances of getting good grades?

Dr Paul Innerd is a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Sunderland. Here he gives his views on the best nutrition to help see young people and students through this tough period.


Start with water. Make sure you get enough. You are roughly 70% water, so it’s important that you drink it. In fact, the brain is a mass of water, fat and some protein. Water allows brain functions to take place, such as thinking and memory.


Berries such as blueberries are packed with antioxidants which are great for overall health and alertness. Studies have found that berries are brain boosters and improve brain function, memory and focus. Pop some berries on your cereal to give your health a kick.

Fatty fish

Fats are essential for good health and brain power. Fatty fish such as salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly one called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA forms a major building block of brain development in children.


Make your peanut butter the natural sugar free variety and you’ll get the benefits of those essential fats. Nuts also contain protein which is the nutrient responsible for growth and development of the brain and body.

Dark chocolate

It’s ok to enjoy chocolate now and then, and it’s even better to make it the dark kind. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which helps you relax and causes the body to release of serotonin, a hormone which improves your mood