10 foods that help students study

18 October 2015
18 October 2015 The Alchemy Team

It has long been expressed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And whilst I have been guilty of neglecting this too many times, the studies really do support it. The food we eat in the morning determine our ability to focus and retain information throughout the day.

Food powers our bodies. It is the petrol to our fuel tank. What we put in our bodies will determine how well we respond to stimuli in the day. Here are 10 foods or drinks that increase productivity when studying and learning:


My personal trainer constantly talks about oats mixed with protein powder as a great all-round breakfast meal. They are quick and easy to prepare, low in sugar and really cheap. They are packed with energy that will support students through to lunch time.


It goes without saying. We all need more water. Water hydrates the body and the mind. Every student should study with a bottle of water beside them.


Filled with antioxidants right? But also an excellent memory booster. A 2010 report published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed those who ate blueberries every day for two months significantly improved their performance on learning and memory tests. Blueberries are a great alternative to high-sugar treats.


My wife, being born and raised in Japan, loves few things more in life than fresh, raw salmon. Our trips to the sushi train quickly get out of hand as she goes for plate after plate of the golden stuff. It doesn’t have to be raw, but Salmon offers a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids which help rebuild brain cells, slow memory fatigue, and also strengthen the synapses in your brain related to memory.

Green Tea

There must be a reason that Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world. I think this might be one of them. Green Tea has caffeine, giving you an artificial boost, but it is balanced by an amino acid named Theanine which has been proven to improve mental alertness and focus. Opt for green tea over coffee. For younger students, brew some green tea, pour it on ice and mix in some fresh fruit for a sweeter option.


The Australian classic. Studies have shown that the nutrients in the dark red root promote better memory, focussed concentration and increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Whilst it might be a little awkward to fit it in to every meal, you could add it to a salad or a sandwich, or for the very brave, munch on some slices while they read through their notes.


I remember eating about 4 bananas before my HSC exams, because they were infamous for increasing brain power. I’m not sure if that is propaganda I picked up watching banana-man as a child, but studies seem to support it. The boost in potassium also helps with brain power. Perhaps a banana, blueberry and green tea smoothie would make an incredible afternoon treat?


Spinach is loaded with goodness that aids memory and overall brain functionality, including lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. Most neurologists promote eating spinach 3 times a week. That might seem like a stretch, but you can use baby spinach as a substitute for lettuce, chop spinach and add it to an omelette or make a great salad with pumpkin and feta.


Our 2 year old has just got in to eggs. And like most 2 year olds when they get in to something, she wants it almost every meal. Eggs, like salmon, are filled with Omega-3. Research has shown that Omega-3 intake has a positive effect upon memory and mood. Eggs also contain choline, a compound that can help maintain healthy brain cell membranes. They make a cheap and easy meal for students and will keep them going through the day.

Dark chocolate

If you need a treat, try to go for this. While I am not naturally a fan of the bitterness of dark chocolate I can’t argue with the research. Dark chocolate boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, which are associated with greater concentration. A 2013 study showed that even drinking dark cocoa makes a difference and resulted in improved performance in exams.

If you or your child are looking to perform at their best in exams, ensure what goes in is the right stuff.Considering a tutor for your child? We can help! We have amazing tutors ready to go that will help your child grow in confidence, love the learning experience and ultimately realise what they are capable of. Learn more here and book their first lesson online today!

Get in touch

Let's create gold together.