Breakfast to eat before a test for students

May, 18, 2023

The Best Breakfast Before a Test (What to Eat & Drink)

Fuel Your Mind: Uncover the Best Breakfasts for Test Success. Discover brain-boosting food & drinks that will enhance focus and memory before a big test.

We’ve heard it for ages. ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Nonetheless, the notion to skip breakfast is a trend, too. Especially on campus. 

Being in a rush is a top reason many students decide to “wait til’ lunch”. Is making breakfast worth it? Some say no. Science says, yes. Nutrient-dense morning meals can improve our overall focus. We’ll show you exactly what you need to know to craft a breakfast to support your studies.

What’s So Crucial About Breakfast?

Two words: brain food. Certain foods have proven memory-boosting benefits, making them ideal for test prep. 

Why is daily nutrition so important? “A number of studies have reported that skipping breakfast lowers cognitive function…,” according to BMC Public Health (1). Caffeine and snacks don’t have nutrients built for your brain to thrive. After a long night’s sleep, your body is in a calorie deficit (aka a fast), so that first meal is meant to refuel our bodies for the day. 

Do you wake up groggy, struggling to concentrate? Essential energy comes from eating complex carbs and lean protein (2). If microwave meals are your thing; we have healthier solutions for life on the go. Skip that bowl of Frosted Flakes. We’ll explore healthy options to help you ace (if you studied).

Brain Boosting Nutrients To Eat Before Exams


Fun fact: Our brains are made of 60% fat. Hence, the amino acids in protein give us brain power. UnityPoint Health says protein preserves memory by bolstering neurotransmitters that send millions of brain signals (3,4). That signal could hold the answer to your last exam question or today’s date. Either way, brain function is key to communicating what you’ve learned –– and protein is good for it.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbs are a vital energy source. Simple (processed) carbs hit the bloodstream and run out quickly. This is why sweet drinks and honey buns won’t keep you going for long. On the other hand, complex (natural) carbs like quinoa and brown rice gradually fuel our body and brain (5). 


Fiber is a secret weapon for good health. You find it in nuts, apples, and chickpeas. Harvard Health noted that at least 20 grams of fiber each day maintains a healthy gut and mind. According to Harvard, studies show what’s good for digestion is great for the brain (6). Apples with breakfast anyone?

Vitamins and Minerals 

Every whole food holds essential micronutrients. From A to K, vitamins ease anxiety, boost memory and build new brain cells (7). Minerals (electrolytes) like potassium are important for avid learning, activating memory, and boosting mood. 

Which foods have the most to offer? Let’s find out!

Taking a Test? Add These Foods to Your Breakfast

Eggs and Dairy


Scrambled or over easy? Eggs are a potent source of choline; which stimulates brain function, reduces inflammation, and enhances memory (8,9).

Greek Yogurt

Dr. Kirsten Tillisch from UCLA led a study that found probiotic yogurts have anti-anxiety properties (10). If you get super nervous before testing, this might be for you.


Extra Swiss in your omelet? University Health News says the milk in cheese offers a brainy-boost among other amazing benefits (11).

Fruits and Veggies


Brace your brain. Blueberries rule among foods for top-notch focus. Their antioxidants are proven to be “berry” helpful in ramping-up concentration (12).


Red or green? Quercetin, a plant-based chemical makes apples (of all colors) a wise choice to protect cells from free radicals (13).


Got writer’s block? Peel away a ba-nay-nay. PubMed studies confirmed that not only do bananas boost brain health, this fruit fights against brain disorders (14).

Leafy Greens

Mom was right. Eating veggies is good for you. Dr. Yuan from Harvard affirms, “... dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health.” Scramble some spinach in with your eggs to harness these mind-boggling effects (15).

Whole Grains


Oatmeal is full of fiber. Fiber keeps you feeling full longer – so you won’t crave a snack between midterms. 

You may be tempted to order Starbucks Steel-cut Oats, but watch out for the added sugars. Whether cooking or ordering out, always opt for low-sugar options. 

Whole Grain Bread

Let’s cancel the “bread is bad” stigma. Bleached breads spike blood sugar quickly and add little nutrition to a meal. Conversely, whole grains contain fiber and minerals your body will metabolize. 

Brown Rice

Brown rice is known to increase serotonin levels that induce calmness. Easing anxiety naturally (16).

Nuts and Seeds


Are you afraid of drawing a blank during a test? One NLM study discovered a connection between eating almonds and a stronger memory (17).


Snacking on these may feel like cheating, but it’s not. According to Nutrients, people who enjoy walnuts have, “better cognitive performance and improvement in memory...”(18).

Chia Seeds

Ch-ch-ch-chia! Did you know these central-American seeds bolster the brain? With 5 grams of fiber in just one tablespoon, you won’t need many of these to diminish brain fog (19).

Wet Your Whistle with These Drinks Before a Test


Nothing beats good ol’ H20. Spring and alkaline drinking water offers hydration for a clear, alert mind. 


No sports drinks needed here. Organic tea leaves sustain your energy without jitters or a hard crash.

Ethan’s Clean Energy Shots

Our Clean Energy Shots provide optimum clarity, balance, and focus without the jitters. With no added sugars or toxic additives, our energy drink mix or energy shots can help you pass with flying colors.

Students Should Always Eat Breakfast Before Testing

End the semester at your best. After studying, tutoring, and a good night’s sleep enjoy a hearty breakfast in the morning to ace your ACTs, SATs or finals. Breakfast energizes you for the day. Try healthful foods that will expand your focus.

You might want to skip the drive-thru. Try adding whole food options like berries, apples, and yogurt to a smoothie. For a full meal, try a combo like brown rice, spinach, and eggs –– you can even add fruit. Don’t forget, coffee is not the final answer. Water, tea, and Clean Energy Shots might be the jitter-free key to higher test scores.

A well-balanced diet is paramount for education and good health. See for yourself. If you ace breakfast, imagine how well you’ll do on your exams.


It's fine to have a moderate amount of caffeine, like a cup of coffee, as it can enhance alertness and focus. Just don't overdo it.

Authored By

Tiffany Nicole

Tiffany is a bi-lingual Nutritionist and Health Writer. She is focused on simplifying Nutrition and natural health for all audiences. During a self-study, she discovered preventable disease are abundant in Westernized populations due to a dire need for Nutrition education. These findings inspired her in life, work and study. Tiffany currently holds a Diploma in Nutrition from the Fabulous Body Academy and is a graduate of Stanford’s Food and Health Certification program. She's continued her education in pursuit of a Level 1 Coaching Certificate from the renowned, Precision Nutrition. Her Nutrition articles have been featured by the publications Health Digest, Cover'd Girlz Magazine, and Emily Alexander’s Nutrition Blog gallery. Tiffany is a professional Copywriter and Marketing Consultant within her boutique Marketing business, Creative Encouragement.

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