Foods to Avoid while Studying

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



When studying, your diet plays a significant role in your ability to concentrate and focus. When you consume the right foods, you’re able to have clarity and precision.

On the other hand, eating the wrong foods can prevent you from studying effectively.

Mental clarity and focus are both needed when studying for your exams, whether it’s for memorization or simply to process the information you’re reading.

In this article, we’ll be talking about several things to avoid while studying.


Refined carbs

This is one of the most common foods that serve as comfort food when stressed or frustrated but won’t benefit your memory.

Research has shown that both children and adults who consumed refined sugar regularly had their memory impaired.

The negative effect on your memory when consuming refined carbs is due to the inflammation of the hippocampus, which is the area the affects aspects such as responsiveness.

Another study has also shown that those who regularly consume refined carbs in their diet are more likely to deal with mental impairment and dementia later on in life.

We know of no mental benefits that refined carbs can give, especially when studying for an exam. It might taste and feel good for the moment, but it won’t help you achieve a focused state.


Highly processed foods

These types of foods tend to contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and added fat. Processed foods may be easy to prepare, but they’re high in calories with little to no nutrition.

These are not only unhealthy for your body, but they also don’t give any benefits to your brain health.

This is also the primary contributor to weight gain, which is why it negatively impacts both your physical and mental health.

Studies have shown that regular consumption of highly processed foods can effectively contribute to brain tissue damage, along with other serious issues like degenerative diseases.

With regards to the effect of consuming processed foods while studying, studies have shown processed and fried foods being linked to lower memory span.


Fish high in mercury

Some fish are particularly known for being capable of storing mercury, which makes it one source of risk for having mercury in your system. Mercury is known to negatively affect your liver, and kidney.

Aside from this, it also affects your central nervous system and several other parts of your brain.

Fish, in general, is a healthy addition to your diet, especially with its omega-3 components that are particularly good for brain health. However, it’s best to be wary of fish high in mercury such as swordfish and mackerel.

Consuming fish can a great source of nutrients especially when studying, but you have to ensure that it doesn’t contain harmful elements that could negatively impact your focus.


Sugary drinks

In general, sugar is not a recommended component to consume while studying. While it can give you that sudden boost of energy, it unfortunately doesn’t last very long.

Sugary drinks aren’t just one of the most common causes of weight gain, but it also increases your risk for diabetes.

High amounts of sugar in your body can also reduce brain capacity with concentration, memory and learning.

Several studies have suggested that regular consumption of sugar will not only lead to an addiction to it but causes inflammation in your brain.

If you need that boost of energy while studying or are craving something sweet, a moderate amount of caffeine can be considered a better alternative.


Trans fats

If you aren’t familiar with trans fats, these are basically saturated fats that are dangerous to both your physical and mental health.

Not all trans fats are dangerous, but it’s industrial trans fats that you should stray away from when studying.

Artificial fats are often found in junk food, snacks, margarine, and prepackaged cookies.

Studies have shown that those individuals who normally consume trans fats in their diet have poorer memory and cognitive skills. Trans fats can also lead to poor heart health and inflammation.



Aspartame is known as an artificial sweetener used in several ‘sugar-free’ products. You may think this is beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight or you want to avoid sugar, but that isn’t the case.

This artificial sweetener has been proven to cause both cognitive and behavioral issues, so you may want to avoid this when studying.

This sweetener contains phenylalanine, which blocks the production of transmitters in your brain and affects both learning and emotions.

Studies have shown that those who consume aspartame over long periods generally performed poorly on mental tests and were more prone to depression.



It’s should be quite obvious that alcohol should be the last thing on your list when studying. There’s a negative impact on neurotransmitters and brain function when one regularly consumes alcohol.

Individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol over long periods tend to have some level of brain damage, which also includes memory loss and confusion.

If you are interested in staying sharp, please avoid this one entirely.



We hope this article was able to shed insight into those foods to avoid when studying.

Your mental clarity must be at best when preparing for any test and consuming the right foods is how you can ensure that.

Getting the right nutrients and energy for your mind and body will give you the winning edge needed, no matter the exam difficulty level.


Thank you!

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