Avoid energy drinks and caffeine during exam periods, pupils warned

Wandsworth Guardian: May is peak exam time for teenagers studying for GCSEs and A-Levels May is peak exam time for teenagers studying for GCSEs and A-Levels

With GCSE, A-Level and Sat exams all taking place this month, many young people will be feeling very stressed.

But help is on hand from doctors at St Helier Hospital who say resting, relaxation and avoiding high-caffeine and sugary drinks are vital to make sure teens can cope during the exam period.

Dr Ruth Charlton, joint medical director at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Feeling nervous is a completely natural and normal aspect of life during difficult times such as the run-up to the exams. 

Wandsworth Guardian: Dr Ruth Charlton has not yet signed the pre-written letter issued by the Better Services Better Value review team

Dr Ruth Charlton

"This can be a good thing in small amounts, since it shows you are taking your exams seriously and are giving it your all.

"When you start to feel stressed however, this can have a detrimental effect on your performance and general well-being.

"The most difficult aspect of dealing with stress can just be realising you are stressed in the first place. 

"If you are losing your appetite, having trouble sleeping or are generally feeling lacklustre and a bit down in the dumps, it could be a good time to step back and weigh-up how much the pressure is getting to you.

"The best way to deal with stress is to make sure that you allow adequate time to sleep and rest, and make time to do something active other than revising.  Go for a bike ride or have a kick about outside; light exercise is a great way to unwind and take your mind off your exams.

"Teenagers and young adults should always strive to maintain a healthy diet, but especially so during exam time. 

"A balanced diet will allow you to manage stress better and concentrate harder when you need to. 

"Avoid high-sugar foods and caffeinated drinks like Coke and coffee, since these can make you jittery and also disrupt your all-important sleeping routine."

Dr Charlton, who is also a consultant paediatrician, said parents can help by making sure they are available for their teens to talk to but should avoid doing anything to add to the pressure they are already feeling.

Comments (2)

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12:18pm Mon 19 May 14

Michael Pantlin says...

And never lose sight of there is more to life than passing stressful exams. There is still life without them.
And never lose sight of there is more to life than passing stressful exams. There is still life without them. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 7

12:32pm Tue 20 May 14

buggsie says...

Actually basic Nutrition - anything with high sugar content -gives an energy boost and then a drop in energy.
Added to that - don't eat heavy fat foods before exams - red meat - cheese - they all make one feel drowsy.
Actually basic Nutrition - anything with high sugar content -gives an energy boost and then a drop in energy. Added to that - don't eat heavy fat foods before exams - red meat - cheese - they all make one feel drowsy. buggsie
  • Score: 0

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