The Link between Nutrition and Learning

Is there a link between nutrition and learning? Consider this. The brain utilizes far more glucose than any other organ of the body. What do you think the effect on learning will be if the blood sugar level rapidly plunges or is very low? It will definitely impair learning. Energy drinks loaded with caffeine and various types of sweeteners are a guaranteed recipe for poor academic performance. This is just one example of how nutrition and learning are inevitably linked.

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As a tutor, my motto is "Never present a problem without a solution." If energy drinks and junk food are the problem, then what is the solution? Eat small amounts of protein throughout the day and early evening. As an SAT tutor since 2000, here is a vital part of the coaching I do. Eat eggs (if not allergic, of course) or have a protein shake with a slow release carbohydrate (like slow cooked oats) the morning of the SAT exam. This type of nutrition tends to stabilize the blood sugar. In other words, the brain is obtaining steady nutrition. This helps optimize brain function and improves your child’s nutrition and learning.

Another excellent tool your child can use for optimizing nutrition is a food-mood diary. If your child will track for 7 days how foods and drinks make them feel, then they will feel motivated to make better nutritional choices. Imagine your child discovering by using a food-mood diary that energy drinks lead to an energy crash which makes them feel tired and irritable. Will they be motivated to start eating small amounts of protein throughout the day which make them feel consistently energetic? By helping your child to identify the link between good nutrition and learning you’ll be able to actively improve both.

If you would like excellent resources to help you optimize your child's nutrition and learning, feel free to contact me as I also have worked as a personal trainer/nutrition coach since 2001.

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