May and June can be stressful months for student-athletes. Preparing for final exams while (hopefully) participating in state tournament games leaves little margin for mental errors. Costly mistakes, whether in academic tests or sports competitions, can turn an athlete from a hero to a "zero." Misjudging a fly ball in a crucial baseball game or double-faulting in a championship tennis match can abruptly end your season. Simply put: with the game on the line, you need to be at the top of your game.
Follow the winning formula below to improve memory for academic and athletic performance:
Recharge your batteries with eight to nine hours of sleep. Studies show that adequate overnight sleep promotes recovery from a game or workout and raises attentiveness and energy. It also optimizes memory for the next day's activities.
Get moving. Brisk walking, jogging and strength training enhance blood flow to the brain, which elevates memory and alertness. A few 10-minute walks in the fresh air, at intervals throughout the day—instead of sitting and studying for prolonged periods—energizes your mind and body.
Keep a water bottle nearby. Even a slight drop in hydration levels during the day can drain energy and reduce cognitive skills. Drink plenty of water daily to prevents dehydration and keep yourself mentally and physically sharp. Eight to 10 glasses a day should do othe trick. Consuming water-based fruits and vegetables also contributes to daily water intake.
Eat memory-boosting foods and beverages. Eat more brain-boosting fruits like blueberries (perhaps the foremost fruit for better memory), watermelon, apples, grapes, kiwis and peaches. Other foods that aid brain health and memory include spinach, kale, collard greens, carrots, tomatoes, eggs, broccoli, avocados, soy, seafood, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, popcorn (along with other whole grains), yogurt, milk, water, green and black tea, cheese and dark chocolate.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock