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Food for MCAT

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by dradams, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. dradams

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    What is the food situation during the MCAT test? Any suggestions as to what to bring? How long do we get for lunch? Do people buy lunch or bring?
     
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  3. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    You should eat the same thing you eat every day for lunch. Do no deviate from your normal eating habits, or else bad things may happen. If you do stray from the norm, I would suggest something higher in protein, low in fat, low in refined carbs. Avoid caffeine (you shouldn't be having any that day anyhow) and excessive fiber. Personally, I brought some protein bars for the breaks and had a half sandwich for lunch. I sipped water very sparingly to prevent having any bathroom breaks during the test. The thing is to have just enough food to avoid hunger, not to have a king's feast.
     
  4. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Night before races we always eat lots of pasta. The race day we generally eat things like peanut butter and granola bars. I will take this same approach MCAT day. I disagree with the above poster about caffeine though, if you regularly drink caffeine, i wouldnt reccomend cutting it out on test day.

    Things to avoid:
    Greasy foods
    High Sugar snacks
    Soda drinks
    big meals
     
  5. carrie198

    carrie198 Member
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    Add burritos/anything with beans to that list And I agree w/ Cerberus about caffeine. I normally drink coffee, so I drank it the morning of the MCAT and I think it helped me concentrate. Just make sure you use the bathroom before you start, so you don't have to dart out during verbal.


    During full-length practice tests for my MCAT prep course, a group of us always went to a nearby sub shop. We all got together at the same place for the actual MCAT and it made the MCAT much less stressful.
     
  6. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    Hmmm...

    I've been told by many of my friends who've taken the MCAT that bringing a candy bar (especially one that is chocolate) to the exam is a good idea...It becomes quite useful during the BS section...

    I've been taking practice exams, and I have not been performing exceptionally well on the BS section b/c I am so tired. If candy bars are not a good idea, then what would be better to eat to fight my fatigue???

    thanks..
     
  7. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    Docjolly, maybe bring something like a granola bar or grapes for before the BS section.
     
  8. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    I guess I should have said that if your brain is in a haze w/o caffeine, then stick w/ it. Caffeine makes me go to the bathroom incessantly, even if I've been having it regularly. If you like the taste of candy bars, but want some nutrition out of it, try Detour bars or any of the other ones by next nutrition. Detours taste very similar to snickers. Promax bars are very good in general as well.
     
  9. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    Without caffeine my brain goes into shutdown mode and neuronal apoptosis is initiated.
     
  10. DoctorInSpace

    DoctorInSpace Senior Member
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    I totally agree about not deviating from your normal diet on test day. Also avoid dark meat turkey....you know, the whole tryptophan/sleepiness problem.

    I packed a cooler w/lots of stuff---carrot sticks, grapes, sandwich, Cheerios, and lots of other stuff. I ate at every break, and I don't think we were able to have drinks at our table, but I don't remember. It varies on your testing site. I ate lunch AT the testing site----didn't want to have my car break down or get into an accident during lunch hour, and come back late!!

    Everyone has give great advice!

    Good luck everyone!
     
  11. kiahs

    kiahs Senior Member
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    You know what everytime i didn't eat before i did a full length my score went up. And I mean nothing at all, not for breakfast or lunch, it was like that for the ACT's when I wasin highschool too. SO i think i'm not going to eat; last time just to prove to myself that i wasn't making it up i purposly ate for my second full length and i scored low....weird huh. I understand there could be a discrepency there because i wanted to prove that if i didn't eat my score would stay high but i don't mind as long as those numbers rise. Is anyone else like this?
     
  12. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    You get an hour for lunch. Beware going out; you don't want to lose focus, get lost, return late, etc.

    Eat whatever you enjoy, just eat small amounts of it regularly - before you start, at the morning break, at lunch, at the afternoon break. I chose foods I really liked, so each break was like a reward for getting to that point. I stayed wide awake from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    I would've thrown up if I'd eaten eggs for breakfast. Protein shakes, pieces of fruit and hard cheese, bagel, salad, energy bars, dried sweetened pineapple, and limited amounts of water worked for me.

    I also brought non-MCAT things to read and CDs to listen to, so I could get my mind off the horribly difficult VR section just before lunch.
     
  13. vegangirl

    vegangirl DOctor begins with DO
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    At the last full length my stomach was growling really loudly during PS cuz I didn't have breakfast. As a result I went down a pt. For me personally (being a vegangirl) I like the luna bars (or if your a guy the clif bars) Their great cuz they have 10g of protein. 35% of your calcium and iron and 100% of the b vitamins.

    Plus they taste yummy:)
     
  14. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Senior Member
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    turkey sandwich, h2o and grapes. no coffee and nothing greasy. i don't mind anything with sugar. good luck, people.
     
  15. cHocoBo 118

    cHocoBo 118 Senior Member
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    i strongly agree that if you are a regular coffee drinker... do NOT deviate from that on the test day.
    I heeded the advice of an mcat instructor to not drink caffeine at all on the day and sure enough, i fell asleep during the verbal section and had to void the test.
     
  16. researchprof

    researchprof Senior Member
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    I have programmed my brain to remember to take a bottle of coffee and two bottles of English-style lucozade energy drinks. Also a Bull energy drink will be added to the pack with a little bit of sugar-free snacks.
     
  17. zepplinfan

    zepplinfan Senior Member
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    You know what's funny. The same thing is true for me too. When I don't eat anything before tests I do great. I just seem to concentrate sooo much better. I'm not suggesting that anyone do this on the MCAT if they haven't tried it; but I really think there's something to this. I think I've done this since high school.

    My personal belief.........it's just all that adrenaline that I have to get going before the test. I get myself all worked up that I'm goin to tear it a new one. If I eat, it just seems to kill the effect. Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic RIGHT?!?.......wait, shouldn't I know this for the exam, haha. Bottom line, I just seem to do to better when I'm confident about it and eating doesn't help me at all. Maybe some carbs would be good, but just enough that my brain doesn't shut down. Plus I doubt you need Vitamins or anything like that during the actual day.

    ~ Zep
     
  18. kiahs

    kiahs Senior Member
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    zepplinfan~

    Yeah, I'm not wierd!
     
  19. apar01

    apar01 Certified Consumer
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    My recommendation: warm milk and turkey.

    Just kidding. Most people just went to Subway or some other fast food places nearby. Just about everyone's advice is good. If you normally eat a big lunch, don't eat less on MCAT day just cause you think you have to.

    Try to get a friend that's not taking the MCAT to go and buy Subway (or whatever) for you. If you are taking a TPR or Kaplan course, then get on of your instructors to get food for everyone.

    If you do drive somewhere, DON'T speed. Someone in my testing room was late to the writing section after lunch because he was pulled over by a cop. Basically, try to minimize any distractions during this extremely stressful day!!!
     
  20. HooahDOc

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    It's just a freaking test. Do what you normally do.
     
  21. NotShorty

    NotShorty ~Mr. Bright Side~
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    YES! Great topic!

    This was a big interest of mine this past Aug. Search my username for input.

    Practice your food routine when you take your practice tests.

    -NS
     
  22. NotShorty

    NotShorty ~Mr. Bright Side~
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    Sorry to disagree, but it's not JUST a test. You'll be in the same room for 8 hours. It's quite different from any other test you've taken.

    The actual test goes by REALLY fast though.

    -NS
     
  23. BubbleBobble

    BubbleBobble Where's the "any" key?
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    Don't go out for greasy chinese food during the break. Baaaad idea. I was pretty tired during the biological sciences section.
     
  24. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    I'm on break from taking a practice exam now and just had a burrito from Baja Fresh... I'm ready to sleep now. I strongly suggest against this. Just wanted to add to the "don't eat heavy foods" advice that others have contributed.
     
  25. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    i don't mean to hijack this thread, but something recently came to my attention...
    i was told that eating turkey during the MCAT lunchbreak is bad b/c turkey has trypophan (I believe this may be the correct spelling of the word)..why is this a bad thing? I've been eating turkey sandwiches every Saturday for the past couple of weeks while taking practice exams and I haven't noticed any problems..
     
  26. cattywoman

    cattywoman Member
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    ADVIL is a must...
    chocolate bars.. like fast break. it's got peanuts, and I love peanuts.
     
  27. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    It has some validity to it. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can make you sleepy (causes increases in serotonin levels). I think if you are used to eating turkey every week, then you should be fine for the MCAT. It would be more of a problem for someone who doesn't regularly eat turkey and decided to eat it on the day of the MCAT. They'd be in for a pleasant surprise during the biology section. ;)
     
  28. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    It's supposed to make you sleepy. You probably don't feel the effect because the few oz of meat in the sandwich probably isn't sufficient to trigger a response in your situation. Perhaps if you carved up a nice 10-12 oz slab of meat you'd get it.
     
  29. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    I brought a sandwich for lunch, and pepsi and chocolate for the rest of the time. My energy level stayed topped out.
     
  30. limus

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    Advil? Why Advil...
     
  31. Godric

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    you resurrected an 8 year old thread to ask someone a question about an 8 year old post, rofl, why...
     
  32. TheShaker

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    They might still be around!!!!

    It's funny to see how a lot of the posters are residents now. :laugh:
     
  33. mr chievous

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    Wow "one hour lunch breaks." This thread is hella old.

    Anyway, I would recommend healthy food - it helped me focus. Grapes, turkey sandwiches, etc.
     

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