Food for MCAT

MrTee

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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.
 

Cerberus

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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
 

carrie198

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Originally posted by Cerberus
Things to avoid:
Greasy foods
High Sugar snacks
Soda drinks
big meals

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.
 
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docjolly

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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..
 

MrTee

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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.
 

DoctorInSpace

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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!
 

kiahs

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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?
 

MeowMix

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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.
 

vegangirl

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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:)
 
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zepplinfan

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Originally posted by kiahs
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?

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
 

apar01

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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!!!
 

docjolly

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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..
 

UCLAstudent

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Originally posted by docjolly
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 sanwiches every Saturday for the past couple of weeks while taking practice exams and I haven't noticed any problems..

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. ;)
 

MrTee

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Originally posted by docjolly
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 sanwiches every Saturday for the past couple of weeks while taking practice exams and I haven't noticed any problems..

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.
 
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