Not just any kind of chocolate, but dark chocolate that is at least 70% in cocoa content, is minimally processed, and produced without the use of alkalization.
Since dark chocolate improves memory, curbs anxiety, and increases focus, how could it not help you to raise your SAT score? It can be eaten very quickly before an exam and during breaks. Plus, since it’s high in fiber, it can help curb hunger during your exam.
Here are the beneficial elements in chocolate and how each one works to help you test better, not just on the SAT but on any exam.
This amino acid helps to curb anxiety. Low amounts of the neurotransmitter serotonin cause anxiety. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted by your body’s chemistry into serotonin.
Studies show that theobromine elevates mood. As an added bonus, if you have a cough going into your exam, theobromine has been shown to quiet coughs almost as well as codeine.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you are falling in love. It does so by encouraging your brain to release endorphins, so it makes you feel happier during testing.
Magnesium is one of the few nutrients that produces a noticeable lowering of anxiety. Eat dark chocolate covered almonds and get a double dose of magnesium, since almonds are also high in magnesium.
Dark chocolate that is minimally processed is high in the antioxidant flavanol. Alkalization destroys all benefits of flavanol. This antioxidant has been shown to improve memory skills in addition to circulation and heart health.
Surprise! The caffeine content of 1.5 ounces of chocolate that has a high concentration of cocoa can be about the same as in a 6 ounce cup of coffee. Above all other benefits, caffeine is a mild stimulant that boosts blood flow to the brain, improving performance and focus. Caffeine in small amounts also reduces anxiety. Remember, it takes twenty minutes for caffeine to start taking effect and it has a four hour half-life.
There are definitely negative sides to eating chocolate all the time. Chocolate is a desert and is high in calories, high in fat, and high in sugar – all of which can cause you to put on unhealthy weight. Individuals can react differently to eating chocolate for testing purposes, so try using different amounts of dark chocolate before the day of the big test to see how you react to it.