Brain Boost: 4 Foods to Eat Before Your Firefighter Promotional Exam


There are only so many things you can control when it comes to studying and test taking, and what you eat for breakfast the morning of your firefighter promotional exam is definitely one of them. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it turns out, we were right. According to one study, adults show a memory boost if they eat breakfast before taking a test. Eating breakfast will not only help you stay focused on your exam, it’ll actually improve your brain function. And for an added brain boost, we’re sharing the best four foods to eat before your firefighter promotional exam. 

1. OMEGA-3’s (DHA)

According to an article by Medical News Today, food rich in omega-3’s do wonderful things for brain function. That’s because DHA in omega 3’s tend to concentrate in the cerebral cortex of your brain, which is responsible for both memory and attention. The more Omega 3’s/DHA’s you consume, the happier that cerebral cortex will be — and more focused you’ll be. Omega 3’s increase your thinking ability, so don’t limit them to test day. Incorporate them into your diet regularly to help keep you focused while working on your practice tests and preparing for your exam. 

Omega 3’s can be found in fish, but they’re in other foods too. Here are some examples of foods you can indulge in before your exam that are loaded with omega 3’s.

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Sardines

  • Walnuts

  • Flaxseed

  • Avocado


Whole grains are a great source of energy come exam day. The way whole grains break down in your body gives you a continuous supply of energy, which is exactly what you want on test day so you aren’t crashing halfway through. According to an article by UW Medicine, whole grains release glucose into your body at a slow and steady rate, helping to improve concentration and focus and keep you energized for a longer period of time. These are good options for whole grains:

  • Oatmeal

  • Quinoa

  • Brown Rice

  • Whole Wheat Bread

  • Whole Wheat Pasta


According to an article in the Genes & Nutrition Journal, flavonoids have the potential to promote memory, learning, and cognitive ability. These naturally-occurring plant pigments are the reason fruits and veggies are so darn good for us. These foods are packed with flavonoids:

  • Citrus Fruits (Lemon, oranges, grapefruit etc.)

  • Berries

  • Apples

  • Green Tea


Now for some dessert. According to a study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, significant brain activity happens 30 minutes after eating 70% cocoa. This is because dark chocolate contains anandamide and phenylethylamine, two compounds that stimulate blood flow for increased memory retention and attention span. It also boosts your problem-solving ability, which is essential when you sit that exam.

Exam Day Breakfast

Before your firefighter promotional exam, make yourself a giant bowl of whole grains (oatmeal), topped with omega 3’s (walnuts or sunflower seeds) and flavonoids (fresh berries). Then, finish it off with some dark chocolate. It’s the best way to tap into nutrition for an extra brain boost when you need it. Even better, start incorporating these foods into your diet now and give your brain a boost during your firefighter promotional exam prep. It’s a no-brainer — eat a hearty breakfast full of brain-boosting foods to set yourself up for success on exam day.