04 Apr E-Sports Supplements: Beyond Caffeineby
Attention all e-gamers, you need to take a hard look at adding supplements to your daily routine. The demands of e-gaming can negatively impact your health and your performance while playing. This blog will cover several areas e-gamers should consider supplementing their diet to repair, protect and compete at the best possible level. Areas such as vision, brain-boosting, energy, joint support, stress, and sleep support all play an important part in your health and e-gaming outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas and what is recommended to support your needs.
Vision is perhaps one of the most important components with regard to e-gaming. Areas of interest should be, eye fatigue from staring at screens for extended periods of time, blue-light damage, dry eyes, and keeping visual focus. Luckily, there are a few supplements that cover the full gamete of these concerns. My favorite eye health ingredient is astaxanthin (AstaPure®). Astaxanthin has been shown to help decrease eye fatigue (Why do you think salmon have such endurance swimming upriver? Astaxanthin is part of their food source). It also helps decrease inflammation and is protective against the harmful effects of blue light. Consider taking an omega-3 supplement daily to decrease dry eyes. In some cases, you may be able to find a product that contains both ingredients.
Other e-gaming eye health tips:
- Distance yourself
- Invest in the right monitor
- Adjust the light (don’t play in the dark)
- Consider using blue light glasses
- Take a break for at least 20 minutes
Energy and Brain Boosting
Anyone who has sat through a night of gaming knows how draining it can be on the mind and body. The need for energy is most likely due to brain fatigue and partly due to the late hours into the night people often play. In either case, people reach for a quick fix with energy drinks high in caffeine (and sugar) to perk up their energy and don’t realize this is not only harmful, but it will also be ineffective over extended periods of time. What you need to focus on are foods and supplements to support energy levels without causing a “crash” or having negative effects on health i.e., increased blood pressure, anxiety, sleep issues, elevated blood sugar, or negatively impacting your gaming by making you nervous or jittery.
I decided to cover both energy and brain-boosting in the same section because of the overlap mentioned above. Luckily, the natural product arena has several ingredients which can help with both energy and brain-boosting. A few supplements come to mind and should be considered; SibeliusTM: Sage, Zembrin®, and PQQ. Of these three supplements, my favorite by far is SibeliusTM: Sage. SibeliusTM: Sage, tops my list due to its ability to “perk” you up but without the nervous or jittery feelings which caffeine has, and has been clinically studied to prove it improve concentration, focus, and reaction times. Many of the people I know who have taken SibeliusTM: Sage (including myself) have claimed they can feel it working within the first 30 minutes after taking it. One of the clinical studies showed that people had improvements in just ONE hour after just ONE dose. As an e-gamer, the ability to have better concentration, focus, and reaction times may put you a level ahead of the competition.
While most of you may not have heard of PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone), it is another one of my favorites for both increasing energy and being a “brain booster”. PQQ is vitamin-like and provides support for your mitochondria, the energy factory of your cells. Since PQQ helps the mitochondria work more efficiently and produce more energy, it helps you have more energy as well and without jitters or crashes. Studies show in higher doses (20mg per day) also enhance memory and cognitive health.
Zembrin® on the other hand is not thought of as a supplement for staying focused because its primary benefits come with regard to stress. Yet, I include it here because Zembrin® has the proven ability to help keep you calm while improving your ability to concentrate and focus. Think about it, when you are in the middle of the game and intense, that is a form of stress. If you can take control of this feeling without making yourself drowsy, you will remain calm and focused.
If it were a perfect world, all three of these ingredients would be combined to create powerful and effective energy and brain-boosting supplement for e-gamers.
I believe that recovery is often overlooked by e-gamers. Since there is such a physical and mental demand placed on the body over extended periods of time, recovery should be a part of every competitive e-gamer’s supplement program. Considering that people will often end one game and start another, supplementing daily would be a great way to assure you are recovering quickly. There are numerous supplement ingredients to be considered for e-gamer recovery programs. Below is a list of ingredients and their effects:
- Astaxanthin (AstaPure®)- Eye strain, muscle fatigue
- L-carnitine- Muscle fatigue
- Omega-3s- inflammation, eye strain, joint stiffness
- Ashwagandha (Sensoril® or KSM-66®)- Physical and emotional strain, stress
- Bilberry- Eyestrain
Joint support is not usually on the radar for e-gamers. Joint discomfort is one of the major complaints of e-gamers due to the amount of repetitive motion and stress put on the hands, wrists, and arms. It is for this reason I am including some top supplements to consider for e-gamers who either already have a problem or would like to prevent one from happening.
- Levagen+- helps with joint discomfort and pain
- Omega-3s- help with joint stiffness, inflammation, and possibly pain
- Glucosamine- supports healthy connective tissue
- Turmeric (or Curcumin) (I take HydroCurc®)- decreases inflammation and pain
- Black seed oil (I use ThymoQuin)- powerful inflammation reducer
- Boswellia- known to help decrease inflammation, pain and improve flexibility
Stress control should be considered a must for any serious e-gamers supplement program. When you are in the heat of the moment, the amount of both physical and mental stress is extremely high. We know that prolonged stress increases the risk of many serious health challenges such as cardiovascular disease, blood sugar problems, and even obesity so getting a grip on stress is critical. Even when you are out of the competition mode, being able to manage the impact stress has on the body is essential for the next time you play.
Since you don’t want to get drowsy while playing, this narrows the field for what supplements work best for stress. There are three main products I love in this category and they all work in different ways: Adaptogens, affron®, and Zembrin®. Adaptogens are supplements that help your body adapt and recover from both physical and mental stressors. Since e-gaming is both physically and mentally stressful, adaptogens are a perfect fit. In some cases, adaptogens can also help improve your ability to concentrate and focus and even improve sleep quality. My favorite is Sensoril® (ashwagandha) due to the science showing how well it works even in small doses. Affron®(I take this daily) is the only patented saffron extract for use in mood and stress. It has 8 clinical studies proving its effectiveness and will not cause drowsiness. A small dose of 28mg per day is all that is required to get the stress-reducing benefits. As for Zembrin® (I am a consumer of this one), is not an adaptogen yet is phenomenal at helping reduce stress and improve mood. Just 25mg each morning will take the edge off quickly and without drowsiness.
Combining one of these adaptogens with SibeliusTM: Sage would be an excellent attack move to support your e-gaming needs.
You just finished several hours of gaming, it’s late at night and you need to get some good sleep, what now? Many reach for drugs and alcohol to slow their mind down fast which is not the best approach for your health or a good night’s sleep. My approach is to support the body naturally and consider using supplements such as Lactium®, Magnesium, and affron®. The science with regards to Lactium® show works for sleep and does not leave you feeling groggy the next morning. Lactium® works best if you take it daily. Since e-gaming requires a lot of hand movement, magnesium is great to help the muscles relax while also providing benefits to help you sleep. I realize that affron® was mentioned above, but in this case, a recent study showed that taking as little as 14-18mg one hour prior to sleep helped improve sleep quality. As we can clearly see, supplements should play an important role in an e-gamer’s life. Whether you play daily or binge one night a week, supplements should be considered as part of your regular daily supplement schedule.