Esports is one endurance activity that makes it difficult to get the right nutrition.
Previously, we have addressed the fact that more and more elite professional gaming teams are encouraging a nutritional regimen that many people would presume of a contact sports team. Sure, you’re not looking to bulk, to gain mass muscle or cut weight, but in Esports you are engaging in a marathon-level endurance competition that could see you need to keep your energy, focus and concentration levels up for hours on end.
Fuel your mind
Let’s not forget that your brain is a muscle, and when it comes to gaming if you’re not already then it’s about time you started treating that muscle in the way a rugby player does their quads.
As with the likes of baseball or cricket or any sport when there is more of an opportunity to fuel up during gameplay, you need to do so wisely. This means ensuring that you:
- Are hydrated
- Maintain your glucose levels
- Have consumed sufficient carbs and protein
Of course, more often than not, when gaming you are bound to find yourself in need of an energy boost to stay on top of your game. At which point, snacking and fuel within reach is your only option. The question is, does all snacking have to be unhealthy and is there a way to do it that won’t leave you worse for wear during and after the game is over.
You’ll have noticed by now that when your body tells you that it wants a quick hit of sugar that by chomping on sweets, chocolate or junk food, in general, will give you a sickly boost all at once that burns out as quick as you came, making you feel like you’re worse off. It also leaves you feeling that the remaining four hours of gameplay may as well be another twenty hours as you doubt you’ll make it that far. That’s because eating junk food as a solution to your fuelling needs is more like putting petrol in a diesel engine.
Refined carbs are what you need to avoid. These are usually include processed and junk food. It’s these bad carbs that give the misconception that all carbs are bad. This isn’t true, though even the good kinds can leave you feeling heavy and can be difficult to digest, meaning you may bloat from being relatively stationary all day.
Salty foods are the next on your list of negatives. These can dehydrate and bloat you, leaving you feeling hungry. Some of the worst varieties of moreish foods that are sugar-filled and salty include party snacks that you wouldn’t think twice about eating while you’re at home moving around. Popcorn, pretzels and savoury bowl mix at your desk will see you take one handful and then just one more. Soon you’ll feel too sluggish to think straight. Game over.
How can you prepare in advance?
When you know that a tournament is due to go on for hours and the chance of a break – least of all to make yourself a meal – is unlikely or limited, one of the best things you can do is prepare in advance. It’s like fuelling up your car before a long journey.
Easily digested foods are your first call so that you’re not kept up too late. Avoid trans fats and refined carbs – in other words, stick to a small amount of natural, unprocessed food and whole grains if possible. This is because they’re broken down over a long time and so will keep hunger at bay for longer. Obviously, you’re best off having these earlier in the evening to save you from interrupted sleep. Here are a few ideas:
- Cereal and milk
- Peanut butter
- Fruit and nuts
- Wholegrain crackers
Supplementing your game
In terms of supplements, one of your greatest allies as an endurance gamer is casein. Casein whey protein shakes are used by both people trying to lose weight and bodybuilders alike. How does that work, then? Because it fills you up, casein will replace a lot of binge eating, ensuring you get what you need. It’s healthy, too – deriving from the goodness of milk.
Bodybuilders and athletes use it because an eight-hour sleep can hit the body like an unwanted fasting session. By taking it before a sleep or before a long day, this slowly-digested protein remains in your tank for when you need it. A tip: get yourself a dose before you play.
For hydration and alertness, fizzy drinks and booze are not your friends when it’s a serious competition. Going on for a longer length of time leads to the depletion of muscle glycogen stores and reduced electrolyte levels. This will reflect in lowered energy levels, and ultimately a decrease in your concentration and tiredness. Our ElectroFuel supplement is designed to rehydrate and energise the body as effectively as possible. Its electrolyte content replaces the salts lost in sweat.