Video games are a relatively recent venture with the earliest video game not coming onto the scene until 1972 with the introduction of Pong. In the past 60 years, video games have gone from basic two-dimensional games to astonishingly high-resolution three-dimensional universes. With controls dictating point of view, movement, aiming, and actions, video games have become a way of escaping into a reality where seemingly anything is possible.
Today, video games have evolved to a point where the competitiveness and skill required to perform with the best of the best rivals that of elite athletes in traditional sports. With a high demand for fine motor skills and immense cognitive processing, it is important for gamers to acknowledge the importance of their health and understand how they can best support their body to endure difficult and long gaming sessions.
While heavily caffeinated beverages are often the drink of choice, many gamers are not well versed in the effects of caffeine and its alternatives.
Below is a closer look into gaming and how you can best support your health to perform at your very best. Understanding the basics of what your body demands while gaming can better allow you to give it what it needs for long-term performance gain rather than relying on short-term fixes like caffeine.
Caffeine is considered a stimulant, which means that it increases activity within the central nervous system. The stimulant class of drugs includes drugs like meth and cocaine. While caffeine has nowhere near the same effects as these hard drugs, it does interact with the body in a similar manner.
Caffeine is a chemical compound that is found in numerous drinks. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and even soda contain this potent bioactive ingredient.
Caffeine is able to impact the body due to its specialized structure. Caffeine is able to block the binding of the adenosine neurotransmitter. During the course of a normal day, adenosine binds to slow the activity of the brain and bring about sleep. By specifically binding to adenosine receptors, caffeine is able to postpone the accumulation of adenosine which allows people to experience a greater sense of alertness and wakefulness.
Gaming on caffeine
When people view the stereotypical gamer, they tend to think of people that have their over-ear headphones on, one hand on the keyboard, and another holding onto their energy drink. While a caffeine boost can help you in the short term to achieve an increased level of alertness, it isn’t something that has infinite amounts of usefulness.
While energy drinks are heavily marketed towards gamers, it is important to know that caffeine comes with its limitations. These limitations include caffeine reliance, caffeine jitters, and an increased chance of poor quality sleep.
As stated previously, caffeine is, at its core, considered a drug. While the effects of caffeine are mild, your body reacts to it in a similar manner as it does to other drugs.
One of the ways your body attempts to cope with continuous caffeine consumption is to increase its number of adenosine receptors. When there are more adenosine receptors, this means that you would need to consume more caffeine to get the desired effect.
Not only can you build up a tolerance to the effects of caffeine, but through this same phenomenon, you can become addicted. Essentially with continuous caffeine consumption, your body adapts to having it on a daily basis. If you stop caffeine consumption after being reliant, you are likely to experience the adverse effects of withdrawal like irritability, headache, and more.
Both of these situations are a slippery slope that many gamers fall into. Caffeine no longer becomes a method of improving your game, but rather it becomes something that is consumed to just function at a normal level.
If you have ever had an energy drink on an empty stomach, or simply aren’t used to caffeine you may have experienced what is known as the caffeine jitters. The caffeine jitters are a sensation that can include a physical shaking of the hands as well as a feeling of anxiousness.
The caffeine jitters are thought to be caused by caffeine’s ability to cause the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. An excess of adrenaline coursing through your veins and the fact that you aren’t engaging in physical activity can manifest itself in shaking hands and feeling of anxiousness.
While a small boost of adrenaline can be just what you need for gaming, overconsumption of caffeine can cause unwanted handshakes and an elevation of your stress level. Some stress is good for performance, but at some point, it can begin to take away from your ability to play at your best. Tremoring hands could also be detrimental to your gameplay causing you to make unintentional moves that could cost you a game.
The ability for caffeine to keep you awake can be beneficial, but it can also be detrimental to your ability to fall asleep. A majority of gaming and esports events happen in the evening.
Because many gamers spend their time online in the evening, caffeine use should be utilized sparingly. This is especially true for multi-day events, as a poor night’s sleep could result in you performing sub optimally as sleep debt accumulates.
While a lack of sleep and staying up through all hours of the night is sometimes worn as a badge of honor for gamers, in reality, it could be holding you back from performing at your very best. The effects of sleep deprivation on cognition are immense and can result in reduced reaction time, a lapse in judgment, or even a decrease in coordination.
Due to these factors, it may be wiser to put down the controller and get the best night’s sleep possible to allow yourself to the game at your fullest potential.
An alternative to caffeine
While caffeine is a great short-term fix, it isn’t much of a long-term solution to being on the top of your game. Rather than looking for those quick pick-me-ups, you should focus on increasing your overall energy levels.
MitoQ is a breakthrough supplement that you can take to support your overall energy levels at a cellular level. MitoQ uses specially formulated CoQ10 that is highly effective at infiltrating the mitochondria of your cells. The mitochondria are structures found in every cell within your body and are responsible for creating a usable form of energy for your day to day functions. Over time, CoQ10 levels can become depleted, which can result in diminished energy production efficiency.
One of the most energy-intensive organs within the body is the brain. During cognitively intensive tasks like gaming, the brain can require more of an energy demand. By supporting your mitochondria with MitoQ, you can ensure your brain is equipped to efficiently meet these increased energy demands.
To further your benefits, try MitoQ Brain, which has CoQ10 as well as other brain-supporting ingredients like Zembrin® Kanna Extract, Ginkgo Extract, Huperzine A, and Sharp PS® Phosphatidylserine.
In summary, there is an extensive effort to push caffeinated beverages to gamers on the part of beverage manufacturers. While energy drinks can be helpful in short-term utilization, they could hinder your ability to game to the best of your abilities in the long term.
Rather than chasing short-term fixes, taking the time to increase your energy levels through living a healthy lifestyle and ensuring your body has the molecules to support your cognitive functioning is ideal.
Gaming requires immense focus and reaction time, and by pairing MitoQ with a healthy lifestyle, it can give your mind and body the edge it needs to perform at a high level in whatever game you play.