Gamers are often incorrectly characterized as being unhealthy cave trolls that sit in their parent’s basement and crush Mountain Dew code red by the case while mainlining Doritos and spewing racist comments after absolutely pwning n00bs on WoW.
Thankfully, most of that is entirely false (except for the pwning piece), and while many of us have room for improvement in our health, we’re definitely interested in being the best we can be. Especially if it means faster reaction time, more actions per minute, and intense mental focus in the middle of a difficult match.
Personally, video games have been integral in creating many of my personal health habits. Much like searching crates in a dungeon crawler, some of the habits I added we’re boring in the moment, but the results - better dexterity, charisma, or adding +8 to my max strength kept me going.
Here’s What You Need To Know
- Health is vitally important both to casual gamers and competitors.
- Vibrant health is more than just being able to run a mile. It’s clarity, focus, energy, living pain free.
- Well being is massively over complicated in society. Simply add a few skills and one or two potions, then use them consistently.
Having seen first hand what happens when an object in motion (a PS4 controller) is acted upon by an object at rest (a flat screen TV) after a late game loss in Overwatch, I know for a fact that as gamers, we are highly motivated to win.
But what if I told you that by simply employing certain easy habits we could actually win more games?
It’s true. By maintaining good physical and mental health, we will be able to think faster, maintain focus in marathon sessions.
Did you know that something as small as a 3% decrease in hydration can cause a massive deterioration in strength and mental abilities? In one study, subjects showed a actual decrease in brain volume as well as neuro response times (1).
Hydration is not just important to to keep thirst at bay. It has implications that extend far beyond that.
Often when we are thirsty, we mistake these feelings for hunger. When fully hydrated, you won’t feel false hunger signals, and if you’re not digesting food, your brain works better and faster.
Hydration is tightly linked with mental clarity and physical response times. Very important when the game is on the line.
Hydration improves eye health and joint function by amplifying the natural lubricant your body creates.
Being fully hydrated also helps prevent carpal tunnel issues as well as pain in the upper back and neck, by ensuring that the muscle spindles around the nerve are “full” rather than dry.
Action Step: keep a water bottle next to you, and drink during down time. Try to get ½ your bodyweight in ounces per day.
Your body position impacts how you think. This has been proven in many studies that show that performance, mental cognition, confidence, and neuro activity can be increased simply by improving posture. (2)
In addition, gamers can often develop pain in the wrists and hands from compressing the nerves during marathon gaming sessions. This is a large problem for the community, but can be alleviated easily by changing positions or creating additional blood flow to the affected areas.
While it’s impossible to drop what you’re doing to take 5 and stretch, we do have downtime during loading screens, respawn times, or while waiting for a party, depending on what you’re playing.
Channel your inner Hitmonlee and raise your attack with a physical version of “Meditate”. Whenever you have opportunity, do circles with the shoulders and wrists, and pull your shoulder blades back into perfect posture and take several deep breaths for the given amount of time.
If you have a few extra seconds put your palms face down on a table, with your finger tips pointed back at your body to stretch and open the wrists to protect against carpal tunnel and arthritis.
Just doing this a few times can add up to improved physical health and gaming ability.
Action Step: Stretch the wrists, hands ,and have a 10-15 second posture reset every time you respawn.
Mana + 10
Let’s face it, long gaming sessions are not ideal for consuming an all organic diet with as many vegetables as we know we should be taking in on a daily basis. More often, we’re eating a high energy food that can be consumed quickly in between matches.
I’m not going to tell you to switch your diet up entirely and start eating only vegan meals, as we both know that’s not productive. Instead, find a potion (AKA vitamin and mineral supplement), that can fill in the gaps in your nutritional needs to keep you at a healthy level of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.
Consuming less sugar and processed foods is one of the best things that you can do to increase your health and clarity in the long run, which is important if you’re getting into competitive esports, or just enjoy weekends filled with Call of Duty deathmatches. The cells of your body regenerate every seven years, so your current body is the result of everything you’ve put in your body over that time period.
Even organic foods today have less vitamins and minerals due to farming practices, so it’s important to augment even a healthy diet with something that can assist in keeping your nutrition on point.
Simply adding more fresh fruits and veggies to your life is a great start, but don't be afraid to add a multivitamin as well. ‘Login’ is a great option that has been specially formulated for gamers by gamers to improve mental cognition and long term focus.
Action Step: find a vitamin that augments your skills and fits your lifestyle to maximize your brain and mental energy.
Many people think that health and videogames are mutually exclusive. But vibrant health and energy is fundamental if you want to perform at a high level in any arena. Amplify your focus, clarity, and ability to stay locked in for hours at a time with these simple steps.
Ensure that you’re adequately hydrated by drinking ½ of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Soda and coffee do not count. The only way to make sure you’re getting enough is by having a water bottle handy near your gaming platform.
During lulls in game play or during load times, make sure you’re moving and resetting your posture. The joints of the hand, wrist, and shoulder love circles, so move them a little bit whenever you get the chance.
Increase vitamins and minerals by adding more nutrient dense foods to your diet, or by grabbing a multivitamin that fits your needs like ‘Login’. Much of the mental fatigue we experience on a daily basis is due to the fact that our brains are missing an essential vitamin, which can be a simple fix that makes a profound difference.
Written by Nate Palmer
Level Up Your Health With LOGIN - The Vitamin Tailor Made For Gamers
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jul; 15(7): 1477.
Health Psychol. 2015 Jun;34(6):632-41. doi: 10.1037/hea0000146. Epub 2014 Sep 15.