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Chips begone! What is the best food to improve your gaming performance?

Forget about your soda, chips, and sugary food. These are the best foods you can eat to improve your gaming performance!

Chips and sodas might be the closest food you associate with gaming. Although they can satisfy your craving chips and sodas aren't the best, never mind healthy, food to consume when you are trying to climb the leaderboard or be better at gaming.

Every gamer trying to improve their performance needs every advantage they can get, including food. 

While healthy choices are rarely associated with gamers, it doesn't mean they should be neglected. In fact, like sports, gamers have superfoods that might enhance gaming results. 

So, what kind of food can you eat to improve your gaming performance? What kind of nutrients does a gamer need? What dishes can gamers consume to fulfill all of it?

We rounded up the most important aspects of gaming and nutrition for you!

What kind of nutrients does a gamer need?

Some might remember that many energy drinks mentioned gamers as their target audience. Spoiler alert -  caffeine is not on the list.

One of the main ingredients in these drinks is caffeine, which can improve concentration. However, caffeine is not even a nutrient, and your body usually doesn't need caffeine to function correctly unless you already have an addiction.

Nutrients, explained by Merriam-Webster, are substances or ingredients that promote growth, provide energy, and maintain life. Your body needs nutrients to function properly every day. 

Now, even though most games aren't physically demanding like sports, that doesn't mean gamers neglect some essential nutrients that can make them play longer and better. A gamer needs a set of nutrients to improve their prowess. 

According to UPMC, a gamer's most important nutrient is protein. Protein is necessary to support muscle health and brain function like other athletes. Protein also supports the immune system, keeps them satiated longer, and stabilizes energy, allowing longer play sessions. This also leads us to the next item on the list. 

Another nutrient that is important to gamers is complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide sustained energy so you can play longer without feeling tired. Maintaining a certain energy level is vital to perform other activities better and not lose focus.

You might think gamers don't need to eat calorie-rich food. It depends on how intensive your gaming sessions are. You need many calories if you play high-intensity games requiring concentration, like esports titles.

Have you ever noticed that if you focus too hard, you might start sweating even though it's zero degrees Celsius? That's because your brain is working hard, and it takes a lot of calories to do that.

Calories are essential to sustain mental energy and focus for extended periods. Calories-rich food is consumed, preferably before and after playing a high-concentration gaming session. 

What kind of Micronutrients does a gamer need?

Besides macronutrients (or macros), gamers also need other micronutrients to improve their performance inside the virtual arena. Such micronutrients are: 

  • Electrolytes
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids 
  • Vitamins
  • Antioxidants
  • Iron 

These micros are also essential to maintain focus and endurance during long gaming sessions. 

Electrolytes impact your coordination, muscle contractions, and reflexes. They are crucial for maintaining optimal gaming performance, especially high-action esports titles. 

Omega-3s support the brain health and cognitive function of a gamer. They enhance focus and mental clarity during your gaming session. Vitamin and antioxidants play an essential role in overall health and immune function.

Iron is a micronutrient that is essential for oxygen transport in the blood. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and decreased cognitive function, thus crucial in long gaming sessions.

Last but not least, hydration. Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal performance and helps maintain focus. Hydration also helps to prevent fatigue and support overall well-being.  

Best food ingredients for improving gaming performance

After understanding what nutrients gamers need to improve their performance, it's time to know what food they need to consume to fill that need.

Protein is the first nutrient that is needed, and one of the easiest to find. Every meat contains a certain amount of protein in its macro composition. However, the amount of protein varies per type of meat, even from the same animal or source. 

The protein gamers need to consume daily is lean meats such as chicken breast or turkey, which are low in calories but rich in protein per gram. Other good protein sources are fish, especially salmon, eggs, nuts, seeds, and cow's milk.

Consuming grains (like brown rice), sweet potatoes, beets, or butternut squash can fulfill the need for complex carbohydrates. However, do count how many carbohydrates that are consumed. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure.

Micronutrients like electrolytes, omega-3 acids, and Iron can be found in food already mentioned above. For example, fish like salmon contain omega-3 acids, while root vegetables like potatoes contain electrolytes.

Lots of fruits contain essential vitamins and antioxidants that a gamer's body needs. The best fruits are:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Avocado 

These fruits can fill your needs for vitamins and antioxidants. The particular case for avocados, which are also rich in oleic acid, can positively affect cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Lastly, water is your best bet for hydration. Water doesn't have any calories or any other nutrients besides hydration. However, if you need more juice or taste for your tongue, coffee and tea can substitute water occasionally. Both drinks, without sugar, are considered healthy and can boost your focus with caffeine and some micronutrients.

Level up your gaming with these superfoods

It can be a little daunting when reading all of the needed nutrients. However, making dishes containing all the needed macronutrients and micronutrients is not that hard. 

For convenience, we have a list of some suggested dishes and recipes aimed at combining every ingredient previously listed.

These dishes are simple, healthy, and somewhat cheap to make. Making every dish rather than buying it is recommended as it is significantly cheaper. 

The first dish we can make is pan-seared Salmon with pesto fettuccine. Salmon, depending on where you are living, can be expensive. However, it is undoubtedly one of the best protein sources, of omega-3 acid, potassium, and vitamin B. Fettuccine can be a good source of carbohydrates, and pesto, if made from basil and nuts, fills the antioxidant needs.

The alternative dish that is cheaper while retaining some macros needed is black bean-sweet potato tacos. With salsa and avocado for flavour, plus micronutrients, it is a filling and healthy snack for long gaming sessions.

The last dish that we can recommend to make is a peanut butter banana smoothie with oats. This is a great smoothie for those who don't want to eat solid food. Peanut butter is a solid source of protein and healthy fats, while bananas can be a great source of complex carbs and potassium.

Note that every dish can be modified based on your needs, taste preferences, allergies, and religious or environmental beliefs. There are many other ingredients to combine to match your taste buds, so adapt and get creative! But the bottom line is that Doritos and Mountain Dew are not the choice foods for gamers and taking care of ourselves can become our superpower to leveling up. 


Tommy "Slushiesdrinker" MakmurI'm just someone who love to game and meme

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