Professional gamers know this is the key to achieving success.
Just like chess is considered a sport, so is professional gaming — well, at least for the most part, since it’s still debated in a few countries. There are people who make a lucrative living from winning championships by pushing all these buttons. I decided to do some research and get to know it on a deeper level. Even down to what they eat!
Gamers spend hours on hours playing video games. Even though they’re sitting down and not running around in circles, it’s imperative that their daily dietary regimen is full of healthy options. Why, may you ask? Well, it takes a huge amount of stamina, cognitive function and memory to be able to compete in all of those gaming tournaments.
Are esports even relevant, though?
In 2021, the global esports market was valued at over 1.09 billion $ and it continues to grow at an exponential rate. While most of the revenue comes from advertising and sponsorships, it’s worth nothing that media rights, publisher fees, merchandise and streaming also play a role in this evaluation. According to a website called EsportsEarnings, 94 of the best professional gamers in the world earned over $1,000,000, with Denmark’s Johan Sundestein coming in first with nearly $7,000,000.
Yep, we all entered the wrong profession, guys. Unless, of course, you are a professional gamer.
It’s easy to fantasize about having the life of a pro gamer, but is it really that simple? Just sit in front of your computer and play? Not really, folks.
Professional players practice every single day. While some prefer to do this during the day, others are more keen to night hours. This is of course between devoting time to family and other tasks a non-pro gamer does. Depending on the game they play, they can practice together with others or solo. A lot of individuals practice with the same people they enter tournaments with, then record it so that their managers, coaches, and other professionals helping them win the game can examine what they should improve.
Professional gamers just sit all day. Why do they need a diet?
Companies and teams go as far as hiring chefs to prepare special diets for their players. According to Men’s Health, even back in 2016, Andrew Tye, who is a fine dining chef with a superb background in culinary shenanigans, began working with an esports team based in Los Angeles called Counter Logic Gaming. He’s serving them eggs or oatmeal for breakfast with a side of fruit, a whole wheat chicken wrap or something high-protein for lunch, and a colorful dinner full of protein and vegetables. He’s there to provide pro gamers with individually catered nutrient-dense meals to optimize their health. Just to remind you, this was in 2016 and esports industry has been growing constantly at an exponential rate. Just imagine the regimens professional players have to go through now!
The key to an effective esports gamer meal plan is a high-protein, low-carb diet. While carbohydrate-dense foods such as wheat, rice, pasta and potatoes are our bodies’ main source of energy, they can induce spikes in insulin and further cause sleepiness and sluggishness. Preferred foods are those high in protein and healthy fats, such as salmon, eggs, lean chicken and turkey, avocado and nuts. Fiber is also an imperative component in their diets, mainly found in all kinds of berries and leafy greens.
A diet low in carbohydrates is known to provide individuals with stable and sustainable energy.
The more glucose we consume, the more we are prone to sugar spikes which cause sleepiness and lethargy, as mentioned above. Professional gamers need this to be energized, and at the same time focused for longer periods of time without needing to take a rest in between. This actually goes for anyone who sits at a desk all day long and need to up their cognitive processes to handle multi-tasking and focus on solving complex issues. If gamers don’t have this tool, how else would they be able to run gaming marathons otherwise? It would be pretty impossible and draining for someone who doesn’t nutrition themselves properly.
Is ketogenic diet the answer for all pro gamers?
You may have heard of the ketogenic diet before, the latest lifestyle craze everyone and their mother have been talking about. You’re more than welcome to check out my Instagram profile at @ketokamila — you’ll find a substantial number of ketogenic recipes there. While skeptics continue to call it a fad diet, lots of people believe this way of eating is here to stay. With more and more research available, the ketogenic diet has been proven to enhance cognitive processes, improve memory and overall work wonders on brain function. Think people with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The ketogenic diet surfaced in the 1970s, and was suggested as a treatment for children with drug-resistant epilepsy. It’s kind of counterintuitive for me that a diet is introduced after medication doesn’t work, but that’s not our focus here. Professional gamers who need energy for hours at a time may greatly benefit from this type of eating. Generally, it’s a high-fat, moderate protein and a low-carb diet, where you shouldn’t exceed 20–30g of carbohydrates per day. This would allow you to enter ketosis — a metabolic state in which your body derives energy from fats instead of glucose and sugars. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t. Once you read about it, it’s actually mind-blowing to know what our bodies can do. While there’s tons of information available online, any book by Dr. Anthony Gustin or Dr. Ryan Plowery will do.Back