It’s great that eSports athletes are getting the recognition they deserve in recent years. No longer are they being questioned over being given the title of ‘athletes’, with the viewing figures for eSport increasing significantly (at an average growth rate of around 14% each year).
As well as the eSport viewers, the income of eSport athletes have also increased too; Johan Sundstein, AKA. N0tail, has been reported to have earned a total of $6.9 million. So it comes as no surprise that more people desire to become a professional eSport athlete.
The above question is exactly what we’ll be answering in this article…
What Are Nootropics?
Everyone knows what energy drinks are (eg. Red Bull, Monster etc), so we’ll jump straight to Nootropics.
In a nutshell, nootropics are classed as supplements that have shown to improve your cognition in clinical studies. Herbs such as Bacopa Monnieri and Lion’s Mane Mushroom are 2 popular ingredients that are widely accepted as being ‘nootropics’.
As well as individual ingredients, “all-in-one” nootropic stack supplements have become very popular too. You’ll see many that are classed as the best nootropics in the UK, which basically contain several nootropic ingredients (such as Lion’s Mane Mushroom) in convenient capsules – making them easier to consume than taking several individual pills.
Energy Drinks & Nootropics for Gaming Performance
The term “cognition” encompasses many things including memory, focus & concentration, reaction time and attention span. So you can see why many have started to test nootropic ingredients and supplements in an attempt to improve their gaming performance.
But do nootropics really help take your eSport performance to the next level?
The answer is: most likely.
Of course, it’s difficult to say for 100% certain without any clinical studies taking place involving eSport athletes and nootropics.
There are a number of eSport athletes that have endorsed energy drink/nootropic hybrid supplements such as GFuel. FaZe Clan has their own GFuel product called “FaZe Clan’s Battle Juice” for example, and we’d like to believe that the group actually consumes the stuff that they recommend to his followers.
Nootropics and Reaction Time
Reaction time is one of the things that eSport athletes will be interested in improving. Even casual gamers who enjoy some Call of Duty on the weekends with friends will want to be the first to pull the trigger too.
The good news is that many nootropic ingredients have been shown to enhance reaction times in clinical studies.
One study by Bettini R in 2002 found that Citicoline supplementation significantly improved reaction times in the subjects involved – with results being even better when subjects doubled up on the Citicoline dosage, without experiencing any side effects.
Nootropics in High Stress Situations
While there haven’t been any clinical studies utilising eSport athletes in particular, there have been studies studying the effects of nootropics on the performance of military combat training courses.
In the study, conducted by Deijen JB, L-Tyrosine was used as the ‘nootropic’ ingredient of choice. The military subjects consumed dosages of 2g L-Tyrosine daily over the course of 1 week. They were then assessed before and after the combat course they were tasked with undergoing.
Ultimately, the study concluded that L-Tyrosine was able to reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on cognitive task performance. These benefits would easily crossover from combat training courses to elite eSport competitions where the stakes are high.
The Soviet Union tried to keep a nootropic herb a secret…
If you’re not already convinced of the benefits that nootropics can provide, this one might do the job.
It was found that the Soviet Union were using Rhodiola Rosea long before they were testing with steroids, in order to keep their Olympians, soldiers and astronauts performing at peak levels. It was found that Rhodiola Rosea helped soldiers stay alert and energized during sleep deprivation tests, which might appeal to gamers who love to stay up into the early hours of the morning.
We’re not psychiatrists or doctors, so we can’t give the final answer to the question: “do energy drinks and nootropics improve gaming performance?”.
However, based on our research looking at various clinical studies assessing the effects of nootropics on reaction time and overall cognition, the results appear very promising.
Just keep your expectations level. If you’re nowhere near the level expected to compete against in eSport competitions, then simply taking some nootropics probably won’t help you become a world champion.
Even so, casual gamers might enjoy having the ‘edge’ against their friends; everyone knows that there is always pride and dignity on the line even in ‘casual’ situations.
For competitive eSport athletes, with an increasing amount of money on the line for winning tournaments (with prize pools being over $50 million at times), it makes sense to try and gain every competitive edge possible in order to win.
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