Nutrition should be one of the main focuses in the performance of esports players. But why would we take the time to develop a healthy meal plan when unhealthy energy drinks and snacks are not only easier to grab, but more advertised in the esports world? The logos are literally printed on the jerseys of our favorite teams, and while sponsorships and partnerships are vital when it comes to team funding, the negative message still remains: Healthy choices are not a priority. 

That isn’t to say that organizations aren’t starting to put a focus on health and nutrition, but in an industry funded by many top non-endemic food and beverage brands, sometimes it’s hard to find a foothold. 

The push for better nutrition options and supplements is happening in the industry. 

CTRL, a meal replacement shake founded by industry professionals, has spiraled into the gaming and esports space as a fantastic option for quick nutrition. The powdered meal replacement may taste like the bottom of a cereal bowl, but it provides a ton of vitamins and minerals that many of us miss. 

It’s become a vital part of my diet as both a gamer and a boxer (who gets way too tired to cook sometimes), and it’s just easy! Now the meal replacement is available in over 700 Vitamin Shoppe stores around the U.S. and is making waves in other areas of the entertainment industry. 

RESPAWN by Razer is another product developed to help enhance mental performance. It’s a sugar free drink mix that uses ingredients like B vitamins, choline, and green tea extract along with a nice kick of caffeine to help you stay alert while you game. 

Other brands in the industry are also offering healthy supplements and food alternatives to help with areas like vitamins, sleep, and stress. However, a healthy diet should start in the main foods we eat. Sometimes, a simple generalized foundation is all you need: Drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and try not to grab junk food. 

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According to the CDC, only one in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables, and many rely on fast food to fill up their daily caloric intake. In a 2018 study, nearly 37% of Americans regularly ate fast food, a number that has undoubtedly risen thanks in part to the pandemic and the convenience of delivery services like UberEats. 

Healthy meals don’t have to be tedious chores! Some delicious meals (like this cream cheese chicken soup) are made best in a slow cooker. Toss everything in and let it cook all day with minor preparations for a fantastic dinner. Plus it makes the entire house smell wonderful! 

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple plan to help push you into making healthier decisions. However, if you’re like me and you love to grab things on the go (or you snack throughout the day), make sure you’re grabbing things that will give you some nice energy. 

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits and snacks, and they come packed with nutrients! Just one medium sized banana can offer up a good dose of things like vitamin B6 (turn carbs and fats into energy), vitamin C (protects your body against cell and tissue damage, support brain health), manganese (helps you make collagen), and potassium (healthy heart and blood pressure). 

Reaching for healthy things and avoiding the foods that will actually sap your energy is key to helping you game longer! Make conscious decisions to avoid things like white bread and pasta (I know, they’re delicious!) as well as foods with added sugars. 

Increasing your water intake will help you avoid reaching for unhealthy snacks throughout the day! Plus it can help with weight loss and skin health. For me, I keep a measured bottle with me to help me reach an intake goal. Products like HydroJug can help you reach hydration goals without constant measuring! 

Ultimately, becoming a healthy gamer begins with you. Set small goals and celebrate them! You’ll discover that making healthy choices will become second nature, and you’ll feel much better physically and mentally.