When we started Ritual Motion, we made it our mission to listen and understand our community so we could bring you the best products and resources to improve your health, happiness, and success while gaming.
Earlier this year, we launched the first-ever “Win Well” Gamer’s Health Survey, and the response was incredible. In doing the survey, we came upon some very interesting trends around personal energy levels, sleep patterns, and weight control. So, we wanted to dive a bit deeper into the habits of our community, and see if we could help better understand some of the issues that exist.
As confirmed by many gaming and healthcare experts, we know that nutrition and diet are behind a large number of these issues around energy, sleep, and weight. Naturally, we thought we should hear from gamers themselves what their diets and nutritional habits tend to be. We put together a survey, which included questions covering four main categories: eating patterns and habits, diet and regimen, dietary supplements, and general energy. The survey was completed by close to 250 respondents between June 1 and June 14, 2020. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of what the survey found.
Eating patterns and habits
Looking at gamers’ eating patterns and habits, we asked survey respondents when they typically eat each meal, as well as if and when they snack throughout the day. We found that many tend to eat later, or much later in the day.
Of the gamers we surveyed, 17% said they eat breakfast after 10 am, and a full 33% said they skip breakfast altogether. The majority of gamers eat lunch between 12 and 2 pm, but as much as 20% said they eat lunch after 2 pm. The survey further found that the later in the day it gets, the more likely gamers are to eat late, too: 55% of gamers routinely eat their last meal of the day after 9 pm, and 15% eat their last meal after midnight. As for snacking, most gamers report snacking while gaming and the vast majority say their snacking happens in the afternoon and evening—which is pretty typical timing, gamer or not.
But considering how many gamers report having issues with sleep and their weight, it’s worth mentioning that some health experts discourage people from eating late at night, as it may negatively affect sleep, due to resulting indigestion or acid reflux, and potentially influence weight gain, due to the release of melatonin and the body’s natural wind-down, slowing normal digestion and metabolic processes.
Diet and regimen
Not much research has been done on gamers’ diets, or whether there are dietary trends within gaming at all. To get a better picture, we asked survey respondents if they follow a diet, or have restrictions, and what they snack on – if they snack.
While the majority of gamers said they do not follow a specific diet, 40% said they do—most commonly, low-carb diets or a diet that is diabetic-friendly. When it comes to snacking, the split between sugary and savory snacks was fairly close, with 30% snacking on sugary foods and 24% choosing savory options. Whether sweet or salty, though, only 24% of gamers said they snack on what they consider to be healthy options.
In general, the respondents indicated that they snack when they’re hungry or feeling low-energy, but nearly half of gamers cited boredom as their reason for snacking. That’s an important thing to be aware of, because when you’re focused on the game, you may not realize how much you’re actually eating, which can lead to further issues of low energy, weight gain, and other health conditions down the road.
To get an idea of what kind of dietary supplements gamers are taking, we asked survey respondents if they take vitamins or other supplements (including protein supplements), which ones they take and why, and whether or not they use CBD products.*
The majority of gamers indicated that they do take vitamins or supplements of some kind. One-quarter of respondents regularly take a protein supplement, citing muscle-building or hunger suppression as the most common reasons for taking it.
Asking gamers specifically about their CBD consumption, we found that 30% do take some form of CBD, typically gravitating toward CBD gummies and tinctures. Those that do take CBD said they most commonly use CBD to help reduce pain and inflammation and alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
*CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound found in hemp and cannabis plants that have been linked to the alleviation of symptoms of a wide variety of health conditions, including pain and inflammation, muscle recovery, stress and anxiety, arthritis, epilepsy, high blood pressure, cancer, sleep regulation, and several others. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of hemp cultivation and consumption, hemp-derived CBD products became legal at the national level, however, there are still many questions around their regulation. Many pro sports athletes, including eSports athletes, have publicly touted CBD’s benefits and advocated for its use, including as an agent to promote cognitive function while gaming.
Because what and when you eat affects your energy levels—which in turn affects your energy while gaming, your sleep patterns, and many other things—we also asked gamers to rate how energetic they feel on any given day on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being high-energy and 5 being low-energy, along with what time of day they feel the most energized.
As you might expect, many gamers reported feeling most energized in the evening, as opposed to other times of the day. But in general, only 15% of gamers said they have high energy levels, choosing numbers 1 and 2 on the 5-point scale, while over 30% reported having low energy levels, choosing numbers 4 and 5 on the scale.
Putting it all together, here are this survey results’ most salient points:
- A large percentage of gamers, at least one-third, indicate having persistent low energy; they also indicate having the need to boost their energy with protein and other supplements.
- Less than one-quarter of gamers are choosing healthy snacks throughout the day and while gaming.
- Almost half of gamers are snacking out of boredom.
- Over half of gamers are eating their last meal after 9 pm at night.
- Gamers that are taking CBD cite the need to reduce pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
Many gamers report having issues sleeping and controlling their energy levels. Knowing that gamers tend to be active later into day and evening, and that eating habits late in the day can be particularly consequential for sleep and energy, what we learned from the results of this survey show us that it’s all the more important for gamers to prioritize both healthy, non-sugary options for their food choices and awareness around the timing of when you eat, as it relates to your bedtime and sleep cycles.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on our survey results. And if you have additional questions related to gamer health, please let us know. We want to continue to advance our knowledge around the health and experiences of gamers so that we can help improve both.