Being able to stick to your healthy diet is a great habit for all people to have. It is especially important for people who are physically active, like sportsmen and esports competitors. Food is our main source of energy. Healthy food and good sleep contribute to one’s well being, as well as his ability to take on physical and mental challenges.
Pro gamer diet, however specific it might sound, is not that different from the traditional athlete diet. As always, there should be macro and micro nutrients, to keep everything in balance and not to gain excess weight while being somewhat static for most of the day. What it means is that you need to have healthy amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats intake with your daily meals. Of course, your body needs to be hydrated enough as well for better productivity and endurance. Giving the general idea on what do gamers eat, let’s dive deeper into the actual components of a healthy diet.
Protein is used to build damaged muscle cells. It is the go-to component for sportsmen. They use protein in their morning and afternoon meals, oftentimes in the form of powders, shakes or food like eggs and dairy. Esports players and pro gamers have their training routine, as they have scheduled visits to gym or outdoors training environments. Protein is high on calories, so it is recommended to take it in moderate amounts, and better make sure to consume it before the warmup of workouts. It is also better to avoid processed food, and opt for high-quality protein. Protein bars are also an option, especially in the mornings.
In the past, consuming fats was thought to be one of the reasons for getting overweight. But in reality there are healthy and unhealthy fats that appear in different products. Polysaturated and monosaturated should actually be a part of your healthy diet. Fats that are existent in pastries and, for example, french fries are called trans-fats. These are the most dangerous types. They usually cause many heart-related diseases, as they block the proper blood flow in arteries. That is why pro gamers and sportsmen should include only healthy fats in their diet. You can replace trans-fats with avocado and olive oils. Another source of healthy fats is fish and nuts. There is enough vitamin B in these nutrients. Healthy fats are also a better energy source than your average carbohydrates.
Usually, carbs are one of the main macro-nutrients important for proper functioning. But taking excess carbs will only damage your digestion as well as harm the functioning of your brain. Starchy carbs cause the most trouble. They are found in bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Even though rice is important for its protein-rich nature, try not to eat too much of it. Thus, it is better to consume complex carbs. These take longer to break down in your organisms. Examples are grains, veggies and fruits. Taking them in moderate amounts will give you enough energy to work or be physically active for longer hours. As always, avoid processed food that is full of unhealthy carbs.
Meals should be consumed on time every day
Setting a routine and maintaining it for better nutrition benefits is important for a gamer diet. When your body gets adjusted to the eating times, it makes sure to process all the calories in the most effective way.
What is more, you need to avoid eating at late hours of the night. It is not healthy for your sleep, as your mind would like to have a rest, while your stomach needs to digest the food you ate recently. Plus, try to eat less, but frequently. Don’t rely on a heavy meal taken in the afternoon. And do not overeat in the earlier hours. Balance everything with enough water consumption: at least 2 liters a day.
Do not eat in front of the screen
When it is meal time, it's better not to keep yourself busy doing other activities. Just concentrate on your senses, the taste, the look and the smell of the food. It makes digestion easier. And also, your brain is not distracted this way, so that you can gain the most of the benefits on time and for longer periods. When and what do gamers eat that does not contribute to the overall well-being? Well, it is mostly the junk food they consume in front of the screens. Even if a small amount of junk food might make you feel full, it is not recommended to turn to easy snacks and fast food every day. It is also recommended not to sit in front of the screen at late hours.
Go for a walk
Walking helps you burn calories too. It is recommended to walk after eating, so that your body can digest the food easier. It is also a way to counter gaining weight, as walking is also a physical activity. Besides, walking is a way to distract yourself and let your body and brain relax. It can boost your mood and activate your brain in a productive way. Try to walk at least 10 minutes or longer, during the day.
How to lose weight?
Gamer diet is set in a way that it lets the person lose weight easily, in case you include physical activities in your daily schedule. You can choose anything from swimming to lifting heavy, so that your body and mind become more adapted and ready for tougher challengers on and off the competition stage. Lose weight by consuming less calories and burning more energy. But make sure not to over exhaust yourself, and gradually add the intensity of workouts or specific training to easily accomplish your goals, performing this or that exercise. The best tip apart from this would be reducing the intake of rice and red meat. They are high in calories and healthy, but if you start to gradually reduce the servings, it will let you lose weight easily.
How to gain weight
As we discussed above, gamers can gain weight by doing the opposite — eating more meat and rice. Most importantly, do not try to eat fast food in hopes of gaining weight. It might help on one hand, but it is not a healthy choice overall. Follow a vertical diet, and then add more of your healthy food in your meals. Heavyweight athletes eat more to maintain their weight category. Most calories are taken in by strongmen. The latter lift crazy amount of weights for one rep or for multiple reps. Of course, pro gamers do not need to eat that much, as their training vastly differs from those pro athletes.
Finally, use a calorie tracker to understand what to reduce and what to add in your diet.
Healthy Products for a Gamer
As a final note of our overview, let’s see what do gamers eat to keep themselves healthy.
From the first sight, white rice is non-harmful food, but it is processed, which means that many organic benefits are missing from it. White rice does not include all of the vitamins your body needs, but it is a good replacement for brown rice. White rice has a higher glycemic index, which means that carbs are converted into blood sugar faster. However, the processing phase might also add more healthy components to white rice, such as vitamins and minerals.
Red meat is one of the highly-caloric healthy nutrients in anyone’s diet. It includes fats, iron and protein — the basis of one’s healthy meal. Red meat is animal meat, but not poultry or fish. It is better to cook red meat in healthier oils, but better to boil it instead of frying or making steaks. You can balance your B12 vitamin levels by taking enough red meat in your daily meals. B12 is important for blood cell health and zinc levels. Thus, next time opt for red meat varieties like beef and pork to get most of the red meat benefits. If you want to have less fat intake, then opt for preparing grass-fed beef. It contains more omega-3 components. It is important not to overcook the red meat, as it might become dangerous and bring exposure to cancer. Steaks should be cooked at 60 degrees per Celsius, while in burgers they should be 71C. You might also want to partially cook in the oven before grilling the meat.
Fish oil is the primary source of omega 3 fatty acids. It comes best in oily fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and tuna. Fish oil can be obtained also through liver oil of certain species. According to the World Health Organization, the healthy dose for an average adult is 1-2 portions of fish per week, to gain the most benefits in balance. If this is not possible, then you should take vitamins and supplements to keep the minimum recommended omega 3 acids levels in your body. Fish also contains A and D vitamins.
Fish oil helps gamers keep their focus intact, as well as support eye health. Your brain is responsible for keeping your focus on competition for longer periods, which means that it should have enough time to relax to be able to process things faster. When it comes to vision, it is the other important aspect of competitive games. Gamers spend up to 10 hours in front of their screens daily, and their eyes need relaxation not to get strained. Fish oil helps in maintaining good vision and the lack of it might cause poor eyesight.
Eggs are another healthy source of energy. They are full of B2, B12, D vitamins, selenium, calcium and iodine. Here is a chart presenting eggs’ nutrition levels.
|Egg nutrition information||Per Small Egg (48 grams)||Per Medium Size Egg (58 grams)||Per Large Egg (68 grams)||Per Very Large Egg (78 grams)||Per 100 grams|
|Energy kcal (calories)||54||66||78||90||131|
While sportsmen like power-lifters or strongmen consume more than 2-3 eggs per day, the number is usually the norm for an average person, including pro gamers. Eggs are a good source of protein too, so make sure to have them during your breakfast time.
Sweet potatoes and potatoes in general should be cooked without sunflower oil, in order to be healthy enough. Try to replace it with olive oil and not overeat potatoes, as they cause many side effects, typical to starchy nutrients.
Salt has numerous health benefits. It helps stay hydrated, balances sodium and potassium levels, as well as electrolytes, and contributes to a healthier nervous system. But it is recommended not to overuse, to avoid its side effects. The same rule applies to gamers, as well as sportsmen.
Vegetables and Green-leafy food
Vegetables come in different vitamins and minerals. They are the go-to for anyone, searching for healthy nutrition. Paprika, pumpkin, potatoes, eggplants, carrots and more should be in any pro gamer’s diet. Spinach, celery, green onions… all of these are important to consume to maintain balanced levels of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are easy to digest. They can be consumed within any meal of the day.
Summing things up, a gamer diet should be done right in order to maintain competitive forms too, boosting brain functioning. What do gamers eat does not differ much from a traditional sports athlete diet, thus, the key is the balance in every nutrient.