FOR NEXT GENERATION GAMERS

Game hard, game healthy, game on...

Give Respect To Gain Respect

We believe that we should all respect each other when online and in competition. We have our own wonderful borderless global community, that should be inclusive of gender, race, beliefs, sexuality and be non discriminatory. So hey, game hard, game fair and remember, let's be careful out there...

Give Respect To Gain Respect

A BRAND WITH A DIFFERENCE, BUILT ON MUTUAL RESPECT
Fun, Fairness and Facts

We love being part of the gaming community. We love being healthy in body and mind. And we also have a healthy respect for others.

 

The gaming and esports community is growing fast, which is great - but brings challenges with it.


Players are quickly thrust into the limelight, often interacting with millions of viewers. Which means their actions and words are scrutinised like never before. And that, in turn, means that expectations in terms of behaviour and ethical standards are higher than ever before - among gamers, channels and game franchise and sponsor brands.


Put simply, Next Generation gamers need to conduct themselves to real-world standards. Which means being mindful of discrimination, bullying, inappropriate sexual content, and any other form of socially unacceptable behaviour.


That's why we have put mutual respect at the very heart of the E-Sports Nutrition brand, with the following message displayed prominently on all our products, as well as on our website and socials:

 

GIVE RESPECT TO GAIN RESPECT 


We believe that we should all respect each other when online. We have a wonderful borderless global community that should be non-discriminatory and inclusive of gender, race, beliefs and sexuality. So hey, game hard, game fair and remember, let’s be careful out there.

 

A tub of E-Sports Nutrition ELX Energy Elixir (Fruit Sucker Punch flavour) energy formula  for esports highlighting E-Sports nutrition Transparency for Gamers and Give Respect to Gain Respect statements that feature on every E-Sports Nutrition product pack


E-Sports Nutrition - What we stand for appears on all packs of our ELX and IGF packs.


1. Transparency for gamers statement

2. Give Respect to Gain Respect statement

THINGS TO BE AWARE OF / KEEP YOURSELF INFORMED
(PLUS USEFUL RESOURCES)

TOXICITY IN CHAT & AUDIO

Toxicity in chat is an ever growing issue affecting the gaming and esports community. Whether in Twitch chat or other platforms and/or social media, toxicity is unfortunately an unpleasant and unwelcome dark side to our otherwise amazing global community.


Platforms, brands and competitions are now beginning to take a more serious approach to moderation and enforce a higher standard that all streams are held to. But there is still a way to go with regards to moderating their channels and training their moderators to deal with toxic behaviour correctly.


Toxic chat can cover discrimination, racism, sexism, general abuse and harassment and any other form of socially unacceptable behaviour. It is very distressing to be the subject/target of toxic chat or be part of a toxic chat environment. 


It can be upsetting, frightening and demeaning — and can be a cause of high stress, anxiety, cause the erosion of self-worth and mental health, which sadly often leads to depression.


We feel that it all starts with the individual and their personal responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner when online…


Personal responsibility powers community responsibility - and community happiness


Ultimately the responsibility to the community lays with each and everyone of us. We have a wonderful borderless global community and it's ours to define. 


So how you carry and conduct yourself online as an individual, helps set the tone for your immediate community/viewers/subscribers and global community alike. 


If you set the standard for positive chat and online behaviours then you can be a good influence for the community. Plus to be seen to not stand for toxicity in chat or offensive actions or behaviours is equally just as important. 


If you need to remind the community about not straying to ‘the dark side’ of chat and behaviours, then respectfully stand up and be counted for the good of the community and your viewers/subscribers.


If you are balanced but still passionate you will attract like-minded individuals.


Yes some people will make mistakes but we are not talking about having a hair trigger cancel culture. What if you make a mistake and say something inappropriate and fall below the standards of community decency? 


Then own it.


If you say or do something stupid or offensive in chat, audio or on stream yourself then own it ASAP. Apologise for it immediately, completely and unconditionally - no ifs, no buts or mitigating circumstances. If you were ignorant to an issue or social group, front-up and say so - but remember, that is not an excuse.


Learn from your mistake and the experience and act positively to change yourself and outlook to be better - challenge yourself, is there advice or help that you can tap into to better inform yourself?


The gaming community is a forgiving community, you may however have to live with the consequences of your actions for a short period or indeed a long period of time - this can affect you personally and financially.


All the more reason to have a better awareness of your self and your actions.


What is a good way to handle a negative chat/audio/streaming environment?


1. State what you stand for and be responsibly minded

Be clear that you do not support or endorse toxicity in audio or chat and you believe that we should all respect each other when online.


Let individuals / viewers / gamers / subcribers know that you believe that we have a wonderful borderless global community that should be non-discriminatory and inclusive of gender, race, beliefs and sexuality.


If you set the example others will follow - and also help you deter toxicity in your chat.


2. Check with your platform

Look to your platform to make sure what they see as acceptable online standard. Twitch, for example, has a set of guidelines about what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in chat. It doesn’t cover every issue, but it’s a sensible place to start for guidance for those looking to engage with others.

Useful resource - Please note, we have no relationship commercial or otherwise with these guys/brands, but we think this is useful content to share and all power to them and naturally rights etc are with these brands:

Useful from Twitch:

Twitch has introduced an updated Hateful Conduct and Harassment Policy, which will take effect on January 22nd 2021.

Useful from Nintendo:

Nintendo Online Safety Principles

Useful from Sony:

PlayStation™ Network Code of Conduct

Useful from Microsoft:

Community Standards for Xbox


3. Ignore

Individuals / viewers / gamers / subcribers trolling others within the community can write and say some pretty offensive stuff, just looking to bring you down or get a reaction. 


You just need to teach yourself to ignore them and pay them no attention. 


This will negate and starve such individuals of the ‘thrill’ or ‘reward’ of a reaction - and hopefully they’ll get bored of being deservedly ignored.


4. Use technology

You can use technology to help filter and monitor chat. Using a bot like anhkbot and creating a list of forbidden words or set spam filters in Twitch. can be very helpful.


Make sure viewers / gamers / subcribers know the rules and accept them. So, in case they fail to comply and reply to someone in a negative manner, you have the right to ban them. It is also possible to filter out certain keywords and require users to have a verified email.


5. Report

Where your platform allows, report particularly toxic individuals/viewers/gamers/subcribers .


You're not being a 'snitch', 'goody two-shoes' or 'kill joy', you are protecting and preserving the gaming community and being a force for good. 


6. Ban

Where your platform allows you can warn those viewers/gamers/subcribers following your stream etc that you may ban them. And after a few warnings ban them as you don’t want toxic people in and around your stream.


If viewers/gamers/subcribers don’t respect you or your rules, then don’t keep them around and make space for people who do respect you and the standards you believe in.


So, what do we believe? 

We have put mutual respect at the very heart of our brand, with the following message displayed prominently on all our products, as well as on our website and socials:
 
Give respect to gain respect

We believe that we should all respect each other when online. We have a wonderful borderless global community that should be non-discriminatory and inclusive of gender, race, beliefs and sexuality. So hey, game hard, game fair and remember, let’s be careful out there.



Disclaimer: We don't claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

A tub of E-Sports Nutrition ELX Energy Elixir (Watermelon Magic flavour flavour) energy formula showing a detail of the label that highlights E-Sports Nutritions Give Respect To Gain Respect statement

Back to top

SCREEN TIME & GAMERS


It’s important that gamers are aware of the associated health risks that inevitably come with excessive screen time. It’s also of equal importance to be ‘in the know’ of what measures can be taken to counter these risks. Our health, performance and gaming longevity should always be top priorities and if remedial actions/strategies aren’t put in place, before long our full-time passion can soon turn into a full-time, daily grind.

 

For many, gaming is a full-time job and obviously this doesn’t make frequenting social media (additional screen time) any less important, in fact quite the contrary. For those who rely on social media for an income it has the potential to take their screen time firmly into the danger zone. Without a means of managing (the risks we’ll soon be highlighting) your health, progress and sustainability are sure to take a dip – which if not addressed may even lead to an enforced and unwanted break altogether.

 

There is of course a well-established link that exists between screen time and mental health, however there’s no agreed consensus on what’s deemed as a daily limit for adults. Perhaps this is because many of us around the world average around 11 hours a day both at work and recreationally. For gamers this can be far higher, easily approaching 15-16 hours plus, and on a consistent basis. There’s little point debating volume at this point, life choices have been made and commitments put in place, so let’s look at isolating these risks in a little more detail before looking at healthy ways of managing them.


1. SLEEP DEPRIVATION

 

Without question, the screens of many devices are creating havoc with the sleeping patterns of gamers of all ages. The problem here lies with the ‘blue light’ - which is especially pronounced from backlit screens and carries the most amount of energy on the visible spectrum. Most gamers are reasonably well versed when it comes to blue light and the dangers of over-exposure; but it’s important you know that blue light also inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone made by the pineal gland that regulates your internal body-clock. A healthy natural production of melatonin helps ease negative feelings (anxiety in-particular) by promoting better sleep quality, central to our long-term mental well-being.

 

MANAGING SLEEP DEPRIVATION

 

You’ll be glad to hear there’s plenty you can do to limit and even remove blue light entirely from your routine. You can turn the blue light filters on your smart phones (soon get used to it) as well as investing in blue light screen protectors for your monitors. There’s even blue light blocking glasses to help with Netflix or anything else you might fancy watching. Thankfully the body is incredibly forgiving, and the pineal gland will be back regulating healthily in no time, however in extreme cases when there’s a lengthier downtime in the production of melatonin you can always turn to supplementation. Taking 5-HTP (natural amino acid) last thing at night helps produce serotonin, which the body can convert into melatonin to aid in a deep, peaceful night sleep. You can also refer to our article The Importance Of Sleep For The Gamer where we outline several critical benefits alongside many worthwhile recommendations.

  

2. VISION PROBLEMS

 

Blue light also plays a role in creating visual problems largely due its short wavelength. The focus is not located in the centre of the retina but rather at the front so long-term exposure encourages short-sightedness, this should ring alarm bells for hawk-eyed gamers! Excessive screen time has also been heavily linked to eye fatigue. Vision can lose focus and appear blurry while your eyes can be left twitching, irritable and even burning.

 

MANAGING VISUAL PROBLEMS

 

You can obviously minimise this problem to a degree by minimising the effects of blue light in the aforementioned point but to address eye fatigue you need to consider short intervals of rest on an hourly basis. If this isn’t practical then eye drops are an excellent go-to option, just be sure to use a brand that doesn’t include preservatives. If you feel as though you have a problem a little more serious, we strongly advise you arrange an appointment with a highly recommended, qualified optician.

 

3. OBESITY/WEIGHT GAIN

 

A familiar foe for full time gamers, excessive screen time encourages weight gain via a hard-hitting one-two combo. Firstly, large amounts of time spent in front of a screen doesn’t expand a lot of calories, even though cognitive function can be working overtime and the body somewhat tense, the general calorific expenditure can be quite low. This is often compounded by a slower than usual metabolic rate, typical of many hours spent continually playing. Secondly such time demands often mean that food prep and consideration is an after-thought at best. Reaching for fast/convenience food along with sugary beverages can quickly become the norm (just to get you through) and before you know it, you’re gaining weight which if left unchecked will also encourage diabetes and eventually even heart disease.  

 

MANAGING OBESITY/WEIGHT GAIN

 

Get organised, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This can be said about your nutrition as well as your gaming. There’s no reason (though plenty of excuses) why you can’t have your food prepared and ready – it’s all about being a productive, next generation gamer. While you’re giving your eyes a rest, don’t reach for your phone, even if the blue filters on (unless it’s to order some healthy food from the super-market). Get active in the kitchen and go to work on tomorrow’s nutrition today. The positive vibe that comes with ‘being in-front’ is satisfyingly moreish. Oh, and consider reading up on the benefits of our In-Game Food (IGF), this is one of the reasons why we developed such a hi-tech product. If you are strongly considering getting active outdoors to further off-set this problem, then our article BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR THE GAMER will definitely point you in the right direction.

  

4. LOSS OF SOCIAL SKILLS & CONFIDENCE

 

Arguably one of the saddest aspects of grinding hard, daily. We can become so consumed and accustomed to staying in-doors, (regularly working into the night) that the very thought of venturing out and interacting face to face can feel like anathema. It can feel perfectly natural to shun social activities and you can even convince yourself that isolation and dedicated gaming go hand in hand. Suffice to say that long-term this behaviour has the potential to develop into a serious gaming disorder where your social skills and self-confidence can take a real hit, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

MANAGING LOSS OF SOCIAL SKILLS & CONFIDENCE

 

It's practically impossible to summarise an individual's mental health and personal confidence within a few sentences of text, it is such a huge and deeply personal area. However, we feel there are practical ways of helping maintain a healthy outlook, please see our BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY AND VARIED LIFESTYLE and again BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR THE GAMER. If you feel you’ll benefit from these, give them a read and always remember – gaming (whatever your level) is supposed to be life-enhancing. Situations will arise that inevitably require managing, and for this you’ll need perspective and a rational open mind to take into open comms with those who really care. Continually isolating yourself in front of a screen strongly opposes this coping strategy. So please be aware of the potential damage when literally disarming yourself to facing up to life's problems.

 

5. LOADED NEGATIVES THAT CAN LEAD TO DEPRESSION

 

Closely related to the previous point. Continuous time spent in-game can lead to an unhealthy life imbalance where once again perspective can be lost. Stress can easily mount from multiple sources, (away from gaming) problems that you would have normally dealt with but instead have been left to build and mount up. This combined with sleep deprivation, lack of social interaction and being ‘all-in’ can create any number of unwanted loaded negatives. Frustration can easily develop into anger, possibly aggression which can then spill over into something even more toxic via in-game comms. Losing control like this is always regrettable and can lead to the early onset of depression, especially if you’re left to struggle with these experiences in isolation.

 

MANAGING LOADED NEGATIVES THAT CAN LEAD TO DEPRESSION

 

Again, much like managing a loss of social skills and confidence there’s no simple and easy answer. Bringing balance into life through variety and exercise are sure to be extremely beneficial though. There’s also a lot to be said for being more efficient with your time, are you currently as efficient as possible? We don’t mean do you wake up to an alarm clock, you can be woken daily at 6am and still have plenty room for improvement. Have you considered working to a timetable/schedule, developed specifically for your lifestyle? For the sake of taking a couple hours out adding such structure can be tremendously rewarding. Moreover, when you make the positive decision to stick to it and start reaping the benefits you’ll be on a natural high – the results can be very surprising. You’ll be back to taking life in your stride again, your productivity will begin to soar as you respawn into a super-efficient next generation gamer and that winning smile will once again return!

 

6. ACHES & PAINS

 

Common to all gamers, who are sat sedentary for lengthy periods of time. Such aches and pains affect both body and head, with the lower back, neck, and head (headaches) tending to suffer the most. Naturally, sat in awkward positions and/or continued repetitive movements certainly don’t help either when taking short, regular breaks aren’t really an option.

 

MANAGING ACHES & PAINS

 

Observing the correct body posture (quick search on YouTube) and using equipment that supports this notion is an excellent starting point. But there’s a reason why we're addressing this at the end. It's because managing ALL the above listed points will prove to be a massive help by minimising the mental and physical stress exerted on to the mind and body. Being stronger, more durable, and efficient mentally and physically is the best possible strategy for minimising aches and pains. This combined with the right gaming kit and proper body posture and you’ll be well on your way to playing pain free. If you have any questions regarding this or any other article, please feel free to contact us via the online support section.


Disclaimer: We don't claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

ADDICTION


You would have thought in this relatively enlightened age, addiction (drug addiction in-particular) would be in steep decline but sadly the opposite is true. Indeed, according to the charity Action on Addiction, 1 in 3 people are addicted to something. This generally baffles society and a lot of the medical experts too. In the not-too-distant past addiction was often associated with addictive drugs including alcohol, nicotine and perhaps gambling and work (workaholics). Now addiction has spread into our everyday lives and is associated with food, social media, online shopping, streaming and of course gaming.

 

So what is addiction?

 

There are many definitions of addiction from dictionaries, Government-funded medical and health care services, and individual experts. Some can be misleading when they refer to addiction using words like ‘habit’ and ‘using.’ This is because they imply a degree of personal control which is unfortunate to say the least. Habitual behaviour and addictive behaviour are quite distinct from one another. We may have certain dietary ‘habits’ that we change instantly and without thinking the moment we go on holiday. Likewise, during our holiday those of us from the UK immediately switch from the ‘habit’ of driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right-hand side without so much as a 2nd thought. It’s important to note there’s is no compulsion, mental craving or feelings of dread involved, we just break one habit for another, almost effortlessly. Please note, it will never become habit to do less of anything truly addictive, this is where the distinction lies.

 

It’s much the same case with the word ‘user.’ If you are ‘using’ something you get the impression you have full control and can choose not to use it, without incurring any mental, physical, social, or financial suffering. But it’s common knowledge that addicts suffer all of these over the course of their addicted lives. So where do we draw the line? When does a user become an addict?

  

E-Sports Nutrition definition of addiction

 

‘Doing something repeatedly that you wish you didn’t do at all, and not being able to cut-down/do less of.’

 

This of course points to a loss of control. Please note if you are currently taking/doing something as often as you like and as much as you like without any obvious mental, physical, social, and financial discomfort that doesn’t necessarily mean you are fully in control. You may just not have reached the stage where it’s become abundantly clear you have a problem that needs addressing – so please be aware and mindful of your daily routine. How do we discern if we really have lost control? Thankfully, there are useful indicators.

 

Useful Indicators of addiction

 

In no particular order here’s 10:

 

• Do you feel a level of guilt when taking/doing?

• Are you utterly miserable when not taking/doing?

• Would a 2-week holiday abroad where you could no longer take/do fill you with dread?

• Are friends and family making subtle hints about you taking/doing too much?

• Did you have to struggle at first to get into this taking/doing?

• Do you suffer withdrawal symptoms/is there a degree of dependence when not taking/doing?

• Do you suffer mentally, physically, socially, or financially as a result of taking/doing?

• Have you ever had to hide or disguise taking/doing?

• Do you feel more isolated for taking/doing?

• Do you feel you lost control of your situation?

 

How to get help

 

As you’ve no doubt probably discerned, answering yes to any of these is evidence of a degree of dependence/addiction, the more affirmative answers the greater the level of dependence. Be honest with yourself, if you feel as though this has confirmed your suspicion and it’s time to act; or that you just want to make some enquiries, below is a list of reputable organisations who can help you through the process. We wish you the very best success and are not in the slightest bit judgemental. In fact we commend you for taking responsible action and while we support gaming hard and fair, we also promote being careful out there as part of our GIVE RESPECT TO GAIN RESPECT Company values.

 

Finding the right support



Addaction - addaction.org.uk Supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family.

Addiction Center - https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/ Help for a number of substances but also social media addiction.

Adfam - adfam.org.uk Information and support for friends and family of people with drug or alcohol problems.

Alcoholics Anonymous -  alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk Help and support for anyone with alcohol problems.

Allen Carr’s Easyway - https://www.allencarr.com/ Unique will power free method for curing addiction to smoking, alcohol, drugs and over-eating.

Beating Addictions - beatingaddictions.co.uk Information about a range of addictive behaviours and treatments.

FRANK - talktofrank.com Confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects and the law.

Gamblers Anonymous - gamblersanonymous.org.uk Support groups for anyone wanting to stop gambling.

Gamcare - gamcare.org.uk Information and support for people wanting to stop gambling, including a helpline and online forum.

Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service https://hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk/issue/gaming-addiction/ Provides support for gaming addiction.

Narcotics Anonymous - ukna.org Support for anyone who wants to stop using drugs.

NHS Live Well - nhs.uk/livewell Advice, tips and tools to help with health and wellbeing.

NHS Smoke Free - nhs.uk/smokefree NHS information and advice to help stop smoking.

Release - release.org.uk National charity that gives free and confidential advice about drugs and the law.

Turning Point - turning-point.co.uk Provides health and social care services for people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems.


Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

MENTAL HEALTH & GAMING


You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't love gaming. And the chances are that sometimes, like all serious gaming enthusiasts, you start gaming and go on, and on, and on...


But when does gaming a lot become a problem? Well, the first thing to say is that for most of the millions of people around the world who love gaming, whether for fun or competitively, it never does. In fact, there are plenty of scientific studies out there showing that gaming can have some real benefits in terms of overall wellbeing and mental health.


However, for a small minority - estimates vary, but probably somewhere between 1 and 9 in every 100 gamers - addiction to gaming can have serious consequences.


The negative effects of gaming disorder, as it's sometimes known, can vary a lot, but we all know how powerful games can be in stimulating our emotions, through visuals, sound, and interaction. And just as we get incredible highs from gaming to our full potential, so, for some gamers, there can be big lows when things don't go according to plan.


If that rings any bells with you - or if you can see that your gaming is damaging your everyday life and relationships - you should consider getting help.


Of course, you could talk to your doctor, or any mental health professional. But we're lucky to have our very own charities dedicated to fostering good mental health in the worldwide gaming industry and wider community. Please find below a couple of useful organisations, but if you have suggestions for other gaming orientated mental health charities let us know and we'll pop them up here too:

safeinourworld.org

checkpointorg.com



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

DISCRIMINATION


We believe there is no room whatsoever in our community for discrimination of any kind. We are all extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful, borderless global community. We feel our community should be as welcoming as it is exciting, to be inclusive and free from all prejudice. 

 

We are to look out for each other as we do ourselves regardless of gender, race, beliefs, and sexuality. If you feel you have been discriminated against, we feel it’s important that you act on what is entirely unacceptable behaviour. We recommend you make a commitment to challenging it with either the perpetrator or the company they may represent. You can also report discriminatory behaviour to whichever platform was used as a medium to deliver such offensive content. 

 

Shining a light on such behaviour is the very beginning of taking positive action to rid our community of the damage and hurt inflicted by discrimination.


Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

Helping a friend in need


It’s safe to say that the early years of the 21st century have witnessed a worldwide epidemic of poor mental health and subsequent related illnesses. Anxiety related illness leads the way, closely followed by depression, followed by alcohol and other addictive drug disorders. Society in general and governing authorities have been tragically slow in addressing the enormity and severity of what is often referred to as the ‘silent killer.’ Indeed, it was only relatively recently that World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on October 10, 1992 at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Up until 1994, the day didn’t even have a specific theme.


Talking about our mental health can often represent a challenge, truth is many of us (men especially) are not very good at it. We can often share a perception that revealing mental health problems could prove costly to certain relationships, perhaps even our career. Much better to deal with matters internally, but let's wait until things finally begin to look-up and the Sun eventually breaks free from the dark clouds. This is an all-too-common train of thought that’s almost woven into the very fabric of our society today, but thankfully things are beginning to improve.


For those who are willing to reach out there are now many fantastic institutions just a click-away that employ many skilled and experienced people. Many of which can directly relate to the daily and relentless struggles brought about by poor mental health, having been there and suffered too. But what if it’s not you that’s struggling? What if it’s a friend or fellow gamer close to you? Somebody you care about and suspect they’re going through their own personal turmoil but have seemingly elected to suffer in silence? Yes, talking about mental health can be a difficult experience, but sometimes listening can be difficult too.


We believe next generation gamers should have each other’s back, to be there for one another during periods of struggle.


Start by reaching out


If you’re worried about someone struggling and you want to help it's important that you make every effort to make them feel comfortable. Never underestimate how overwhelming an experience this may be for the other person or how much courage it takes to open-up. Here’s a few recommended tips on becoming a good listener:


· Find somewhere calm and quiet where there won’t be interruptions.

· Relax and make sure to look at the person talking, keep your body language open.

· Be patient - sometimes the enormity of the situation can hit them once they start, so there may be some silences. Saying ‘It’s okay,’ or ‘I’m here for you,’ can be helpful and reassuring.

· Show gentle encouragement when needed but never push, remember you don’t have to say much at all.

· Use short words of encouragement, show that you are actively listening by smiling and nodding accordingly when necessary while maintaining eye contact.

· Use open-ended questions (which don’t have yes/no answers) to give the other person room to expand on what they’ve said.

· Don’t make it about you. Saying you understand because something similar has happened to you is fine, but keep the focus on the other person.

 

Use technology, it can sometimes make it easier


Whether it be social distancing or simply geographical location it may not always be practical to help the person you want face-to-face. But we have Discord, Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype, where we can encourage people to open-up. If these (for whatever reason) are not viable, then at least over the phone you can use the tone of your voice to offer calm intermittent words of encouragement. It doesn’t sound much but to the other person it may mean everything that you’ve shown that you’ve listened and understood.


It’s also useful to understand the benefits in reflecting the talker’s words back at them. For example, if someone says, ‘Every morning is a struggle.’ You can ask ‘Every morning is a struggle?’ Tell me what you mean?’ This not only gives them an opportunity to expand but also shows that you care.


As for texting, perhaps use these as a means to progress onto a more involved means of communicating but remember talking out loud can be very difficult. Try and avoid memes, gifs, and emojis, as these can be misinterpreted. It’s a fine line between cheering someone up and coming across as dismissive of their problems.

 

Remember to SHUSH – Active listening tips:

See below for a useful link if you are concerned about someone:
‘SHUSH’ – active listening tips – Our NHS People

 

Don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself to have all the answers, that’s just unrealistic. Concentrate on creating a comfortable and safe space for them to open-up, and if they do have the courage not to be put off by the occasional lengthy silence or negative response. Stay cool and encourage them to keep talking using this well-known SHUSH method to help you remember:

 

S - Show that you care.

H - Have patience.

U - Use open questions (not yes/no questions).

S - Say it back.

H - Have courage.


If you are still very concerned after you have listened, or they’ve said something that’s particularly worrying there’s still a number of ways to offer your support. You can offer them additional help through their doctor or specialist or make enquiries on their behalf to a charitable organisation such as the Samaritans. Please refer to our ‘Helpful Resources’ tab within this section for institutions who can offer a more tailored means of support.


Chances are though, your interest and willingness to reach out and listen will have made a huge difference. We believe problems shared are problems halved and that next generation gamers need to be there for each other. The community can often be subject to somewhat unique pressures but who’s better placed than ourselves to make the first move, to reach out and help minimise any further suffering, even tragedies?



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

STIMULANTS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


WHAT ARE STIMULANTS?

 

Stimulants are a wide range of drugs that tend to stress the central nervous system (CNS), increase metabolic rate/functioning (speed up bodily systems) and provide temporal improvements to physical and mental performance. Stimulants are widely used (and often abused) as both recreational and prescription drugs. Recreationally, stimulants are often used to promote weight loss, enhance sporting performance or just to attain a ‘high’ feeling of euphoria. Whereas in the medical world, research has shown they can successfully help treat ADHD, clinical depression and even narcolepsy (rare condition where sufferers are prone to suddenly falling asleep).

The ‘stimulant family’ is a far reaching one that varies greatly in terms of strength, legality, and social acceptance. On one side of the scale you have Theobromine that’s present in Cocoa powder that's so mild it doesn’t even stress the CNS, Rhodiola Rosea and of course Caffeine. From here the strength increases to nicotine and drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin (both commonly used to treat ADHD) before reaching the other side of the scale where you’ll typically find Amphetamines, Cocaine and finally the strongest - Methamphetamine (Meth). This by no means an exhaustive list, more a reference to the high degree of variance across the stimulant spectrum.

 

 

STIMULANT CONCERNS

 

Naturally the stronger the stimulant the greater the concerns regarding abuse, personal health/well-being and of course addiction. It’s a fact that stimulants can be fatal, especially when taken in larger doses or when mixed alongside other stimulants and drugs. In all honesty this probably comes as no surprise, so what may have gone under the radar that we as gamers would benefit from knowing?

 

Well, stimulants have been shown to increase levels of dopamine from the ‘reward centre’ of the brain. It’s these feelings of satisfaction and gratification that not only help motivate us, but if abused and left unchecked are what gets us ‘hooked’ in the first place. And it’s not just stimulants that can trigger a release of dopamine. Gambling, social media, and our ‘old friend’ alcohol all stimulate its production - as does anything that overly excites. Strong stimulants instigate a large, rapid release that heavily deplete your natural resources which are reserved for when you enjoy naturally pleasurable experiences. And this is where the problem lies, repeated and excessive use (from all sources including other drugs) unfortunately increases the threshold for this kind of pleasure/release; meaning you need to take more and more to attain the same result. This is a very important point that you need to fully understand. Prolonged abuse can lead to the source somewhat ‘drying up’ which can bring terrible lows during periods of abstinence, alongside mental and physical dependence while inadvertently creating regular symptoms of withdrawal.

 

There’s also a subtlety here that you need to be aware of. When you take a fresh dose of the stimulant the mental cravings and irritability (however mild) seem to disappear, and you can be forgiven for crediting your better mood to said stimulant. Ironically, it was the initial dose of that stimulant that helped create that need in the first place, a need that was further perpetuated by excessive multiple doses taken thereafter. Gamers who aren’t heavy stimulant users don’t suffer from these mental cravings and/or irritability – so keep this in mind if you begin to feel affected. 

 

But back to the issue of having to take more, unfortunately this is exacerbated further by the phenomena of body tolerance. This is when your body acknowledges the introduction of a drug or toxin as a ‘foreign invader’ and begins to build up an immunity. Again, before long you are needing to take more and more to achieve the same desired effect. Both the increased threshold and body tolerance combine to lead you down a one-way street if left unchecked. It’s of the upmost importance you are equipped with this knowledge to safeguard your mental and physical well-being by picking up on this early.

 

You also need to know that while providing energy and focus via a speeding up of metabolic functioning, stimulants in themselves offer no calorific value. In other words, stimulants are not actually the source of the energy and have no nutritional value whatsoever - they simply stimulate your body into expanding more calories. As highlighted in the introduction this can be of genuine benefit for those looking to reduce body weight but there’s more to it than that, an age-old problem that you need to know about. When high energy levels combine with being in the ‘zone’ it’s not natural for most gamers to think about eating. Over the course of several hours a significant divide begins to appear between ‘calories going out’ and ‘calories coming in.’ Your body (the ultimate survival machine) naturally seeks to close this divide through homeostasis, which regulates internal conditions to ensure survival. So how does our body go-about tackling this problem?

 

The first port of call is to strongly encourage you to increase your calorie intake – hunger is instigated. If you choose to ignore this prompting, or the levels of stimulant are so strong that this sensation is masked then instead of giving up on you it will instead look to reduce the calories expanded. This means a slowing of the metabolic rate/bodily systems often referred to as a ‘crash’ – this is often compounded when the effects of the stimulant begin to wear off.  If you choose to ignore the crashing phase too for several hours and continue to expand calories without ‘balancing the books’ expect your body to active the ultimate calorie saver and ‘hold down the power button.’ If you’ve ever feinted/passed out in such circumstances or seen/heard of others doing so now you know why. It’s a very serious concern for all players who game hard and game long, one that actually led to the inspiration and development of IGF (In-Game Food), our plant based high protein shake mix.

 

 

CAFFEINE OVERVIEW

 

Caffeine is arguably the world's most popular drug with an estimated 8 in 10 adults across the globe enjoying a caffeinated beverage at least once daily. It’s also one of the world's oldest drugs, some ancient brews of tea from the Far East date back to nearly 3000BC. Nowadays caffeine is ultra-mainstream and found almost everywhere, from shampoo’s, sweets, chewing gum, to toothpaste and unbelievably some brands of peanut butter! But it’s also fair to say that caffeine often gets a bad rap, namely for its ability to promote bad sleeping patterns alongside feelings of anxiety. However, studies also reveal it may have numerous health benefits that include improved mood and brain function, faster metabolic rate and fat loss, improved physical performance and it may even help protect against heart disease and diabetes. Thankfully for gamers caffeine is incredibly well researched and widely considered safe at 400mg per day (around 4 cups of coffee) for adult consumption. A relatively new review in Food and Chemical Toxicology of almost 750 studies comprehensively supports these claims.

 

 

CAFFEINE CONCERNS

 

Despite these findings Caffeine is not without its problems for the gamer. Typically, caffeine levels begin to surge within as little as 10 minutes and this rapid rise can often put unnecessary stress on the heart and central nervous system - leading to unwanted mental and physical side-effects. These side-effects can range from anxiety and difficulty concentrating (mental) to an increase in blood pressure and the all too familiar jitters (physical). 

 

The effects of caffeine can wear off relatively quickly too and you don’t need us to tell you that the combination of caffeine and dopamine leaving your system can be anything but smooth. This is also referred to as ‘crashing’ and the temptation is almost always to take more, to once again experience or maximise the ‘highs’ or performance levels of the previous dose. This has led to caffeine a being criticised recent years and rightly so, but are there ways of maximising the proven gaming benefits of caffeine while looking to remove the crash completely?

 

 

WHY ELX IS SO DIFFERENT?

Crashing whether it be sugar-based or stimulant based is a fundamental problem encountered by all energy drink manufacturers and consumers alike. You can address the sugar-based crash simply by removing the sugar but to remove stimulants too would severely compromise the products prime objectives – to provide energy and focus.

So, we decided to include L-Theanine, a non-dietary (rare) amino acid that serves as a relaxing agent that’s noted to aid concentration. L-Theanine has also been shown to provide a smoother delivery of energy from the caffeine while taking the ‘edge’ off the inevitable crash by providing a natural calming effect without sedation. Interestingly for gamers, L-Theanine has been shown to work synergistically alongside caffeine by helping reduce the ‘jitter effect’ too.

In addition to L-Theanine we’ve also included Theobromine (present in Cocoa powder) and Rhodiola Rosea to offer additional support as the caffeine begins to wear off. Theobromine is so subtle it doesn’t even stress the CNS and Rhodiola Rosea is a research proven ‘adaptogen’ – a non-toxic plant that helps the body adapt to stressful situations, much like the comedown felt from taking caffeine.

Furthermore, for those of you gaming well into the night L-Glycine (super-amino) has been added which may have a calming effect on your brain and can help you fall and stay asleep by lowering your core body temperature. Research has also shown that L-Glycine decreases how long it takes to fall asleep, improves sleep quality and reduces daytime sleepiness while supporting the cognition processes (non-drowsy) – leaving you with the ultimate crash-free formulation.



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

Helpful Resources


FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT (ALPABETICAL ORDER)

ADDACTION
addaction.org.uk  Supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family.

ADDICTION CENTER
addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/ Help for a number of substances but also social media addiction.

ADFAM
adfam.org.uk
 Information and support for friends and family of people with drug or alcohol problems.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
alcoholics anonymous.org.uk Help and support for anyone with alcohol problems.

BEATING ADDICTIONS
beatingaddictions.co.uk Information about a range of addictive behaviours and treatments.

CheckingPoint
checkpointorg.com CheckPoint is a charity that provides mental health resources for gamers and the gaming community.

FRANK
alktofrank.com
 Confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects and the law.

GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS
gamblersanonymous.org.uk Support groups for anyone wanting to stop gambling.

GAMCARE
gamcaree.org.uk Information and support for people wanting to stop gambling, including a helpline and online forum.

HAMPSHIRE CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE
hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk/issue/gaming-addiction/ Provides support for gaming addiction.

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS
ukna.org Support for anyone who wants to stop using drugs.

NHS LIVE WELL
nhs.uk/livewell Advice, tips and tools to help with health and wellbeing.

NHS SMOKE FREE
nhs.uk/smokefree NHS information and advice to help stop smoking.

RELEASE
release.org.uk
 National charity that gives free and confidential advice about drugs and the law.

SAFE IN OUR WORLD
safeinourworld.org  A charity dedicated to fostering good mental health in the worldwide gaming industry and wider community

SAMARITANS
samaritans.org
When you need someone to talk to, they listen. They won't judge or tell you what to do.

TURNING POINT - turning-point.co.uk Provides health and social care services for people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems.

YGAM
ygam.org Provides tools and information to safeguard gamers from problematic gambling and gaming



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY AND VARIED LIFESTYLE


Such is the pace of modern life, social media and the ever-increasing demands of gaming, it’s easy to see how we can all fall into a routine that lacks variety. It’s almost as if the repetitive nature of practice, streaming and keeping abreast of what’s trending is designed to take our minds off the benefits that a varied lifestyle has to offer. There’s a real danger of becoming so engrossed that our passion shows traits of compulsion, often to the detriment of our mental and physical wellbeing. If these compromises to our health continue to go unaddressed then it’s only a matter of time until they begin to adversely affect the core foundations of our performance levels. Technology was supposed to ‘set us free’ but ironically many of us have become somewhat imprisoned to a very different routine, but it was never like this in the beginning was it?


REASSESS YOUR ROUTINE


If you can relate to any of the above, then chances are you’ll benefit from reassessing your daily routine. What do you have to lose? Have you managed to strike the perfect balance between work, rest, and play? Do you feel healthy and happy while competing at your best? Or is there a feeling that you're paying a price as a compromising lifestyle begins to take its toll? Thankfully, we can all claim back a little more control with a structured routine that allows for more productivity, but we have to be positive and pro-active as this means creating a whole new timetable. Don’t be put off by that, be excited as you have everything to gain. Please note it will never become ‘habit’ to become 'less busy.' Add more direction and purpose into your daily routines, you wouldn’t get onto a plane if you didn’t know where it was heading, so start your days with the same mindset, get organised and the positivity will begin to flow. Time savings can be huge and if you make a commitment to ‘Carpe Diem’ – ‘Seize the day’ you’ll be amazed what can be achieved, even before dinnertime.


Get active

Why not factor in some exercise into your new routine? It doesn’t have to be daily to begin with but make a commitment to getting your heart beating and your blood pumping. Start off with once per week and slowly build at a pace that you can sustain. By sticking to a commitment you’ll soon gather momentum and a boost in self-esteem is sure to follow. A handy little tip is to stop knowing you can do a little more, so you’re eager to return and do better next time. Don’t put yourself under any pressure to perform and take your time in conditioning the mind and body to a new lifestyle. Hang in there and in no time at all you’ll be making progress and reaping the rewards. Don’t sign up the gym if it’s not your thing, there’s no need to go against the grain. Rediscover what you loved in your youth, whatever the sport, even if it’s just making time to get outdoors for a walk, going for a swim or getting out regularly on a bicycle.

Steve Jobs, the famous late founder of Apple was well-known for doing a lot of his creative thinking while taking a walk; he used it as a genuine strategy for brainstorming. There’s some credible research too from Stanford University that suggests regular walking supports this additional release of imagination and boosts creative thinking by an average of 60%. To come to these conclusions' researchers asked 176 college students to undertake tasks both seated and walking. Researchers noted the students when walking where ‘overwhelmingly’ more creative. As gamers we should be able to relate to these points, and ask ourselves is there room for improvement? But don’t expect this variation to just work itself in, you must be pro-active and maybe even disciplined at first until you come to understand and see for yourself the value and benefits that getting active can deliver.


Get creative with food

Whether we acknowledge it or not the foods we eat daily are representative of our lifestyles. And if gone unchecked for several years our diets (good or bad) can easily ‘evolve’ into lacking variety. Variety is the spice of life as they say, and spice offers wonderful variation to our foods (without the calories) so start experimenting with new foods and various spice combo’s. Why not challenge yourself to learning a new meal, or at least cooking up a new-take on an existing one, once per week? There are many fantastic online resources with highly recommended/reviewed recipes that are a doddle to master. Whether it be a new salad in summer, or soup in winter there’s something incredibly satisfying about learning something new in the kitchen. Homemade, healthy protein flapjacks/bars are always fun to try out, there’s lots of delicious recipes right at your fingertips.


Remember there’s also a purpose to this, naturally the better you eat, the better you will feel and perform. The digestive system delivers up the nutrients into your bloodstream to nourish the brain and of course your body. You don’t have to insult your taste buds to make huge strides forward, just get involved with an open mind and a ‘have a go’ attitude. Adding some variety (especially if homemade) to your daily diet will not only enhance your mood and cognitive functioning but also provide you with additional levels of energy and nutrition – it’s a genuinely life enhancing practice to get involved with.


Take timeout

Making sure we fully recover is absolutely fundamental to our performance levels, longevity, and overall health. Consider taking at least one day off per week, with as little screen time as possible – your following on socials will understand. This is because without adequate rest and recovery we begin to build up a debt of mental and physical fatigue, in other words we head towards the inevitable downward spiral. When we are mentally low and physically tired molehills become mountains and we lose that all important perspective. Everything becomes harder, losses are more heartfelt, online criticism stings more and feelings of emptiness and doom can take over, sound familiar? Complete rest helps alleviate this scenario, giving you back that much needed perspective but be aware – once again, it will never become ‘habit’ to completely step away for 24hrs.


Take a smarter approach and manage your condition pro-actively to avoid a situation where you may have a much longer break enforced upon you. If it helps to begin with, make plans to be productive during this down-time. Re-connect with nature by going for some country walks, bike rides or even just a drive out to somewhere new. Meet-up with old friends and/or family face to face for a change, show an interest in their lives, have a good laugh. Prioritise anything that brings positivity, happiness and balance to your life - a happy gamer is a better gamer. You’ll also find you’re far better equipped to deal with new challenges alongside the stressful situations that life throws at us all - such is the value of quality downtime.


Considerations

Chances are you’ve probably not got the perfect balance right now, especially if your lifestyle has somewhat been moulded by modern day life. Gamers can be reactive and easily find themselves in a repetitive cycle that can trap them in-doors, leading a life centred around gaming and socials. Combine all this with a diet of highly processed, convenience foods and levels of mental and physical health will invariably suffer over time. Whether you take a little or a lot out of this article is up to you, and once again it will require personal discipline to start with, but at least consider the benefits.

Visualise yourself waking up, raring to go, and being way more efficient with your time. You’ll be physically fitter with higher energy levels and a fresher, more positive mindset and that all important perspective. You’ll have more meaningful relationships with those who matter and be better able to cope with the burdens of everyday streaming. Right now you may find it easier to believe in dark elves, but this is why this article is for you. You are only a reset away from making these improvements, so please open your mind to these benefits and challenge yourself. If you have any specific questions relating to any of the above, please contact us direct quoting this article, take care.


Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR THE GAMER


Exercise and gaming, to the lay person that can almost read as a contradiction in terms. It’s true that both exercise and gaming can be very time consuming but don’t allow that to convince you that they’re mutually exclusive. Indeed, we feel that the stereotype of the gamer being somewhat overweight and lethargic has now become a lazy assumption at best and at worse – insensitive and disrespectful.

 

The purpose of this article is to focus specifically on the gaming benefits that ‘getting in shape’ helps deliver. So how can regular exercise, whatever that may be (more about that later) make us better gamers?

 

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE VIA BETTER DECISION MAKING

 

It may seem a little farfetched to claim that exercise improves our gaming performance, after all the link between the 2 is not what you would call an obvious one. Not so, according to research out of McGill University which suggests when players exercise before gaming, they actually play better! The study featured 20 gamers playing League of Legends and was conducted over a 2-day period. One day they all completed a short 15-minute bout of relatively intensive cardiovascular training before playing, the following day they rested instead. Most of the gamers felt they significantly benefitted regardless of fitness level or attitude to exercise and the supporting statistics certainly backed this up, the reason why? Short bouts of exercise have been shown to boost cognitive functioning that includes making accurate decisions quickly and processing information more efficiently. This dates back to a time when we had to 'run for our dinner' where these improvements were an essential part of our survival - life or death even. For all the changes/advancements we've made as a species our bodies chemistry is remarkably like that of our ancient ancestors. So we shouldn't be surprised by these findings - in fact they're perfectly natural. In summary then, exercise helps increase the speed of your decision-making along with increasing levels of attention – core gaming skills.

 

 

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE VIA GAMING HARDER, FOR LONGER

 

The higher the level we reach the more we become aware of the importance of endurance, both mental and physical. You don’t need us to tell you that long sessions of intense, competitive gaming require a surprising amount of energy. Success often boils down to small margins so we cannot afford the reliability of our super-fast decisions to take a dip. Regular exercise helps create a longer-lasting energy in 2 ways.

 

Firstly, undertaking a little regular exercise helps condition the body into utilising its energy resources more efficiently. Even over a relatively short period of time (several weeks) your body will become more capable and adept in terms of providing you with the longer-lasting energy you need to perform. Secondly, exercise of all types (aerobic and anaerobic) is research proven to stimulate/increase your metabolic rate. This in turn not only aids in the production of ‘feel good’ hormones, serotonin (regulates mood) and dopamine (associated with happiness) but also rewards you with a healthy abundance of natural energy.

 

 

IMPROVED PERFOMANCE VIA MENTAL HEALTH & BETTER SLEEP

 

In terms of lifestyle changes, you would be hard pushed to make a single better decision than exercising regularly for improving mental health. But how does exercise specifically benefit gamers over and above? You’ll be glad to read the benefits are numerous. Firstly, exercise helps get you out of the house, or at least away from the ‘blue light’ which is especially pronounced from backlit screens and carries the most amount of energy within the visible spectrum. Most gamers are reasonably well versed when it comes to blue light and the dangers of over-exposure; but it’s important you know that blue light also inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone made by the pineal gland that regulates your internal body-clock. A healthy natural production of melatonin helps ease negative feelings (anxiety in-particular) by promoting better sleep quality that’s central to our long-term mental well-being. If you can't resist the pull of your phone late at night, at least activate the blue light filter.

 

Exercise also promotes the release of chemicals called endorphins, which interact with receptors in your brain to trigger feelings of positivity. It’s a fact that just getting out to stretch your legs for walk, breathing in some fresh air helps you mentally, and the results are very much tangible. The imagination is released, you begin to make plans for your day (morning walk) or make sense of the day that’s just unfolded (evening walk). Information, including losses can be evaluated on a more even keel and you can begin to critically evaluate what went right and how to build upon this and what went wrong and how to minimise accordingly. This newfound perspective will serve you well come competition time, you’ll feel better equipped to handle in-game stress, less jaded with more patience and resilience for those unfortunate times when you make a bad start.

 

 

10 HELPFUL TIPS TO GET ACTIVE

 

· Set a date in the diary to make a start, take this time to mentally prepare, ready to make a commitment.

· Make that commitment – settle it in your mind and don’t question what you know is the right decision.

· Take time to create a routine that works for you and your timetable. Remember it has to be sustainable.

· Choose a variety of activities if possible, to keep the stimulus fresh.

· If you’re struggling to commit to a variety, pick an activity you enjoy. What exercise did you love in your youth?

· If this is problematic no problem, opt to start walking, music and audio books will help get you off the line.

· Start small and don’t put yourself under any unnecessary pressure.

· Slowly build up in terms of length and regularity – again no pressure, but look to make progress weekly.

· Keep the faith, (it will get easier) and never be concerned about taking additional rest days if needed, especially to begin with.

· Start off in a happy frame of mind and never put yourself down – you are about to achieve something amazing.



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP FOR THE GAMER


Whatever the level, recovery will always be paramount to the performance and well-being of a gamer. Good quality sleep is very-much central to this ideal, and if you’re committed to improving your game then you need to understand the value (and gaming benefits) of a deep, restful nights sleep. So much success in esports depends on reaction time, hand-eye co-ordination, and work ethic under pressure. But gaming hard for many hours with compromised sleeping patterns can severely compromise each one of these core foundations, negatively impacting player performance.


When we sleep our bodies naturally turn their attention towards recovery. Our brains are effectively ‘cleaned’ as cerebrospinal fluid washes in and out of them in waves, helping to clear out the waste. The muscles in the body are relaxed, tensions are released, and minor tears are healed. The longer and harder you game, the greater the demand created upon your mind and body to recover, as serious competitive gaming is sure to deplete both. But there’s every reason to be optimistic, along with feeling physically fresher and more mentally alert there’s a huge amount of gaming benefits to be gained from sleeping like a boss:


Sleeping Like A Boss – Mental Gaming Benefits:
 
• Consolidates long-term memory.
• Improved data processing/multi-tasking.
• Enhanced levels of mental endurance.
• Faster reaction times.
• Greater levels of accuracy.
• Enhanced problem-solving skills.
• Better in-game communications.
• Less prone to irritability.
• Better planning and decision making.


Sleeping Like A Boss – Physical Mental Benefits:

• Gamer harder for longer.
• Significantly reduced risk of back and neck injuries.
• Much less susceptible to eye strain.
• Supports natural hormone production for sustained energy.
• Game with greater physical comfort at your station.

So it’s plain to see, depriving yourself of the sleep you need hinders your performance, and indeed progress in a number of ways. You need to be aware that your TV along with your smart phone also transmit the same blue light as your gaming monitor and as a result natural levels of melatonin (controls sleep cycle) are suppressed. Therefore, time sat in-front of the TV and spent on your phone also need factoring into your daily allocation of screen time. Ultimately there’s no consensus for adults as to what represents a safe level, but we openly encourage you to develop a keen awareness of the time you spend in front of a blue light, and perhaps even review the balance of time spent between TV, phone and gaming monitor.

We’re also convinced you can go a long way to avoiding these pitfalls by implementing your very own, disciplined sleep routine that works for you and your circumstances. This may mean factoring in 2 early nights (sleep before 12pm) per week or setting some clearly defined boundaries regarding screen time and sleep time. Here’s 16 of our recommendations designed to maximise your performance through improved sleep. As with all tips/advices some points appeal to some more than others, try experimenting and ‘cherry pick’ several of these and see what works for you.


Recommendations:

1. Try not to eat anything for 2 hours before intended sleep.

2. Try and refrain from any form of blue light 2 hours before intended sleep, or at least twice a week.

3. Read a book that’s positive or educational if you’re struggling to fall asleep in bed.

4. Stay hydrated throughout the day (see article on hydration).

5. Refrain from caffeine within 4 hours of intended sleep.

6. Don’t compromise on your mattress, you spend approximately a 1/3 of your life in bed.

7. If you can’t afford a new mattress, consider mattress toppers at a fraction of the price.

8. Refrain from take-away and processed foods on an evening opting instead for our In-Game Food.

9. Consider the hours of sleep before 12pm of double value.

10. Make your bedroom as tidy and as dark as possible in preparation for sleep.

11. Consider a relaxing bath in that last hour prior to bed. Gets you away from blue light and allows you to process your day.

12. Add a few drops of pure lavender oil on each side of your pillow at bedtime.

13. If you can sneak in a mid-day nap even for just 30 minutes then do so, it’ll improve your mood and cognitive functioning.

14. Make a commitment to exercising 30 minutes daily, you don’t have to go all out, just get your heart rate up and your blood pumping.

15. Invest in an anti-blue light screen or blue light filter glasses.

16. Use your blue light filter on your smart phone in the evening.

We appreciate that improving sleep for competitive gamers who are required to stream is much easier said than done; the same goes for avid casual gamers who love to watch these streams. Then there’s those of you with new additions to the family but the reality is, you are the ones that stand to benefit the most from getting pro-active over a new sleeping routine. There’s something in the above list for everybody, steps we can all take to improve our sleep, overall recovery and gaming performance.


Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top

BENEFITS OF HYDRATION



Hydration is one of those subject areas that all gamers are aware of to a degree. This is largely due to the many hours spent daily/nightly practicing and competing, not to mention just casually playing and watching streams – all this requires regular refreshment for the mind and body. However, the very nature of gaming can be all consuming with a large number of in-game factors competing for your attention. This often takes your focus off the less dynamic and stimulating matters of self-preservation, which of course includes hydration. So, this short piece is specifically written for you to consider how optimal hydration can improve your gaming performance (mental and physical) and overall health. We also wish to provide you with some practical tips you can introduce into your everyday lifestyle so you and your gaming can begin to benefit now.

 

Hydration & Gaming Performance – Mental Advantages

There appears to be a very direct link between hydration and peak levels performance. Indeed, studies show that a loss of fluids equivalent to just 2% of bodyweight is sufficient to cause a detectable decrease in cognitive functioning, a prime concern for all gamers. Optimal cognitive functioning is central to attaining and maintaining competitive levels of in-game performance. Here’s an illustration that underlines the important role hydration plays:

 

· Improved short-term memory.

· Improved long-term memory.

· Enhanced levels of mental endurance.

· Faster reaction times.

· Greater levels of accuracy.

· Enhanced problem solving skills.

· Potentially better in-game communications.

· Less prone to irritability.

 

 

Hydration & Gaming Performance – Physical Advantages

Hydration also has a bearing on the physical side of player performance. Though not necessarily seen to be as important as cognitive function, competitive gamers would be doing themselves a disservice if they weren’t at least aware of the potential benefits hydration brings to certain bodily functions.

 

· Increases metabolic rate/output of calories.

· Supports energy production.

· Improves blood flow, including to the brain.

· Helps keep hunger at bay as nutrients are utilised better.

· Helps avoid muscle cramping.

· Helps remove toxins – feel less irritable.

· Helps support natural hormone production, essential for gaming motivation.

· Supports better quality sleep/gaming recovery.

 

 

Hydration & Gamers Health/Wellbeing

If gamers continue to dehydrate, their health can begin to embark on a dangerous downward spiral that almost certainly leads to unwanted weight gain and in some cases depression. In severe cases long-term dehydration can lead to kidney stones and even strokes. But it’s the all-too-common weight gain that requires further explanation so you fully understand the process. It can be almost impossible to differentiate the early stages of thirst and hunger from one another, they genuinely feel very alike. Now imagine you reach for food first instead of water, you want something fast and convenient as you’re in-game, so a slice of pizza or chocolate bar appears to tick all the boxes.

 

The first problem you encounter is that eating is essentially a dehydrating activity, you’ll require an increased blood flow to the stomach where water naturally aids in better digestion. Then for the carbohydrates to be stored as energy (glycogen) in the muscles and liver (to be later converted to glucose) they will naturally have to bind with water. For every one gram of carbohydrate stored in the body (as glycogen) there’s approximately 2-3 grams of water retained. This places an additional demand on already limited water reserves which only serves to exacerbate the situation. In other words, you begin the inevitable spiral downwards.

 

This then moves you onto stage 2, the dreaded insulin release. Insulin is your body’s storage hormone and is released by the pancreas to help control blood sugar levels. If the energy from the slice of pizza or chocolate bar isn’t used quickly then the insulin is sure to store the energy as fat in as little as 4 hours according to a study at Oxford University in 2012. The problem with fast/heavily processed food is that it’s almost always listed very high on the Glycaemic Index (GI), which rates carbohydrate-containing foods by how much they boost blood sugar. A high GI rating guarantees a significant spike in insulin release, a massive concern for diabetics but also relevant to gamers who want to game hard but game healthy.

 

Foods such as pizza and chocolate send insulin levels soaring and due to ‘dragging’ all that sugar into storage you’re left feeling empty and irritable. This experience is very aptly described as ‘crashing’ sound familiar? Naturally the body wants to re-establish high levels again so you begin to suffer cravings which will inevitably persevere until attended to. Without realising or even being consciously aware your mind is taken away from gaming and you repeat the cycle and so the downward descent continues.

 

It doesn’t really matter what your choice of junk food is, the accumulation of calories and potent spikes of insulin combined with a slowed metabolic rate (output of calories) due to dehydration inevitably leads to unwanted weight gain. In some cases, the gains can be quite rapid and this not only puts additional stress on the kidneys, heart and liver but also opens the doors to a significant drop in confidence, self-worth and depression to varying degrees. Gaming and streaming in particular can be a cruel business so you owe it to yourself to look after your mind and body and do everything in your power to keep both hydrated.

 

The good news for all gamers is that this downward spiral can be completely avoided and irradiated with a sensible easy to follow approach to hydration. This leads us nicely onto our recommendations, so take a look and see what you can work into your schedule.

 

 

10 Practical Tips For Gamers To Maintain Hydration

1) Upon awakening drink 500ml of water as a priority, rehydrating in the morning is very important.

2) Get into the habit of always drinking 500ml of water at mealtimes, including breakfast.

3) Always begin your gaming hydrated by drinking 500ml of water 20 minutes or so beforehand.

4) Mix your In-Game Food (IGF) with water only.

5) Look to drink 200ml of water for every hour spent gaming.

6) Factor in the weather conditions to your consumption levels, an additional 25% in hot weather/environment is a safe guide.

7) Don’t allow yourself to get thirsty, at this point the damage is done, make a note to drink between meals.

8) Avoid high salt foods (processed in particular) and salting your foods to excess.

9) Don’t include the water in cups of coffee as part of your intake – the dehydrating effects of caffeine account for these fluids.

10) Be aware of the fact that alcohol is a very strong diuretic and will also deplete levels of vital vitamins and minerals.

 

 

‘How will I know if I’m dehydrated?’ Well, they’re 2 very simple ways to tell before thirst kicks-in:

1) Urine should be water coloured/clear, the stronger the colour the greater the levels of dehydration.

2) Try drinking 500ml of water – if you don’t need the toilet within the next 90 minutes then you know your body certainly needed it.

 

We’re fairly sure there’s something in this article for all gamers to benefit from regardless of level, and the energising effects of hydration can be felt within just 48 hours. Lifestyle habits are easy to break, so long as you really want to and as shown above there’s nothing but good news and encouragement for those of you wanting to transition over to a more performance driven, healthier lifestyle.



Disclaimer: We don’t claim to be a medical authority as we are not doctors, medical professionals or registered dieticians. Our articles and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. But that doesn’t mean we cannot look to contribute by offering our help through our experience and personal study. We have a deep affection for our borderless community and a sense of responsibility that we take seriously. So, if you suspect you may have a problem, we sincerely hope to have been of some help. Any recommendations we make on this website should be discussed between you and your doctor beforehand.

Back to top