Gaming has never been more stressful. Whether you’re a pro gamer, playing in major Esports leagues or a complete amateur just playing for fun – gaming is intense. Modern gamers are under pressure to win time and time again.
Gaming can sometimes last for many consecutive days, leaving you battling extreme fatigue. Ultimately, feeling physically and mentally drained.
And talk about stress! It has been proven that eSports athletes not only make up to 400 movements (keyboard and mouse) in just one minute on average, but they also have similar stress levels to a race-car driver or a pulse as fast as a marathon runner. 
So, can you really enhance your gameplay legally and safely? Are gaming drugs real or a waste of money? Is it safe to take supplements for gaming? Today we take an in-depth look at the pressures affecting gamers and which drugs and supplements are best for gaming.
There are several types of drugs available to help gamers – we’re going to look at three of them:
- Natural sleep supplements
- Vision supplements.
Despite the name of this article, the products we recommend aren’t really drugs – they’re supplements, sometimes plant-based and mostly with ingredients that come from nature. This means they work without causing tolerance, major side effects or withdrawal symptoms. In our opinion, supplements are better than drugs for gaming in almost every way.
We also make it a point never to recommend any products that contain banned substances, so you can rest assured that all supplements we mention are safe and legal to take.
Tiredness affects almost everyone, but gamers are especially at risk. If you feel groggy and drained while gaming, it’s going to impact your focus, reaction time, stress-levels and more. In short, your brain won’t be firing on all cylinders. You might, therefore, want to consider taking a supplement designed to fight fatigue and banish brain fog, boosting your cognitive power at the same time.
The most common drug in the world, caffeine, might come to mind, but you shouldn’t rely on it to prevent tiredness. Not only does it come with side-effects like energy crashes and the jitters, but over time your tolerance to caffeine increases. This means that you have to consume more and more to feel the same effects.
Energy drinks which contain caffeine also contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, which can lead to weight gain, and drinking copious quantities of coffee is also expensive. This is why it’s best to avoid caffeine or energy drinks, and instead look into other more natural and healthier alternatives like nootropics.
But what are nootropics? Nootropics are foods, drinks, herbs, vitamins, nutraceuticals and supplements that enhance brain function. They’re never classified as drugs because they’re not addictive and they don’t cause serious mental problems like many drugs do.
The word ‘nootropic’ was first used in 1972 by chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea. He believed that in order for a substance to be classified as a nootropic, it must have the following properties;
- It should improve learning and memory
- Possess few side effects
- Have extremely low toxicity.
- And protect the brain
He also stated that nootropic supplements should have unique chemical structures, so they aren’t classed as drugs.
Why Take Nootropics?
Gaming requires focus. You need extreme concentration for long periods of time, sometimes for many hours, without taking a break. If you play multiplayer games or participate in tournaments where you aren’t allowed to stop playing, how do you stay focused?
Nootropic ingredients such as L-Tyrosine have been shown to consistently improve cognition and focus. . Researchers have purposefully deprived people of sleep, given them a small dose of L-Tyrosine and found that they were more focused and had more physical and mental energy than a placebo group. Other studies also back up these findings.  .
Stress affects everyone in different ways. It can cause changes in behaviour, mood swings, sleep problems and in more serious cases, depression and anger. Every gamer will experience stress in different ways and at different times, but all forms of stress could be reduced by supplementing with a nootropic. If you’ve ever lost a game and felt like throwing your computer out of the nearest window, you’re probably more stressed than you need to be. Certain nootropics like Bacopa monnieri and Phosphatidylserine can potentially reduce stress and increase the quality of your gaming.
Bacopa monnieri has been used to reduce stress in the far east for thousands of years. Only recently have scientists studied how and why it can reduce stress. They’ve found that Bacopa monnieri contains molecules called bacosides. Current science suggests that bacosides prevent rises in anxiety while improving speed of learning and memory capacity  – also useful for gamers. Taking it for at least a month is recommended, although you may notice some benefits straight away.
For Reaction Time:
Reaction time is arguably the most important factor in gameplay after skill. You might think that your reaction times can’t be improved, but you’d be wrong. Various foods, drinks and nootropic supplements can speed up reaction time, giving you the competitive edge over rivals and (hopefully) giving you a better chance of winning!
Citicoline (also known as CDP-choline) is an ideal nootropic for gamers because it can increase focus and attention, as well as improving reaction times. One study looked into how Citicoline affects finger speed reactions, which I’m sure you’ll agree is an extremely important part of gaming. The results showed that Citicoline increased psychomotor speed (that’s just a fancy way of saying reaction times) and reduced impulsivity.  This means that taking a nootropic supplement containing Citicoline as one of its ingredients could make you a faster and more accurate gamer – two essential qualities needed to game at a pro level.
Which Nootropic is Best for Gamers?
If you’re serious about gaming, we suggest you buy nootropics that contain L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa monnieri and Citicoline. We’ve searched around the web looking for the best nootropics, so you don’t have to. We’ve found two nootropic products that we think are ideal for gamers – Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab Mind.
Mind Lab Pro contains 11 nootropics that can let a gamer’s brains fire on all cylinders. It’s designed to boost motivation and willpower, strengthen learning and memory recall as well as promoting multitasking, problem solving and enhancing resistance to stress. Its capsule contains Citicoline, L-Tyrosine and Bacopa monnieri (which we’ve already discussed) as well as Phosphatidylserine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, L-Theanine, Rhodiola rosea, Maritime Pine Bark Extract and three different B vitamins which are essential for maintaining brain and nerve function. Mind Lab Pro is aimed at everyone from athletes and students to office workers and professionals, but we think gamers will especially benefit from its use.
Performance Lab Mind is another great nootropic for gamers; it contains just four nootropics, Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, L-Tyrosine and Pine Bark Extract. But this doesn’t mean it’s any worse than Mind Lab Pro – it simply means that each capsule contains more of these strong nootropics. Performance Lab Mind is GMO, soy, gluten, colorant and preservative-free.
There’s also another benefit to Performance Lab Mind, made by respected supplement manufacturer Opti-Nutra; it is designed to be taken safely alongside any of its other Performance Lab products. Such as its multivitamin (Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi), which comes in two varieties, one for men and another for women. It contains 14 vitamins and 14 minerals, each of which play a different role in keeping the body functioning at maximum efficiency.
Or its sleep supplement, Performance Lab Sleep. Talking of sleep….
The second kind of supplements that would benefits gamers are sleep supplements…
Gamers are at risk for sleep issues, in part thanks to the blue light of screens that restricts the natural production of melatonin. Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone because it rises at night with the dark – telling your body that it’s time to go to sleep – and falls in the morning with the light. Anything that disrupts this cycle – such as the lights of laptops, phones, tablets, and computers – can make it hard to fall asleep and even harder to stay asleep.
A solid eight hours of quality, undisturbed sleep is crucial for staying alert and on task.
Which Sleep Supplement is Best for Gamers?
There is no tailored sleep supplement specifically for gamers – sleep is an issue for everyone, of course – but in our opinion, the ideal sleep supplement should be safe for long term use, non-toxic and vegan friendly. Performance Lab Sleep ticks all of these boxes. You’ll notice that we keep coming back to the Performance Lab range in this article. That’s because it really is superior, versatile, safe and effective. We’re impressed by the entire range.
Performance Lab Sleep contains magnesium, L-Tryptophan and Montmorency Tart Cherry.
Magnesium is an important mineral when it comes to sleep. Magnesium supports muscle relaxation, lowers blood pressure and helps block neuromuscular transmission, allowing you a full night of deep sleep without muscle twitching or endless tossing and turning.
L-Tryptophan is a supplement that the body converts into melatonin. As we said, the volume of melatonin in your body fluctuates naturally throughout the day and night – looking at a screen throws this out of balance. This is why anyone who regularly looks at a screen should consider taking L-Tryptophan.
Performance Lab Sleep also contains Montmorency Tart Cherry, the richest natural source of melatonin. Although most supplements obtain their melatonin supplements from synthetic sources, Performance Lab Sleep uses a natural cherry extract. Montmorency Tart Cherry is also a strong source of antioxidants called anthocyanins which help to reduce inflammation and soreness. The Tart Cherry powder included in every capsule is 100% natural and additive-free.
Supplements to Fight Screen Fatigue
Staring at screens for extended periods of time can cause ‘screen fatigue’. Lots of research has gone into researching how screen fatigue occurs. When you’re looking at a screen, you tend to blink less leading to eye strain. Altering your screen brightness and contrast settings can help, as can certain vision supplements.
When choosing the best vision supplement for you, you’re going to want one containing Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which help to filter out harmful blue light, linked to eye strain, visual fatigue, poor acuity and more. They also have the potential to reduce symptoms of age-related macular degeneration. 
Other more unusual ingredients to look for include Astaxanthin – described as the most powerful natural antioxidant – for its ability to reduce screen-related eye fatigue.
Our recommendation for the best screen supplement also comes from Performance Lab: it’s Performance Lab Vision, which includes all three of these suggested ingredients. It also includes European Bilberry Extract and Saffron, and pledges to:
- Improve tolerance to glare
- Reduces vision strain and eye fatigue most often caused by computers
- Helps to boost reaction time and helps to detect motion, thanks to its ability to boost the speed of the signal between the retina and the brain.
- Helps to improve night vision
- Provides Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which can help reduce or prevent symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.
As with all Performance Lab products, Vision is clean, GMO and allergen, soy and gluten-free and GMP certified.
To be a happy, healthy gamer – and to operate at peak efficiency – you need the right nutrients for your eyes, body and mind, during the day and at night. It’s hard to make sure you gain all of this through your diet, especially when you’re spending long hours in front of a computer, competing or gaming.
That’s where supplements can come in, and we have found no better supplement range than the Performance Lab range of products.
They combine a clean formula with superior quality ingredients and compelling science – it’s certainly worth giving it a shot and seeing just how well they could enhance your gaming.
You can purchase these Nootropics from the links below.
Anthony is the Owner and Editor in Chief for Culture of Gaming and he spends his days studying, gaming and working on the site.
Anthony has worked for the past 7 years in the Video Game journalism industry and has worked for over 30 different sites in that time.