Everyone knows gaming is a great way to relax but playing at a professional level can be stressful. Unless you’re completely committed to playing and entirely focused on the task at hand, how on earth do you expect to win?
The difference between winning a million-dollar jackpot and going home humiliated can be just nanoseconds. In a sport as fast paced as Esports, you need immense concentration and lightning fast reaction times. You need to consider nootropics.
What are Nootropics?
A nootropic is a supplement that improves your mental function. This can mean improved creativity, enhanced focus or just a general improvement in mood and motivation. You may be thinking, “surely this means lots of common supplements can be considered nootropics?”. Not so. There are a few more criteria that a supplement needs to fulfil before it can be considered a nootropic.
According to the guy who first coined the term nootropics, Corneliu E. Giurgea, a nootropic substance must; increase brain activity, protect the brain from injury and not have a chemical structure of other psychotropic drugs. He also stated that a nootropic must have very few side effects. Very few substances actually fit this rigorous checklist. A lot of nootropics will enhance learning and memory, although they might not protect the brain from future injuries.
We have a couple of favorite nootropics that we’re happy to recommend – the ready-made nootropic stack, Mind Lab Pro, and the nootropic-sleep combo Performance Lab Mind paired with Performance Lab Sleep.
Benefits of Nootropics?
Taking a nootropic supplement can greatly improve your performance in online, console and physical games that require mental focus. Luckily, the nootropics mentioned in this article are all allowed by major Esports leagues. They’re not banned because they’re not drugs or stimulants, they’re supplements which can be found in nature. Imagine if coffee or energy drinks were banned? There would be a riot in the Esports community. We don’t think that major leagues will move to ban these nootropics any time soon.
Let’s look at how these nootropics can help you in particular…
Issues Faced by Gamers
Maintaining a high-energy mindset while gaming has always been an issue for gamers. Coffee and energy drinks can seem to have no effect. Taking a natural supplement like Performance Lab Mind could give you an effective energy boost. Thanks to the attention-improving properties of Citicoline, taking this nootropic stack can give you an edge over rival competitors.
Stress is a huge obstacle to successful gaming. When the pressure’s on and every move you make can be the difference between winning and losing, keeping calm is extremely important. You need to stay relaxed, but not too relaxed – you don’t want to fall asleep in the middle of an important match! Finding this perfect balance can be a struggle. Fortunately, many nootropics have found this middle ground and can keep your mind calm while still fixated on the task at hand. You could take a sleep-promoting supplement like Performance Lab Sleep at night and an energy-promoting nootropic right before gameplay to ensure that you are always in the right mindset.
Stress and sleep are directly linked. Nothing beats a night of deep, undisturbed sleep. Believe it or not, the amount of sleep you get isn’t that important; it’s the quality of sleep that matters. Turn off any devices you may have nearby, shut the windows and aim to get eight hours of peace.
Competitive gamers can face a lot of unique problems that aren’t common in other sports. One of these is pain in the fingers and wrists. Making quick, repeated, rapid movements such as clicking a mouse button can quickly make your fingers sore. That painful aching you feel in your hands and fingers after gaming for hours is caused by lactic acid building up in the muscles.
One way to slow down this irritating ache is to take a supplement containing Pine Bark Extract – a natural supplement used to reduce muscle and joint pain.[i] We recommend the pre-made nootropic stack Mind Lab Pro – it contains Pine Bark Extract and a whole host of other nootropics ideal for gamers.
You might think the quality of our memory can’t be improved, but you’d be wrong. From the minute we’re born our brains are constantly changing, evolving and improving. Although genetics play a large part in how much information our brain can store and how quickly it can function, there are a variety of techniques you can try to keep your brain in tip-top condition.
Regular exercise has been proven to decrease neurodegeneration (how quickly the brain stops working) and improve cognitive function. Aerobic exercises like swimming and running seem especially good, although all exercise should improve brain function[ii]. Nootropics such as Performance Lab Mind and Mind Lab Pro help to improve working memory and recall.
Another great way to improve your memory is to eat healthy, nutritious food. If you’re playing in an important tournament or just playing games at home for fun, eating proper food rather than chips and pop tarts will keep your brain functioning at high speed, without an energy crash later on.
What you drink is equally important. Nothing beats water for brain function, although tea and coffee will have positive effects. High-sugar drinks have lots of negative effects associated with them; a higher risk of heart attack and diabetes for example.
Fortunately, almost all nootropics currently available to consumers don’t have these associated risks. As most supplements don’t contain any sugars, harmful additives or unnecessary ‘fillers’ to bulk out the products, taking nootropics for gaming is a great alternative to energy drinks. It can also be cheaper too as each supplement capsule can cost just a few cents.
In Detail: Performance Lab Mind
There are a variety of nootropics on the market for gamers, but we recommend Performance Lab
Mind in particular. Taking this supplement daily or before gaming may give you a noticeable advantage and it’s completely legal. Performance Lab Mind contains the following four nootropics in just one capsule:
Citicoline (Cognizin®) – 250mg
Citicoline, otherwise known as CDP-choline, is a nootropic compound used to increase focus and concentration, both of which are vital for competitive gaming. It’s also believed to increase general cognitive performance.[iii]
Phosphatidylserine (Sharp PS® Green) – 100mg
This nootropic is already found in every human’s cells. Phosphatidylserine covers the neurons in our brains, allowing electrical signals to fire efficiently. Studies suggest that taking this supplement may contribute to keeping your mind fast. It may also improve memory.[iv]
L-Tyrosine (Ajipure®) – 250mg
Tyrosine is an amino acid, the building block of all proteins within our muscles. If we didn’t have Tyrosine, we wouldn’t have any muscles or even any cells! When ingested, it’s also converted into three major neurotransmitters; dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. Dopamine is especially important for gamers as it helps regulate motivation. If you struggle to stay focused, think about taking a supplement containing L-Tyrosine.
Pine Bark Extract (Standardized to 95% Proanthocyanidins) – 75mg
Pine Bark Extract contains Proanthocyanidins. These molecules can be found in the skins of fruits like grapes and cranberries. Research has shown that Pine Bark Extract can be used to increase cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students. Not all extracts are created equal. Some companies produce products with very low levels of Proanthocyanidins, the active ingredient, to save money. Performance Lab Mind doesn’t cut corners – they use 95% pure Pine Bark Extract, so you get great value for money.[v]
What to Look for in a Nootropic
There are hundreds of nootropics currently available online and in stores. However, not all supplements are created equal. Some companies are poorly regulated and have low standards. That’s why we recommend Mind Lab Pro and the Performance Lab range, made by Opti-Nutra to the highest industry standards. They don’t cut corners and take pride in the supplements they develop, research and produce. They have great customer service too, so you can rest assured that you’re taking some of the best nootropics for gaming on the market.
It’s also worth noting that although Performance Lab Mind can be taken alone, it’s best when paired with another nootropic supplement, Performance Lab Sleep, as hinted at above. Taking a sleep-enhancing supplement will encourage deep, undisturbed sleep. If you often game long into the night and find it hard to fall asleep, we recommend taking Performance Lab Sleep. It contains Magnesium for muscle relaxation and Montmorency Tart Cherry – which contains natural melatonin – for rapid sleep onset.
Here’s another thing we love about the Performance Lab range – its clean formulas. These products are GMO, soy, allergen, caffeine and gluten-free, and suitable for vegans. Likewise, none of these products are habit-forming.
Nootropics will surely become a big topic is the Esports world in the coming years. Taking nootropics for gaming is already beginning to become a common practice and research into nootropics seems extremely promising. With the aid of nootropics, you could become a better gamer than you ever thought possible for just a few cents per day.
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.