Become a Pro Gamer: Does a healthy lifestyle really help?
Like any other professional athletes, eSports pro gamers need to be healthy and fit for optimal gaming performance. But most would argue, how do you balance playing for long hours to improve your gameplay and still have a healthy lifestyle? Let’s hear it from some of the pro gamers themselves.
Source: Gregory FCA
WHY IT HELPS
Granted that long hours of playing does help with mastering the game, improving your form, and practicing your strategy. But it’s not just the amount of hours you clock in that matters; it is also the quality of the practice session. This was also shared by Age of Empires 2 esports athlete Samayan “BlinG” Kay in an interview with Redbull. BlinG said according to an article, “There’s no question for me that a healthy lifestyle reduces fatigue and helps concentration levels.” He added, “I definitely feel I’m more alert throughout the time I’m practising and can stay that way for longer compared to times where I slip away from keeping active and start to binge out a bit.”
WHAT TO CONSIDER
FOOD AND NUTRITION
This is not a general article about eating healthy because that is boring and we all know the direction of that. This is to emphasize how important it is when one aspires to be an esports athlete (okay, just less boring I’ll give you that). A lot of esports teams hired their own wellness coach and chefs because they understand that whatever it is you eat affects your overall performance. Take for example Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). In 2016, they hired Andrew Tye to exactly do this. Having a chef to take care of the meal plan not only gives nutritional food to their players but by providing it to them, the players can concentrate more with their training.
Source: The Healthy Fish
Of course when you aspire to be (as the purpose of this article), that means you’re not there yet…not in those gaming houses or training facilities where someone is in charge of your food. But see the importance and the budget they put into it? That means something. So when you plan to train for 8-12 hours, try to make your food in advance.
When you cook, you know exactly what is in your food so you can manage the nutritional level of what you eat. Even if you do not have a working kitchen, a rice cooker goes a long way. You can make a big batch of soup or rice with vegetables and chicken that is good for the entire day. Or get a healthy burrito like the Tony Hawk’s one that is packed with brown rice, guacamole, black beans, chicken, chili salsa, and cheese that came with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 Warehouse Demo for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC during a promotional run.
If you are unsure what to eat to increase your performance as an esports athlete, Cyber Athletiks recommended The Vertical Diet by Stan Efferding in an article. This downloadable ebook which you can purchase here is designed to give you tips on what to eat based on your goal and what kind of sports you do, so yes, that includes esports. It will give you specific diet plans and even a menu you can follow to increase brain function, memory, and improve digestion which is important as esports is not particularly physically challenging. Nothing can break concentration more than the feeling of indigestion, hunger, or food coma.
Frequent breaks are necessary when gaming for long hours. Being in front of the computer and concentrating in the smallest detail to secure a shot gives your eyes a lot of strain. If you do not voluntarily take a break, your eyes will do it for you. Either your eyesight will diminish over time or it will blink involuntarily and we do not want that to happen in a crucial play. Not to mention, not taking a break can also cause the Gamer’s thumb or the infamous Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. So leave your computer a bit and maybe do some exercise while at it. At some point, former Fnatic League of Legends esports player Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim who is now with Team LDLC said, “After two or three games in a row, take a break. This retains your focus and helps you prevent yourself from getting frustrated if you’ve lost a few games” in an article.
Yes, going to the gym everyday or participating in crossfit sessions is not your thing; neither is a requirement to become a pro gamer. But a 5 or 10-minute walk in between or just even after meals can be beneficial with improving concentration levels and managing frustrations when things don’t go as planned. Online banters are fun but winning is better.
A bit of workout boosts blood into the brain which is necessary as esports is mentally exhausting. Like what former Call of Duty pro gamer Nick “XLNC” Ward said in a Redbull interview, “Working out releases frustration as well as helping to keep myself in shape.” If you do not feel like leaving your room, try any of these best VR fitness games available at the best price.
Training or a change of lifestyle is hard. The best way to do this is to get your teammates to do it with you. Build your esports team with the best basic foundation of optimal gaming performance through a healthy lifestyle. If you do not have a coach yet, organizing this can be easy with the Gamer Health App. This app allows you to monitor and get in-depth review on everyone in your team. Even SK Gaming esports team is using it.
Source: Gamer Health
If you want to become a pro gamer, train for the long run. Some last few words from G2 Esports LoL pro Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, “I think in the beginning of my career, I just thought if I played 16 hours every day for a whole year, I’d be the best player. But I think these days that’s one of the worst things you can do. Obviously you should play as much as you can, but you shouldn’t block out other things due to it.”
Stay tuned for the next ‘Become a Pro Gamer’ series: eSports coaching!
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