Nootropics have immense potential as veritable "brain supplements" for gamers. After all, gaming requires precision, coordination, focus, and mental acuity to outwit and outmaneuver your digital foes. If your brain is dragging, you'll be a step behind the competition.
You can blame it on the screen lagging or your opponents cheating, but how you perform in the virtual world is ultimately under your control. This makes many esports competitors wonder what brain supplements they should use to optimize their mental performance during a long gaming session.
So, let's take a look at the five best nootropics for gaming and how these brain supplements increase focus, attention, reaction time, and cognitive function.
Being at your best mentally and physically is essential for gamers and esports competitors. Naturally, gamers resort to energy drinks, soda, coffee, and even pre-workout powder for a jolt of caffeine.
Unfortunately, straight caffeine has a relatively short duration of action, and once the stimulating effects wear off, your gaming performance will undoubtedly suffer. Thankfully, there are plenty of other nootropics for gamers beyond caffeine.
If you're ready to get an edge on the competition, check out these science-based brain supplements for gaming:
Cognizin is a patented form of CDP-choline (citicoline), a highly bioavailable choline supplement. Choline is a ubiquitous B-vitamin found primarily in lecithin, a fatty substance present in foods such as soybeans and egg yolks.
Choline is an essential micronutrient for humans since it serves as the precursor for acetylcholine, an excitatory neurotransmitter that plays significant roles in cognitive function, arousal, and motivation (1).
The problem with many choline supplements is that they provide choline bitartrate, which isn't particularly useful as a nootropic for gaming. Choline bitartrate isn't a bioavailable source of choline due to its poor absorption in the intestines .
Citicoline, on the other hand, is readily absorbed in the gut as cytidine and choline, thereby rapidly increasing plasma choline concentrations after a single dose (3). In fact, CDP-choline has been used in several clinical trials for treating stroke and cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia (4).
Furthermore, brain cells readily utilize available citicoline to synthesize membrane phospholipids and prevent phospholipids from degrading (5).
In non-nerd lingo, Cognizin citicoline is one of the best nootropics for gaming due to its extensive benefits on mentally-demanding tasks and general brain health.
If you're the type of person to start a gaming session off by cracking open a can of carbonated liquid, then L-theanine is precisely the nootropic you need. L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green tea leaves that works synergistically with caffeine by prolonging its effects (6). More importantly for gamers, L-theanine helps ease out the stimulating effects of caffeine, so you don't feel jittery, anxious, or erratic while you're gaming.
L-theanine also modulates brainwaves in such a fashion as to induce a calm yet attentive mindstate (7). Hence, many gamers find that L-theanine makes them simultaneously alert and equanimous. It's tough to think of a better state-of-mind for gamers to be in during a competitive match.
Most gamers should start with a single dose of 100 mg of L-theanine (taken with or without caffeine), preferably about 30 minutes before gaming. Increase to 200 - 300 mg per day if you consume large amounts of caffeine/stimulants.
L-tyrosine is a conditionally essential amino acid that humans (and some animals) synthesize naturally from L-phenylalanine. It is a promising nootropic for gamers since it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and serves as a dopamine precursor.
As such, supplementing with tyrosine ensures your brain has the necessary "reserves" to synthesize catecholamines (e.g., dopamine and adrenaline). These neurotransmitters are crucial for wakefulness, attention, and motivation during an intense gaming competition.
SerinAid phosphatidylserine is a nootropic that works by "calming" the nervous system. Gamers tend to get too "excited" during long bouts of competition, which can lead to being hyperreactive and careless mistakes.
The advantage of brain supplements like phosphatidylserine is that they help promote a cool and collected mood without being sedative. In fact, phosphatidylserine can augment cognitive function and focus by regulating neuronal membrane phospholipid integrity and modulating acetylcholine transmission (10).
It's essential to look for nootropics that contain SerinAid since this is the purest form of phosphatidylserine on the market and completely plant-based.
Infinergy™ is a trademarked nootropic that serves as a form of extended-release caffeine. Be sure not to misconstrue di-caffeine malate as the same thing you get from slamming caffeinated drinks before you log hours on the computer or gaming console of your choice. Frankly, plain caffeine only goes so far for kicking your brain up a notch.
Due to the long-acting nature of Infinergy™, it's become an increasingly popular nootropic of choice in brain supplements for gamers. Caffeine is an unequivocal mental performance booster, thanks to its central nervous system-stimulating properties.
Being the most popular drug in the world, caffeine has hundreds of studies backing its benefits on alertness, reaction time, wakefulness, and motivation (11).
Now, it would be remiss not to mention that consuming large doses of caffeine can actually have unfavorable effects on gaming by making you less precise and more jittery (12). In games that require pinpoint precision, such as first-person shooters, having a ton of caffeine in your system is not ideal.
Thankfully, the sustained release of Infinergy™ di-caffeine malate helps avoid the "rollercoaster" effects of straight caffeine, making it one of the best brain supplements for gamers.
Taurine is an organic sulfonic acid found in bile that plays a range of biological roles, particularly throughout the nervous system. It is also crucial for skeletal muscle endurance and neutralizing free radicals.
Taurine readily traverses the blood-brain barrier and enhances hippocampus function, thereby improving memory consolidation, motivation, and mental acuity. Moreover, research suggests that taurine has neuroprotective properties and actively counteracts oxidative stress in the nervous system .
It's also a useful supplement for combatting muscle cramps, which can be an annoying issue for gamers who hold a controller for hours on end .
Taurine supplements seem to be most effective at doses between 1,000 - 3,000 mg per day. As a gaming supplement, start by taking 1,000 mg of taurine prior to breakfast and consume another 1,000-mg dose in the afternoon/early evening on an empty stomach.
With esports and competitive gaming being so popular these days, gamers are always looking for ways to take their skills to the next level. The brain supplements mentioned above are excellent nootropics for gaming that can elevate your performance across the virtual landscape.
Remember to avoid excessive amounts of stimulants during a lengthy gaming session, as this can actually be counterproductive once the "buzz" wears off. Chugging caffeine-rich energy drinks may work in short spurts, but it's not a reliable approach for gamers who need to be at the top of their game for hours on end.
To accommodate both daytime and nighttime gaming sessions, the Transparent Labs Mind Series Nootropic comes in stimulant-based and stimulant-free options. These formulas feature evidence-based nootropics such as NeuroFactor, Cognizin, Infinergy, and SerinAid to keep you dialed-in, reactive, composed, and alert while you dominate the playing field.
Step up your game and climb the esports ranks with brain supplements that are backed by science.
Are you looking for a more in-depth overview of brain supplements? Be sure to read: How Do Nootropic Work?