Keep an Edge on the Competition By Staying Hydrated
The importance of hydration when gaming
We’ve all heard about how necessary it is to drink enough water every day but just how important is it? Staying hydrated is important for a number of reasons, from preventing infections, keeping organs functioning correctly, regulating body temperature, and even going as far as improving our quality of sleep and improving our mood.
The usual recommendation from experts is that you should be drinking roughly 11 cups of water each day for the average woman and 16 for the average man. It’s important to note that not all of these cups have to be just water, you can drink fruit-flavoured water, or coffee, or tea in moderation.
With modern gamers playing 8-15 hours a day and with increasing prize money pools, there’s even more pressure to gain any competitive edge possible. This can lead to some players neglecting their health in efforts to climb the esports ladder. One of the most overlooked health areas is hydration and it can actually be turned into a competitive advantage.
How does staying hydrated benefit me while gaming?
Arguably, the most important benefit to gamers that staying hydrated offers, is cognitive performance. Many studies have shown that being dehydrated leads to lower vigilance, shorter attention spans, reduced motor coordination, and less working memory. These are all incredibly important to maintain peak gaming performance during extended sessions.
What’s more, hydration greatly affects your mood. Studies have also shown that if you’re dehydrated you’re more likely to be quick to anger, be confused, depressed, show higher levels of hostility, and experience tension and fatigue. In gaming terms, this is commonly known as ‘tilt’, or ‘being tilted’.
‘Being tilted’ can make or break your gaming session. It can be the difference between winning a team fight or missing those all-important shots before having to reload and is another great reason why being hydrated is so important if you want to get ahead.
So what drinks count? Well, any drink will offer some level of hydration: tap water is the OG due to it being easily available but various other drinks can help promote hydration too. Milk, fruit juice, coffee/tea, even pop/soda are all over 85% water and therefore count towards total fluid intake.
When it comes to what to look for, you should consider drinks that have higher levels of electrolytes. Some examples of these include sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, and others that are found naturally but show up in higher concentrations in sports drinks.
These little electrolytes behave like tiny sponges that act as magnets to attract water in our bloodstream, meaning if your body has higher levels of them, mixed with water, then you have a better chance of retaining that water and increasing your hydration while gaming.
In essence, to make sure you’re keeping hydrated daily, look out for those drinks with higher levels of electrolytes and you’ll stand a much better chance of winning your Battle Royal and getting that dub.