Supplements for gaming can help support your overall performance

Supplements for Gamers

By: Trent Fowler

Scientifically Reviewed By: Michael A. Smith, MD

Games are serious business. If you pop in on a Twitch gaming session, you might find StarCraft battles where generals maneuver their armies with the devastating brilliance of Napoleon, or Halo 3 tournaments where players lean on their jungle-cat reflexes to rain fire on one another across detailed, intricate maps.

Though they're sometimes derided as a waste of time, games draw on and help develop a wide range of cognitive abilities. From the high-level, big-picture thinking of a real-time strategy game to the sustained focus of a multi-hour chess match, enthusiastic gamers have always known this.

Just as seasoned athletes turn to supplements formulated to help them gain that crucial edge over the competition, so, too, can gamers avail themselves of a range of products that will help them defeat the enemy–whether that's a rogue AI, a race of alien monsters or their younger siblings.

In this article, we'll focus on the best supplements for gamers and what they are before turning to an exploration of different kinds of supplements and "stacks" a gamer might want to try.

This should give you everything you need to hear the victory music. Let's go!

What are supplements for gamers?

As you probably know, supplements are exactly what their name implies. They supplement the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you may not get enough of in your diet. Supplements for gamers specifically might be of interest to those who spend a lot of time playing games.

In the same way a powerlifter might be taking extra protein or creatine in an attempt to build more muscle and move more weight, gamers are going to generally be interested in supplements that help them stay focused, motivated and fast for hours on end.

What are the best supplements for gamers?

To be clear, there is no one single "best" supplement for gamers. But there are several that can help provide the extra boost you need to liberate princesses Zelda and Peach.


Nootropics are well-known for their ability to promote memory, learning speeds and overall cognitive performance.

Obviously, these are all things that will interest gamers who (figuratively) live and die by how quickly they react and how well they think ahead, and that may explain why some gamers have chosen to experiment with nootropics like ginseng, theanine or piracetam to operate more effectively.

Of course, the composition of nootropics varies from one product to the next, but they often include ingredients like lutein and zeaxanthin, gotu kola, and bacopa monnieri to help gamers stay alert, remain focused, learn faster, and generally promote cognitive abilities. They can also support cognitive health across your lifespan.

A good eye health formula

Almost all games are easier when you have good vision, so eye health should be top-of-mind for avid gamers. Here, as well, gamers can always lean on a good eye health supplement formulated to help keep their vision razor-sharp and their aim true for years to come.

When shopping around, look for ingredients like lutein, zeaxanthin, saffron and astaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both carotenoids that form the main components of your macular pigment. Even better, they can help protect the eyes from the effects of excess blue and ultraviolet light (which gaming monitors, televisions, and mobile devices have been known to emit).

For its part, astaxanthin helps fight eye fatigue. Just as marathoners build up a prodigious capacity to pound the pavement mile after mile, skilled gamers will develop the stamina required to pound their friends in Smash Brothers for an entire weekend-long gaming session, often without sleep.

But even the strongest among us can use some help in warding off tiredness (whether ocular or otherwise), and that's where a good eye health supplement can help.

Caffeine, taurine and theanine

Gamers and non-gamers alike tend to be united in their love for caffeine, and for good reason: it may well be the most popular performance-enhancing and mood-altering substance in the history of the world.

The energy-boosting reputation of caffeine precedes it, as well as its positive impact on mental performance. What you may not know, however, is what you can achieve when you pair caffeine with taurine. Studies have shown that combining caffeine with taurine together isn't just good for gaming but is also a great option for all-around performance in both cognitive and fitness abilities (if you're one of those people who plays soccer on digital and real-life fields).

One study found that, where cognitive performance is concerned, reaction time was significantly improved by the co-ingestion of caffeine and taurine, when compared to either of these compounds alone or placebo.

Evidence suggests that the combination of high-dosage caffeine plus 3 grams of taurine can even support intense athletic performance—as was the case for elite male boxers. They performed better in terms of agility, balance and cognitive function—a boost that could translate to gaming as well. Meaning, the combined use of these ingredients can do more for gamers (and everyone else) than their single use alone.

Research has also uncovered a synergy between caffeine and theanine. Theanine is an amino acid that promotes a calm and wakeful state—which supports brain wave activity. Theanine can be found in (or added to) many sources of caffeine, so it's an easy supplement to try.

Energy formulas

It's true that (unfortunately) marathon gaming sessions don't burn as many calories as running an actual marathon, but if you've ever played Call of Duty for 14 hours straight, you know that it nevertheless requires a fair bit of energy. For this reason, there are many gaming supplements that focus on providing energy over time.

In fact, psychomotor benefits have been found in certain ashwagandha formulas. More specifically, a study in which healthy male subjects were given an ashwagandha formula containing Sensoril® suggested that it could offer substantial improvements with respect to reaction speeds and various other measures of cognition. Try an energy formula that includes Sensoril® ashwagandha, holy basil, cordyceps and bacopa for stamina and performance.

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What are the benefits of gaming supplements?

Throughout this piece, we've mentioned a number of benefits gamers can expect from using supplements, nootropics or products containing various ingredients.

To summarize, improvements in overall performance is typically what a gamer can expect from supplements—including an increase in their peak performance, especially in endurance, mental sharpness and less fatigue.

If you're a gamer looking to get the most out of each of your sessions, you might consider using a product with ingredients that increase focus, circulation and mental stamina more broadly.

What Else Can Gamers Do to Support Their Health?

Though we've primarily focused on various kinds of supplements, every attempt at enhancing reaction time and cognitive function will be more effective if you've got the basics of nutrition in check.

This means, for example, making sure to drink plenty of water in addition to energy drinks and coffee, pulling back on junk food and other highly processed foods, etc. Furthermore, to increase your mental performance, you should limit device usage whenever you can, and sleep in a dark room.

Finally, be sure to prioritize time outdoors, getting fresh air, vitamin D and at least a little exercise. Clever supplement use can temporarily mask poor sleep, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle, but they're ultimately much more effective when you're already firing on all cylinders.

How to take gaming supplements

The overwhelming majority of gaming supplements are designed to be taken as capsules or powders mixed with water. As always, we advise you to take supplements as directed on the label.

In the quest for that coveted energy boost or bump to your gaming performance, remember the importance of following the dosage and use instructions to get the most out of a supplement.

As a rule, gamers take their craft very seriously, seeking to improve their strategy, map knowledge, and skill with in-game weapons as well as their baseline gaming performance through supplements.

Check out some of the excellent options we discussed so you can (literally) take your gaming sessions to the next level!

About the Author: Trent Fowler has been covering health and wellness for more than a decade. A technical writer and content specialist, he is also the co-host of the Futurati Podcast and writes about fintech, AI, and other emerging technologies.