No level up without a healthy lifestyle
Poor nutrition and not enough exercise damage performance. This is fatal for esport athletes, especially in competition, where a few milliseconds often decide between victory and defeat.
An unhealthy diet in particular has a negative effect on reaction speed and concentration. Sitting for too long is also detrimental to your career: If you sit too long, for example, your back muscles atrophy, you will get back pain and in the worst case you will no longer be able to exercise. This often leads to an early retirement for esports athletes. Therefore, it's important that esports athletes pay as much attention to their fitness and nutrition as footballers or cyclists.
Many esports pros are aware of this. Pasha from Virtus.pro, a successful professional CS:GO player, for example, shows his healthy lifestyle on his Instagram profile:
Fitness is a must in esports
Although fitness is important in esports, only 50% of all esports athletes in 2006 played a recreational sport. Do you want to become a successful CS:GO, Dota or LoL player? Then it's best to find a sport that you enjoy and that balances out long periods of sitting from video games.
Finding a balance is important for two reasons:
1. You prevent health issues.
2. If you are in good shape, you can react quicker and can deal with high stress situations.
Sports keep you healthy and help you career's longetivy. Are you still looking for the right sport? Try a team-oriented sport like football or basketball. Also running or cycling can be a welcomed change from gaming.
esport athletes fitness check
How fit should a professional esports athlete be? Benedikt "SaLz0r" Saltzer and Timo "TimoX" Siep, FIFA players for Vfl Wolfsburg, give you an idea (starting at 11:03 min.):
Tendonitis - A big career-ending danger
He was only 22 years old when he announced his retirement: Hai "Hai (german for shark)" Du Lam, famously played LoL for Cloud9. The reason? A hand injury, among other things. A health problem that is not uncommon in the esports:
Tendonitis is a common injury among gamers. The Repetitive Strain Injury Syndrome, also called "mouse arm", is caused by excessive use of the computer mouse and causes pain in the hand, arm or shoulder.
Are you also an esports athlete? You can do these exercises to prevent pain in the wrists:
Strength and endurance training for esports athletes
Esports athletes don't just put stress on their arms. They often sit in front of a screen for several hours a day. This usually takes a toll on the back. Only targeted strength exercises can help.
In addition to strengthening your muscles, you should also train your endurance. This helps prevent fatigue during matches. Playing a recreational sport helps combat this.
Let a professional fitness trainer put together a training plan for you and take our training tips to heart, for example on correct running technique or optimal pedalling frequency in cycling. Nevertheless: One hour of sport per day does not compensate for long sitting. An eventful everyday life is much better. Get up between games and move and stretch:
Careful: Consult a doctor for advice on which exercises you can do, especially if you are experiencing pain.
Team sport strengthens team spirit
Sport not only has a positive effect on your health, it can also strengthen your team spirit. Grab your esports team and try out some team sports like football, basketball or ice hockey. This will also bring you closer together as a team away from the screen, put you in a good mood and will ultimately lead to better team results at competitions.
A healthy diet is important for your concentration and reaction time. That's why Tal "Fly" Aizik, part of the Dota2 team Evil Geniuses, is mindful of his diet and fitness:
According to the German Nutrition Society there are 10 principles of good nutrition:
1. Eat a variety of foods. Don't become the cliché and eat only doritos and mountain dew every day.
2. Stick to the principle "5 a day". This means you should eat three portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit. One serving is about a handful. Fruits and vegetables are also an excellent snack between esports training sessions.
3. Instead of using white flour products, you should opt for whole grains. This keeps you full longer and contains more nutrients.
4. Your diet should include dairy products such as cheese or yoghurt every day. 1-2 times a week you should eat fish and not more than 300 to 600 grams of meat per week.
5. Use vegetable fats such as rapeseed oil and watch out for hidden fats such as in sausages or sweets.
6. Take care not to consume too much sugar and salt. Especially soft drinks such as cola or energy drinks should not be consumed excessively.
7. Instead of sweetened drinks, drink water. The DGE recommends drinking at least 1.5 litres per day.
8. To avoid ruining the nutrients in your food, you should prepare your meals carefully.
9. Eat mindfully and take your time.
10. Watch your weight. A moderate amount of exercise for 30-60 minutes a day will help.
Still unsure? Then consult in a nutritionist who will help you put together the correct diet for you.
Food supplements in esports
Did you know that there are also food supplements for esports athletes? This is especially useful when traveling or playing tournaments. esports athletes often have little time and this allows you to get important nutrients with dietary supplements - even quite convenient when playing video games.
However, dietary supplements should not replace a normal diet. However, from time to time, for example during competitions, you can use dietary supplements. And who knows - perhaps in a few years the esports scene will be so professionalised that every professional esports athlete will have nutritionists and cooks at their side.
By the way, there are also products specific to esports, for example Runtime.
esports jerseys - for online and offline training
Do you want to improve your fitness skills as an esports athlete? Then train in our individually designed gaming jerseys. You will not only look good at tournaments, but also during fitness training.
Photo credits: Title picture: ©gettyimages/YakobchukOlena, Picture: © gettyimages/laflor