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The Benefits of Hydration When It Comes to Gaming Performance

More than half of the human body consists of just one substance - water. From bodily fluids to neural and muscular tissue, water is absolutely mission-critical to your continued healthy function. Despite this, people tend to gloss over hydration when it comes to their health. Over time inadequate hydration can lead to a whole host of negative health impacts, from kidney stones to high blood pressure.

For gamers, dehydration is a serious issue. Long periods of gameplay leave few opportunities for refuelling and rehydrating, a fact that can seriously impact gaming performance. Even very mild dehydration has been demonstrated to have a negative effect on concentration and visuomotor performance (how well you can translate visual information into physical movement).

What are the benefits of improved hydration

Success in eSports and gaming, particularly at the elite tier, is contingent on marginal performance gains. Small improvements might not have a great impact by themselves, but when a number of incremental performance increases are stacked together, the results can be highly significant. Think of it like buff stacking!

Hydration is one of the easiest ways to access these incremental ‘buffs’. Research suggests that optimal hydration offers the following benefits:

  • Improved concentration and focus - keep your mind in the game
  • Increased levels of neurological activity - respond to events more quickly
  • Decreased levels of self-reported fatigue - avoid ‘brain fog’
  • Improved cognitive performance - solve problems faster and better
  • Improved visuomotor performance - turn on-screen information into physical responses

Given that water is cheap and readily available, and offers this massive range of benefits which translate directly into improved gaming performance, it seems pretty obvious that hydration should be one of the key factors we take into account when we’re trying to optimise performance.

How much water do I need?

Depending on a number of factors such as age, gender, body weight, temperature, and activity level, your hydration needs can vary pretty significantly. Nutrition Australia offers the following guidelines for hydration based on age and gender:

 Age Average Daily Requirement for Men Average Daily Requirement for Women
9-13 1.6L (6 cups) 1.4L (5-6 cups)
14-18 1.9L (7-8 cups) 1.6L (6 cups)
19.30 2.6L (10 cups) 2.1L (8 cups)

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out this hydration calculator - especially for bigger guys, the average daily requirement listed above might well turn out to be inaccurate.

Hydration and strategy

Whether you’re an FPS girl or a hardcore MMO guy, gaming is all about strategy. As an elite gamer, strategy is second nature to you, so why not apply these skills to hydration? Maintaining optimal hydration is an all-day task - you can’t just pump a full days water intake in one sitting.

Take a strategic approach - space your water intake throughout the day, keep hydrating fluids at hand, and make sure that you keep hydrated during gameplay. Here are some simple tips to help you get started on your hydration strategy:

  • Set timers to remind you to drink water regularly throughout the day
  • Keep a water bottle or glass on your nightstand so you can start the day hydrated
  • Optimise your levels of electrolytes with a hydration formula like Legion Hydrate
  • Take advantage of breaks in gameplay to keep hydrated

Take it with a grain of salt

As with most things in life, you can have too much of a good thing. The impacts of overhydration or ‘water intoxication’ can be just as bad as those of dehydration. Overhydration occurs when the salts and electrolytes circulating your body become too diluted, a state referred to as hyponatraemia.

Electrolytes are dissolved salts found in your bloodstream which facilitate the transmission of neural signals and ensure a balance of fluids between your cells and bodily fluids.

When there is insufficient sodium in your bloodstream, cells will begin to swell with fluid in order to balance the concentration of salts in the cell with that of the surrounding fluid. This can have a number of negative effects, including headaches, dizziness, and confusion - not what you want in the middle of a critical gameplay moment!

Optimising electrolyte levels

Thankfully, avoiding both dehydration and hyponatremia is pretty simple. Ensure that you have adequate levels of electrolytes in your bloodstream - hydration products like Legion Hydrate are designed to provide the perfect ratio of the salts and minerals that your body needs. Having properly balanced electrolyte levels allows your body to maintain a state referred to as ‘homeostasis’. Homeostasis is your body’s way of naturally balancing levels of circulating water, minerals and other compounds.

Legion Energy drinks are all designed with homeostasis in mind - rather than overloading your body with jittery stimulants and other chemicals, our approach is to support healthy function, so you can play at peak performance, for longer, without a nasty crash.

Hydrate your way to optimal performance

Success at gaming is all about marginal gains. Ensuring optimal hydration is probably the cheapest and easiest way to access a massive range of performance buffs, and is incredibly important for your health and wellbeing in general. Taking the time to think about your hydration strategy doesn’t take a long time, and with products like Legion Hydrate, ideal hydration has never been easier.

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