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Gamer Nutrition Information

When most people think of hardcore gamers, they rarely picture a fit, healthy person. Gamers are commonly viewed as isolated, unhealthy and inactive, and while we disagree with the idea that all gamers are social misfits, the unfortunate reality is that many gamers have poor exercise habits (or none at all) and often subsist on caffeine-laden colas, energy drinks and pizza deliveries.

According to a joint study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers from both Emory and Andrews University, the average American gamer (living in the Seattle area) is "35 years old, overweight, and depressed." The gamers in this 2006 study all had a slightly higher body mass index than their non-gaming peers, and female gamers had particularly high levels of depression and poor health in comparison to other women.

While this study did not specifically address the dietary habits of gamers, it seems safe to assume that these overweight, moderately depressed gamers were not living on a diet of lean protein and salads. Everybody knows that screen time can be addicting, leading to the exclusion of simple tasks like shopping for nutritious food and cooking.

Why Does Good Nutrition Matter To Gamers?

While we all learned about the basics of good nutrition in our high-school home economics class, it can be tough for gamers to understand why they too need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. After all, gamers aren't usually athletes, so why should they eat like they are training for the Boston Marathon? Because the benefits of good nutrition go beyond achieving a ripped physique and a six-pack stomach; eating well helps to fuel your brain and your body.

Great gamers depend on their brains 24/7, and to have a healthy brain, you need to eat a healthy diet. The type of food we eat, when we eat and how much we eat all have a huge impact on how well you can flex your cranial muscle.

Dietary Fat Can Make You Dumb

That's right folks, all that greasy pizza doesn't just make your game controller slippery, it can actually suppress your brain function. A powerful brain depends on strong blood flow throughout the body, and eating fat-filled processed foods can clog your arteries and blood vessels, restricting both oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Your brain uses blood and oxygen as food, so just like when you get famished, your brain starts to slow down - in essence, your brain power is retarded by your diet.

Sugar Weighs You Down

Just like excessive dietary fat can clog your arteries and restrict blood flow to your brain, too much sugar can have a similar effect. Eating large amounts of sugary foods like candy and sodas causes your body to act like a roller coaster - when you eat, your blood sugar spikes, giving you instant energy (and sometimes even a feeling of jitteriness or unease). That sugar high won't last though, and when you crash from it, you fall hard, feeling lethargic and unfocused. Keep up this dangerous cycle and you'll wind up overweight with type 2 diabetes, a lifelong condition that can lead to nerve damage, amputations and blindness.

Why Gamers Need A Healthy Diet

As we've already mentioned, eating a healthy balanced diet helps to control your weight, improve your reflexes and brain function, giving you the energy you need for your next marathon gaming session. As a bonus, a healthy diet can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Simple Vitality Habits for Gamers

So, we know that as a gamer, you like to be challenged, right? We've developed the Vitality Challenge specifically for gamers like you - gamers who want to play hard while busting the stereotype of gamers as fat, lazy and depressed. Ready to tackle the challenge? Here's the basics:

  • Eat A Healthy Breakfast
    Just like mom always said, you need to start out your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast (no matter what time you roll out of bed). Breakfast is the best way to wake up your metabolism, giving your body the kickstart it needs to wake up and get moving! Read More...

  • Snack Smart
    Limit the frequency and quantity of the snacks you eat - remember, snacks aren't meal replacements! Nosh on simple snacks like low-fat cheese sticks and unsalted nuts, apples and veggie sticks. Read More...

  • Cut Out Caffeine
    Just like sugar, caffeine gives you an artificial high followed by a painful crash. It dehydrates you and can leave you with a splitting headache. By eliminating caffeine from your diet you will feel better and dodge the uncomfortable side effects that caffeine can have, such as excessive urination, dehydration and even diarrhea!

  • Ditch The Sodas
    Water should be your go-to beverage, since energy drinks, sodas and fruit juices are usually filled with empty calories that slow you down while expanding your waistline.

  • Eat Balanced Regular Meals
    Mealtimes are a great excuse to take a break from the screen and spend some quality facetime with your family, friends and roomies. Aim to eat balanced meals that include lean protein, whole-grain carbs and vegetables at every meal. Resist the urge to skip meals, as this leads to wild fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and puts your metabolism on pause.

By following these simple tips, you'll be well on the way to becoming a leaner, meaner and smarter gamer! Have fun, and most of all, remember to eat!

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References:
Games For Change: http://www.gamesforchange.org
Games For Health: http://www.gamesforhealth.org
Gameful: http://www.gameful.org
USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters
American Journal of Preventative Medicine: http://www.ajpm-online.net
CNET: http://news.cnet.com
Body and Soul: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au
Psychologytoday: http://www.psychologytoday.com
Sugar Addiction: http://sugaraddiction.com

Vitality Challenge

Challenge yourself to a better Gaming Life!

Healthy Gamer News

Vitality Habits

BreakFast: Fruit Only

BreakFast

Fruit Only (Breakfast till Midday)

Healthy Gamer Snacks: Fruit and Nuts

Gamer Snacks

Fruit, Nuts and other healthy options

Lunch/Dinner: Salad or Vegetables

Lunch/Dinner

Vegetables and Salad to make up 75% of your meal.

Fitness

Fitness

Fat Burning Jog, be active.

Drink Water

Drink Healthy

Water and Fresh Juice

Gamer Posture

Posture

Good Gaming Posture.
Yoga, Pilates or a Core Strengthening exercise.

Oxygen

Oxygen

Conscious breathing technique assists with your bodies health.

Eye Sight

Eye Sight

Take care of your Eye Sight.

Healthy Hearing

Hearing

Take care of your Hearing.

Mindset

Brain

The brain is the control centre of your whole body, "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body".

Vitality Challenge

Giving Vitality Impact

As we assist Gamers to create Vitality, we Give Vitality to those in need.
Clean Water
Gave 60,000 people access to clean water for a day


Gave 6,000 people medical support for one day

Meal for a Child
Gave 180 people a nourishing meal

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Disclaimer
The information and advice presented on the vitalityforgamers.com website are meant as a guide to assist the user in adopting healthier habits for a Healthier Gaming Lifestyle or other health achievements. Please, apply these well-known principles in a safe manner. The reader bears all responsibility for using or applying any techniques or ideas outlined in the vitalityforgamers.com website. Consult with your physician before starting any health or exercise programs.