While the mainstream media – and perhaps your parents – like to blame video games for creating an unhealthy society, this simply isn’t true. There’s nothing wrong with video games (or gaming). It’s the habits people adopt when they play video games that are unhealthy. If you can push past these issues – like poor nutrition – you’ll be just fine.
Why Nutrition Matters
Nutrition is an important topic, regardless of who you are or what you’re doing. If you don’t consume the right amount of healthy nutrients on a regular basis, your mind and body won’t perform at peak levels and you’ll pack on unhealthy weight.
For serious video gamers – i.e. those who spend multiple hours per day gaming – there’s a two-fold problem. First off, there’s the issue of overeating. Research shows that video game playing increases food intake by a significant level, regardless of appetite sensations. In other words, you’re probably mindlessly eating more than you should be.
The second issue is that most gamers don’t take the time to prepare or consume healthy calories. Because gaming occupies your hands and mind, it’s a lot easier to reach for a bag of Cheetos and a Mountain Dew than it is to eat a three-course meal.
4 Nutrition Tips for Serious Gamers
If you want to be healthy (and even enjoy better gaming performance as a result of a more balanced diet), it’s time to start taking nutrition seriously. Here are a few tips developed with gamers in mind.
1. Make Healthy Easy
Most people know that healthy food can be tasty – it’s just that it often takes precious time to buy the right ingredients and cook nutritious meals. If you want your healthy diet to last longer than a day or two, you need to find a way to make healthy easy.
One of the best options is to sign up for a healthy meal delivery program, such as Nutrisystem. With these programs, you can get healthy meals delivered right to your door. Not only is this approach cost-effective, but it allows you to enjoy nutritious meals without extended shopping trips and lengthy prep.
2. Be Realistic
It’s important that you hone your expectations and only take on what’s realistic. For example, you probably aren’t going to start preparing elaborate salads with dozens of fresh ingredients and homemade dressing. Not only does this take a lot of time, but it’s impractical to handle a knife and fork when you have a controller in your hands.
A gamer’s version of healthy food consists of items that can be quickly eaten with one hand. This includes things like apple slices, carrots and hummus, mixed nuts, and nutritious shakes.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
One of the worst things you can do for your body is sit down and pound soda. The sugar and empty calories leave your body feeling sluggish and impact your performance. Instead, keep a large water bottle next to you at all times and try your best to stay hydrated.
4. Package Leftovers Ahead of Time
A final quick tip is to always package leftovers ahead of time. This allows you to quickly run to the refrigerator and grab a healthy meal when you’re hungry, as opposed to opening up the pantry and grabbing a bag of chips.
5. Prioritize Your Health
It’s time to get serious about your diet. Even if you aren’t packing on extra pounds, an unhealthy diet is still having a negative impact on your overall health and performance. Using some of the tips discussed in this article, look for opportunities to get a grip on your diet and nutrition.