E-Sports and the Growing Nutritional Demand
With the advent of the internet, our lives have changed dramatically which people could not even dream of. The wave of digitalization has touched every part and corner of our lives from work, communication, education, health, etc. Hardly, anyone would have ever thought that sports would ever come under the ambit of the internet. A decade back, sports directly meant physical movement, however, digitalization has now branched out a new form which some may classify as “lazy”. No matter how lazy it may be, but the pace at which it has grown is highly remarkable. These games are not just popular among the youths, almost 40% of gamers are between ages 18 and 35, out of which as many as 39% are older.
Estimates put the number of gamers worldwide at 2.5 billion, generating an output in 2019 of $120.1 billion for an industry on pace to hit a value of $300 billion by 2025. The U.S. market alone generated $35.4 billion.Source: Nutritional Outlook, April 2020
If you are an athlete, you do need to practice and practice a lot to stay at the top of your game. The eSport athletes also practice 3-10 hours per day to be in the right form. Just like any other sport, it also carries its own risks and injuries that can end the career. It may sound surprising, however, it is common for professional eSport athletes to suffer career-ending injuries in their mid-twenties only. The most common injury is wrist and hand injuries. Apart from this, there are problems related to eye health, mental fatigue, joint pain, emotional stress, etc.
In 2013, pro StarCraft 2 Player Geoff ‘Incontrol’ Robinson suffered from a blood clot in his knee, which is common when individuals sit for long periods of time.
Where gameplay session is full of constant split-second decisions and the difference between winning and losing can be just a matter of seconds, very high performance is required. eSports enthusiasts are focusing on nutrition as an avenue to improve their performance. There has been a demand for more natural ingredients and keeping that in mind companies are developing nutrition products for gamers and they are buying.
Research on nootropics compounds has blossomed as dramatically as eSports itself, and it’s uncovering impressive results for herbal and botanical ingredients as well. Curcumin as an ingredient has evolved in the eSports industry and helps to meet the emotional and mental challenges of high-level play. Antioxidants such as Vitamin E helps in managing oxidative stress and depress free-radical levels in the brain, helping neurons communicate optimally for a more competitive edge. For eye health, Lutein has been high in demand. OmniActive’s Lutemax2020 supplement is already the big fish in the ocean.
Companies such as Kyowa Hakko are also claiming their cognizing brand of citicoline supports focus, attention, mental energy, and memory. Ashland is promoting their products Bil-Max bilberry extract and GPM Lutein for eye health, blue light skin products are also coming into play. Using caffeine as a natural nootropic is becoming popular as a supplement that supplies energy and cognitive sharpness without any drawbacks.
As the growth and viewership of eSports is increasing, we can surely see some change in the landscape of nutrition industry to satisfy its needs. Not only does gaming attract traditional gamers and eSports players, but it’s also watched by millions all over the world, which is an important marketing outlet for finished products or new technology. However, the future holds a lot of uncertainty in different aspects and different dimensions.
There’s certainly a lot that needs to be answered and this just the beginning.
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- Hitesh Pant, Associate Consultant