Reality Check - Does Caffeine Make You A Better Gamer?

Can caffeine really make you perform better when playing video games? Cam investigates, and catches up with pro LoL team TSM to find out about their experience.

Discussion

673 comments
differentiation
differentiation

Is this even a question that needs to be pondered? Of course caffeine makes you a better gamer. Whether if it's faster split-second reaction times in CS or increased APM in SC, caffeine gets the job done.

Daian
Daian

Pretty accurate, good show.

importantbrothe
importantbrothe

Smokers believe that a cigarette makes them feel better, but in fact it is simply bringing them back up to a level that non-smokers enjoy all the time. So says Allen Carr, and I guess caffeine is the same.

ORB1T4LOne
ORB1T4LOne

I'll be completly honnest with you :

I don't drink coffee in the morning unless I'm totally drunk. Or I drink Monster or Red Bull, but no coffee in the "normal" days.

One weird thing I've experienced was playing CoD while smoking lots of weed and drinking lots of energy drinks, my heart acted really weird and I even think I missed some beatings, so it sacred me a little bit but it was okay, though I think I'm never gonna do that again (I mean with that much of weed and energy drinks), it's was a lot of stress, I barely kicked ass that night and I felt really uncomfortable with my body doing things it never did.

BUT, I still love energy drinks and stuffs, I'm just not a coffee guy, even if caffeine is present in both coffee and energy drinks. It's the taste, coffee is... I don't know it justs tastes like something I don't like, though I like the smell of it, it is weird cause the smell represents something like 55% of the taste... ^^

lilflipp
lilflipp

I have 1 coffee in the morning, no sugar, just a bit of milk and that's it. If I have too much coffee my hands get shaky and I can't draw, and so I can't work. Which would kill the point of having my morning coffee before work lol

As far as energy drinks goes, it's on rare occasions, every 2-3 months, if I know I have a long ass drive, and it's late, I'll grab a redbull and sip it throughout the road

robitussin217
robitussin217

I read an article in National Geographic stating that people who seldom drink coffee actually do get a boost in brain activity after consuming caffeine.

Wensea10
Wensea10

Talking about how caffeine has benefits is so cliche; what is important is the more you play a video game, the better you will become.

BlkMgkNitez
BlkMgkNitez

Great video and great production. Thanks Cam

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

Will they ban performance enhancing drugs in eSports? Making LoL, Dota, Starcraft and COD players pass drug tests. That would be funny.

MrIze
MrIze

What is "altertness"? I think Gamespot spellcheckers are the ones who need caffeine.

Plataea
Plataea

Fantastic insights in this video, thanks!

As was to be expected, I suppose, it turns out that a drug like caffeine really doesn't help, after all.

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

Interesting stuff there Cam, I can apply this knowledge to my work life as well.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I have the odd can of Coke maybe twice a week. I drink a lot of Lucozade because I love the flavour, but feel tired afterwards. Stupid sugar. That's pretty much it for my caffeine intake, apart from however much is laced in normal food stuffs.

Cheers as always, Cam.

samferrari
samferrari

Well I only drink one cup of coffee a day , sometimes two but very rarely and I never drink energy drinks cause some time back this year I read on yahoo that a mom use to let daughter drink Monster energy drinks and she died cause of drinking this plus energy drink have more caffeine that coffee , here is the link to the story about the girl who died drinking Monster http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/anais-fournier-energy-drinks-caffeine-toxicity-poisoning_n_1373655.html well with that said I hope no one drinks energy drinks ever

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

I get a good night's sleep and wake up have some whole grain cereal, some fat-free yogurt, and a fruit. Gets me up every morning. Every other day I exercise as well (I take weekends off). No coffee or energy drinks required. 

Remember kids, say no to drugs.

zamelion
zamelion

actually its the same with cigarettes 

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

I don't drink coffee or any energy drinks. Also, I'm from Bristol so it was kind of cool to see you mention Bristol University...even if I never did go there

Hydra270
Hydra270

figured that out on my own was drinking coffe 3-8 cups a day tried to go off 2 weeks and now drinking 1-3 cups still feel tired but less and less i think by mid september i will be on single cup by start of oct should be able to go off, well thats atleast my plan writen. but its hard to say no to coffe after drinking it like crazy and yes i'm coffe junkie geting off the stuff still like the aroma of it will have to buy some coffe smeling candes :D

blahblahblah999
blahblahblah999

Cam = Hot, Scottish, and Smart.  Triple threat.  Where do I send the engagement ring? =D

Ortego13
Ortego13

Thanks for the show Cam. I guess besides the given facts about caffeine, this episode will greatly decrease sales of caffeine containing drinks.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I want to say being f'd up makes me better at gaming, but I'm better when I'm sober. I wish it wasn't that way, though. Caffeine doesn't really have an effect on my gaming.

shantd
shantd

Reaffirms everything I've ever suspected. In my class, there's quite a few students who drink 5 Hour Energy shots. Some drink 2 to 3 per day while I consume no caffeine whatsoever. One day I decided to see what all the fuss was and drank one of them right before a test. All it did was make me horribly anxious and jittery, and turned what should have been a 45 minute exam into an hour and a half test of endurance. Never again. 

Now, a line of coke? Well...maybe in a future episode.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

I read that caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors in the brain somewhere, effectively preventing the brain from slowing down for sleep, repair, etc.  If that is indeed the case, the additional time awake can be helpful, but it comes at the cost of more recuperation time required later.

I'm a tea guy, and I drink out of a 2 pint jar, which means I have to use two tea bags.  I discovered that a nice earthy black tea + sweet chamomile makes a potent thinking potion.  The chamomile calms the nerves while the caffeine keeps you awake.  It's very effective.  Don't take caffeine alone :)

dirkradke
dirkradke

While we typically associate soda and other beverages that have caffeine in them as the big culprits there is a lot of other items that have caffeine as well.  Some favorites: chocolate, ice cream, diet pills, pain relievers (such as Excedrin), breath fresheners, sunflower seeds, instant oatmeal, and beef jerky.  Of course not all brands or products of these types have caffeine, but it is surprising that caffeine is in it at all.

StHapns247
StHapns247

I very rarely (maybe once a month?) drink coffee and when I do I most certainly feel more anxious and become jittery.

So from my perspective that part rings true. As for my friends and colleagues that drink coffee often: I do not observe them to be any more energetic, alert, or focused than those who do not. 

Axxed25
Axxed25

@BlkMgkNitez When I play with my team I usually smoke weed before we go ingame as it increases my focus, dunno if that would be good if I played in the LCS though. I kinda wonder if drugs are allowed in eSports

Plataea
Plataea

@PlatinumPaladin  

I have a cup of late at a cafe now and again, and occassionally a Coca Cola, but I avoid having too much caffeine or having it too often, as it tends to make me feel nauseous and jittery.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@zamelion You're right. I think it's the same with all potentially addictive substances to be fair.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

@shantd Well, dosage is very important to avoid the jittery side effect.  I weight about 195, but caffeinated tea is part of my normal routine, so I can down a whole 5hr energy drink and be pretty good.  It is still better though if I consume it in two parts when I need to drive across Washington state when visiting home.  So if you consider a 5hr energy again, try reducing the consumption to 2 or 3 separate gulps, and that should dramatically alter the results.  

Try it on a weekend though and not when you really need to get something done :)

tightwad34
tightwad34

@shantd LOL. I remember back in high school I took a couple of those alert pills before a Trig test you can buy in a store. I think they had some sort of bee logo on the box. Anyway I was the same, all jittery and anxious. Needless to say that's the last time I ever took those things. And you read my mind about a line of coke. I was going to say screw caffeine, a line of coke(well, we all know you can't really do just one) will do wonders for your gaming. You are much more focused and into the game and everything that happens in the game seems super awesome. Funny thing is since I got seriously got back into gaming I haven't done any, and of course that's not a bad thing. Now I just need to cut down on the alcohol LOL.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@amdreallyfast English Breakfast is probably my favorite tea, at least the best of what I have had. I actually like how tea doesn't get you jittery like coffe can, but coffe just seems to always be readily available to me. Plus I just don't think about getting tea because it has only been a part of my life for the last 3 or 4 years or so.

shantd
shantd

@dirkradke Beef jerky too?? Wow...that's new to me. Glad I read your post, something to watch out for going forward. Caffeine and I don't mix well.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

@StHapns247 I have a friend who doesn't drink much caffeine, but sometimes when we get together for a weekend, he'll have 1, just 1, NOS and be hopping around (sometimes literally) for the rest of the day and late into the night.  It affects different people differently.

shantd
shantd

@tightwad34 LOL at what you said about a line of coke making everything in the game seem 'super awesome'. That's so true. You can pick up something awful and still find yourself enjoying the game, thinking "why do people think this game sucks? I think it's pretty bitchin!"

 

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

@tightwad34 @amdreallyfast For breakfast, I have pan for my bacon and eggs on the stove on the large front burner, and my tea kettle on the small back burner.  Heating the water and pouring it into a 2 pint jar is now part of my morning routine.  I never really liked the smell or taste of any coffee that I tried, so I don't think about getting coffee :).

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@tightwad34 @amdreallyfast 

Would you believe this...?

One kilogram of Tea actually contains more caffeine, than one kilogram of Coffee. Where as a cup of Coffee has more caffeine, than a cup of Tea.

True story!

EDIT: Have you tried Earl Grey Tea (Jean-Luc Picard's favourite)? It is really nice and more mellow than the breakfast blend.

I basically live on the stuff and the caffeine content is not that high either.

lilflipp
lilflipp

@Daian @Axxed25 No it doesn't, not really. It does help to be immersed but it slows you down, your reaction time isn't as good.

I can hardly draw photo realism projects when I'm high, I can't concentrate on the miniscule details. On the other hand, it does opens your mind to new ideas, makes you see things from a different perspective.

And it helps a lot whenever I'm doing judo, it makes my body less stiff, movements flow with less resistance. Body becomes more relaxed. My reflexes are slowed down but much less hesitation. It all just flows.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@shantd Yeah, it's too bad it's not good for you. Must be the extra endorphins that make the game seem super awesome. Now I want to do that with a bad game. LOL.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@amdreallyfast  One of the owners at my work uses a two pint jar for her tea also. I really do need to drink more tea. It kind of comes in phases, but the last one was almost a year ago.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@punksterdaddy Yeah, I like Earl Grey. I am also fond of Peppermint and Lemon flavors. We usually have some sort of hippy tea available at work and it's not bad. I usually just brew it like I do coffee. And LOL at the first part of your comment.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

@punksterdaddy Yeah, Earl Grey is available at work, but for my black tea in the morning, I like the pyramid bags used in the PG Tips black tea.  The tea is nice and clean and earthy tasting.  It is bitter, but I like the bitterness now.  The pyramid bag is nice because the air pocket will inevitably float to one corner, keeping the rest of the bag under water.  I bought some of it on Amazon awhile back, unaware of how much tea 400 bags were.  It is a lot.

I've heard that about the caffeine in tea vs coffee, but I don't really care.  I am nowhere near the LD50 value, and the tea tastes clean and refreshing, whereas coffee tastes bitter, burnt, and dirty (personal opinion).

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@unitea @shantd @amdreallyfast @StHapns247 

It's a wee bit strange to me that so many people are badly affected by their intake of caffeine.

I find it interesting to read your comments on this.

It is not only myself though, I've never known any of my friends to be affected in this way either.

I personally have never noticed any effects from either energy drinks nor cups of tea. Whether positive or negative... I just doesn't happen to me.

I hope this is always the case but as I get older, I think this may change.

You've certainly opened my eyes to it.

Thanks.