How to Increase Your “HP” for Better Gaming

Just like a glitch in a game, something that causes an unwanted pause—say, shuffling around to get rid of a cramp, or feeling the need to blink to restore moisture to eyes—is annoying and can throw you off and reduce your health points (HP). But there are easy steps to take and products to use to help increase your comfort so you can play better, longer.

Perhaps the most common issue created by constant gaming is dry eyes and what’s known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain, of which gamers are particularly vulnerable to, compared to non-gamers. Tired and irritated eyes can slow down reaction time, and inhibit ability to quickly discern movement, impairing strategy.

The American Optometric Association, a leading expert in vision health, recognizes “computer vision syndrome/digital eye strain” as a group of eye-and vision-related problems that result from prolonged screen use. Some of the symptoms of eye strain and vision problems can persist even after the gamer stops playing.

Studies have shown clearly that vision issues result from continuous gaming. For example, one research team concluded that “excessive and continuous computer gaming impairs visual functions and causes ocular [eye] and physical fatigue.”

It all stems from the blue light released from the screens on computers, TVs and smartphones. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum produced by the sun, and it passes through the cornea and lens into the retina. But too much exposure to this light causes more free radicals to be produced in the eyes, and these free radicals are known to create eye fatigue, blurry vision, and dry eyes. It can also impair the ability to see contrast between two objects.

And, unlike working on a computer, gamers can’t look away for a moment to take a screen break. Further, symptoms of digital eye strain can be felt in as little as two hours of gaming.

There are several strategies to help support visual performance while gaming. One is wearing blue light glasses. These glasses are made with a coating or a tint that blocks the blue light from reaching through to the retinas, and are meant to reduce eye strain and discomfort such as dryness. However, the research demonstrating measurable results in eye fatigue and strain isn’t conclusive.

Another drawback from relying solely on blue light glasses for gaming is that they often alter the colors of the screen, which will impact critical nuances of gaming, especially those that depend on color contrast for play.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin Isomers

A scientifically proven long-term strategy for supporting healthy vision and eyes for gamers is taking supplements including efficacious doses on the three macular carotenoids—lutein, RR-zeaxanthin, and meso (RS)-zeaxanthin. These naturally occurring antioxidants are deposited in the macula where they help absorb blue light and therefore, help protect your eyes from the inside. In one study, researchers pointed out “lutein and zeaxanthin may be protective against eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye.”

Another benefit gamers will appreciate is that taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplements also helps promote cognitive performance. These carotenoids are also deposited in the areas of the brain that are tasked with information processing and memory—two activities that can be the difference between a win or loss.

This combination has been studied in several human trials. And researchers concluded that in adults, higher lutein concentration is related to better cognitive performance.

The amount of lutein to zeaxanthin which is naturally in the diet is 5:1, and this is what most studies have used; therefore, look for supplements with this ratio.

Moreover, efficacious doses are critical to obtaining health and performance benefits. Multiple studies show that 20 mg of lutein and 4 mg of zeaxanthin isomers helps a variety of health and performance benefits especially for the eyes and brain.

Finally, lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to help support healthy stress levels, which most gamers can attest is important to keeping a cool head during game play.6 All on a gamer’s healthy wish list!

Chairs and Wrist Support

Spending hours involved in esports is also hard on the spine and wrists/hands. Gaming chairs are specifically designed for the activity of esports, which requires more physical movement than simply working on the computer. According to one source, gaming chairs “are miles ahead of office chairs in terms of adjustability.” They also have key characteristics: high backrest and support cushions to ensure proper posture, height adjustability to prevent neck strain, and adjustable armrests to minimize carpal tunnel syndrome. And gaming chairs also have reclining backrests to take pressure off the spine after prolonged times sitting in one position.

In one survey of college esports players, behind eye fatigue, neck and back pain followed by wrist and hand pain were the top complaints. Overuse injuries are often accompanied by inflammation.

Stretching is highly recommended to reduce risk of injury during gaming. After a gaming session, there are specific stretches for thumbs, fingers, hands and wrists, as well as forearms. Doing these can help reduce esports injuries known as mouse elbow, gamer’s thumb and medial epicondylosis, a type of soft-tissue elbow injury.

Gaming can be an exhilarating escape and a way to indulge the endless frontier of imagination, while improving cognitive skills. But it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

OMNITRIVIA: In 2021, the world’s number-one professional eSports team ranked by total prize money won is Team Liquid (Europe). The US’s Evil Geniuses ranked third. (Source: