eSports are on the rise, and the stakes are high. Learn how professional eSport athletes are using CBD to get a leg up on the competition.
eSports are becoming so popular, there’s been talks of entering them into the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris — something previous generations couldn’t have even dreamed of.
People are taking eSporting very seriously. And so they should — winning a competition like The International or upcoming events run by Epic or Riot Games allows contestants the opportunity to win millions.
With so much on the line, eSport athletes are taking measures to keep their minds sharp and their reflexes fast. In such intensity, gaming-induced injury, such as joint pain, is prone to happen.
One of the more popular supplements in recent years for eSport professionals is cannabidiol — the primary non-psychoactive therapeutic ingredient in cannabis plants. It’s a supplement with a long list of reported benefits for alleviating symptoms, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, and much more.
In this article, we’ll explore why eSport athletes are opting for CBD, which forms they’re taking, and how this supplement affects the brain and body of professional gamers.
Let’s get started with a quick introduction to what eSports is all about.
eSports is a relatively new term — referring to organized, competitive video gaming. It stands for electronic sports.
Competitions can be solo or team-based and involve any genre of video games. There are competitions for simulated sports like NBA and NFL, as well as battle royale and multiplayer online battle games like Fortnite and League of Legends.
eSport events may have only started a few years ago, but they’re becoming incredibly popular. In 2018 the market for eSports was $897 million, but it’s expected to reach $1.1 billion by the end of 2019.
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, is throwing a tournament later this fall (2020) with a prize pool worth $30 million. Among other events Epic Games has offered throughout the year, the total prize money is in the realm of $100 million!
They’re not alone, other competitions around the world are giving competitors the chance to win hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.
With so much on the line at eSporting events, contestants will do everything they can to gain an advantage over the competition — both mentally and physically.
There are a few key areas of focus competitors can focus on to get their body primed for an event — many of which have substantial overlap with the effects of CBD.
Here are 4 ways CBD may help an aspiring professional eSports athlete reach the top of their game — and stay there:
Sleep is vital for brain function . While you’re asleep, the brain remains relatively active. It gives specialized cells in the brain known as the glial cells the chance to do their job — which is to remove toxic debris and metabolic byproducts that have built up during the day and repair existing neuronal damage.
When you’re sleep-deprived, the brain can’t function to the best of its ability — leading to higher chances of making mistakes, memory issues, and difficulty concentrating — all of which are important to avoid when competing in eSports.
One of the most popular reasons for taking CBD is its effects on sleep.
Here’s how it works:
CBD may support our natural sleep-wake cycle by acting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — which is a key regulator in the sleep-wake cycle . This is the natural cycle that makes us feel alert during the day and tired at night.
People who frequently play video games often experience dysregulated sleep-wake cycles due to irregular sleeping habits and exposure to computer screens late at night.
To reach the full extent of this benefit, you’ll likely need to take CBD for a few weeks. It’s also essential to establish a regular sleeping pattern.
The body is well-equipped to handle short term stress.
When the stress response is activated, the adrenal glands located just above the kidneys will secrete a stress hormone called cortisol. This is the chief stress hormone in the body, which causes the majority of the effects we perceive as stress.
You’ll experience an increase in mental acuity, heart rate, blood pressure. Consequently, all non-essential processes in the body slow down to preserve energy for the areas you need it most — the muscles and the brain.
In the short term, stress can actually be helpful for eSport activities. It gives us a heightened level of awareness and razor-sharp reflexes.
However, when this stress goes on for too long, it starts to have the opposite effect — potentially leading to inflammation in the brain and a gradual loss of neuronal function. This, of course, is bad for business if you’re relying on staying sharp to win games.
CBD has been the focus of attention in a lot of research over the last few years for its ability to reduce stress and protect thebrain from neurodegeneration(gradual loss of neurons and cognitive function).
eSport contestants, as well as other professional athletes and students, are supplementing CBD to alleviate the negative impact stress has on the brain and body — without compromising the short term benefits of stress during competition.
Despite the fact that eSport contestants can perform from the comfort of a chair — and there’s rarely physical contact in the sport — athletes are still prone to muscle and joint pain just like any other sport.
Some professional eSport contestants have even had to stop playing as a result of their injuries. Dota champion, Clinton Lumis a.k.a “Fear” suffers from severe tennis elbow as a result of professional video gaming.
The injuries experienced by video gamers are different from other sports — primarily focusing on the tendons and ligaments of the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
Common muscle and joint injuries caused by eSports:
A lot of research has been published in recent years investigating the pain-relieving effects of CBD. Researchers have investigated the effects of CBD towards muscle and joint pain , pain induced by inflammation , nerve pain, and even pain resistant to other forms of treatment .
CBD is popular among eSport athletes for reducing pain and inflammation acquired from professional gaming — and to speed healing of damaged, inflamed tissue.
For best results, always speak with a doctor or physiotherapist about your injury before taking CBD or any other supplement to mask symptoms. We recommend using both topical and internal CBD (such as oils or capsules) for best results.
The Electronic Sports League operates just like any other professional organization. They regulate contestants to make sure nobody has an unfair advantage. A big part of this is drug testing.
In the past, there were no limitations on performance-enhancing drugs in electronic sporting events — but after it came to light that several high-level athletes were using medications such as Adderall during an event to improve mental acuity and reaction times, regulators stepped in and implemented a sweeping ban on all performance-enhancing drugs.
About 4 years ago, the ESL made a statement that the organization was going to base its anti-doping list off the substances listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
For this reason, it’s especially important to only use CBD products that are made from pure, isolated CBD.
There are plenty of excellent CBD manufacturers making CBD isolate oils, capsules, and gummies for people looking to add this supplement to their nutritional regimen without risking a failed drug test.
CBD isolates are made from a purified version of the compound that’s had all other cannabinoids removed. This is the only way to ensure that none of the other cannabinoids in the plant — especially the psychoactive ingredient, THC — remain in the final product.
One of the trickiest aspects of using CBD for novice users is finding the right dose. CBD affects everybody differently — some people need large doses to receive the benefits, others need much lower doses. It all depends on how your body responds and the severity of your symptoms.
The best way to find the right dose is to start with a lower dose and build up gradually over time.
Below are our general recommendations when it comes to using CBD according to your weight. This is meant to serve as a starting point of reference — not medical advice.
Many people will start at the lower dose for their weight and add 2–5 mg of CBD per dose over the course of a few days until they experience the effects they’re looking for.
If you experience side-effects, simply return to the last dose you used that didn’t produce these side-effects.
|Weight (lbs)||Low Strength||Medium Strength||High Strength|
|100 lbs||10 mg||30 mg||60 mg|
|125 lbs||13 mg||38 mg||75 mg|
|150 lbs||15 mg||45 mg||90 mg|
|175 lbs||17 mg||52 mg||105 mg|
|200 lbs||20 mg||60 mg||120 mg|
|225 lbs||22 mg||67 mg||135 mg|
|250 lbs||25 mg||75 mg||150 mg|
CBD is an excellent health supplement, and there are several reasons why professional eSport athletes may want to incorporate this compound into their supplement regimen.
However, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional before using CBD, or any health supplement for alleviating any health conditions. Your doctor can help you assess the right dose, check for any contraindications (reasons to avoid CBD), and provide other health advice to get the most out of the supplement (including other supplements, medications, or lifestyle changes).
Many people view video gamers as slackers or athletically “unfit” — especially when you compare the activity to traditional sports like boxing, basketball, or football. But this is rarely the case at the high-level of the sport.
A recent study by the German Sports University in Cologne, found that the strains put on the body during eSport competitions is comparable to that of traditional sports. This is especially the case when it comes to mental stress.
In order to succeed, eSport athletes need to be able to remain at full attention, exhibit exceptional fine motor abilities and reflexes, and make important decisions under pressure for long periods of time. This is a similar set of criteria needed by other professional athletes.
There’s a debate about whether or not eSports should be considered a real sport — but either way, performers in this space need to operate at the peak of their ability if they want to be successful. This requires perseverance and training to accomplish, along with good nutrition, plenty of sleep, stress management — and, in many cases, the use of supplements and medications (including CBD).
eSport events have reached epic proportions — giving contestants the opportunity to earn fortune and fame. Some people have become professional eSports players — often going by their screen name when playing competitively.
N0tail, an eSport winner of The International (a Dota 2 championship run in Shanghai, China), won $15.6 million dollars to be split among his team. He took home roughly $3 million from that event alone. To date, N0taill has won around $6,886,182 through competitions — making him the highest-paid eSport contestant to date.
This is above average in terms of pay, but like any other organized professional event, eSports has team owners, managers, trainers, contracts, and sponsorships.
Sponsors will pay to have professional eSport contestants wear their clothing, put their branding on their computers or consoles, or mentioned in live Twitch streams and social media. Most of the time, these sponsorships result in free equipment, paid rent, or complimentary meals for the team during a competition.
Some eSporting teams will even have salaries for its members to cover operating costs that allow them to focus on the game full-time.
But the largest earnings come from winning championships. The winnings for a competition depends on the popularity of the game. The largest games include Fortnite, Dota, League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike. Earnings can range from $2000 per team member, all the way up to a few million.
eSports are big — and they’re only getting bigger. Contestants have the potential to earn millions of dollars. This gives eSport athletes plenty of motivation to take extra measures to stay at the top of their game.
CBD may be the answer for some.
CBD provides support on a holistic level — supporting the sleep cycle, alleviating pain caused by using a computer mouse or controller and protecting the brain from the negative side-effects of long-term stress.