Before we get started, let’s be honest for a second. When you spend a lot of time on the grind, your three closest companions can regrettably become table, chair, and computer. Such being the case, an emphasis needs to be placed on remaining healthy and active.
Our brains are processing a consistent flow of information but our bodies get little more than the occasional chair wiggle or lethargic stretch.
Articles like these need to be realistic. The point isn’t to turn grinders into Olympic athletes; the aim is to offer little nuggets of advice that can keep the mind sharp and the body healthy.
Limited physical exercise leads to fatigue and fatigue leads to mistakes and mistakes can cost you money. In order to play your best you must feel your best. One way to ensure optimal performance is to remember and abide by the classic adage “you are what you eat”.
Eating well and exercising have a real effect on your ability to make good decisions, the same decisions that translate into wins and losses at the table.
Best Brain Foods for long term play
A healthy diet is something you should be interested in for more reasons than just being a winning online grinder.
Make sure to have complete meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner with scheduled light snacks in the times between to refuel your batteries. Have one small snack 2.5 hours before lunch and another light snack 2 hours before dinner.
Include an assortment of vegetables and fruits in your menu. Fiber in your breakfast meal with juice will give you the kickstart you need. Avoid carb-heavy meals at night.
If you’re like most people, however, you’re going to be looking for something to snack and sip on while you’re on the grind.
These five items are not only ideal fuels for your brain, they’re also tasty and easy to add to your snack menu.
Acai berries and Blueberries
– Purple berries, in general, are known to contain high levels antioxidants and vitamins. Acai berries, which are a unique fruit from South America, also possess essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids and protein.
– Blueberries are one of the healthiest things to eat in the world. They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit and are linked to improved vision, coordination.
– Coffee’s gotten a bit of a bad rap when it comes to health but the truth of the matter is that coffee is a great source of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It has also been shown recently that caffeine is actually good for the brain – in moderation of course.
– The ideal form of coffee, when speaking in terms of mental health and benefits, is pure Espresso. Drink without milk and sugar for best brain results.
Benfits for the player: Rocket fuel for the brain. Stay alert and on point with a steady stream of caffeine.
Matcha – aka Gyokuru green tea powder
– This is some of the rarest, purest, and most revered tea there is. What’s unique about having Matcha tea is that you actually consume the whole thing. It’s like a drink and a meal, and it’s great for you.
– It is grown in the shade and very rich in nutrients and chlorophyll.
– High concentrations of amino acid L-Theanine which has relaxing and calming effects.
– Has roughly 10 times the quantitative benefit of regular tea including greater amounts of: Antioxidants, catechins, vitamins such as C and A, even Fluoride and L-Theanine.
Benefit for the player: Take the edge off a bad beat with the calming effects of this revered tea.
– Even though cacao beans are a big part of chocolate you’re not going to get the good stuff they have to offer by eating an average chocolate bar. You need to get the bean naturally. You can find it either in high percentage (over 75%) dark chocolate or 100% organic non-alkalized cocoa powder.
– Rich in brain-enhancing goodies like antioxidants, flavanoids, catechins and theobromine.
– Linked to improved cognitive function, bliss and mood enhancement.
Benefits for the player: Eating chocolate releases brain chemicals that will help you stay positive and optimistic, two very important traits at the poker table.
– An amazing source of Essential Fatty Acids (like Omega-3), low in saturated fats, among the lowest contaminant (mercury) levels of all seafood,
– Linked to improved brain function, mood, synaptic connections, and even reduces your risk of stroke, Dementia and Alzheimers.
– Benefits for the player: Wild salmon will keep your brain firing on all cylinders, giving you the faculties you need to stay sharp at the tables.
Exercises and Tips for the Online Poker Player
It doesn’t take a fitness expert to tell you that sitting at a computer all day isn’t going to do much for your body.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to join a spin class or buy a rowing machine to enjoy the benefits of good fitness.
Use a moderate combination of cardiovascular/aerobic training with regulated lifting and stretching. Remember to pace yourself. The point is to find a regime that you can rely on a few times per week.
Just like a well-balanced diet, staying physically fit is paramount to your quality and length of life, not just your casino grinding.
In addition to a healthy lifestyle we’ve put together a quick list of easy exercises and tips specifically geared to the online player.
• Ensure good posture by purchasing a comfortable, ergonomic chair. Square your shoulders and make sure your monitor is at a comfortable height. Your wrists should be slightly lower than your elbows and your knees should be slightly higher than your hips for best posture.
• Have a watch or phone with a timer or alarm. Take short 1-2 minute stretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of play, take a 5 minute break.
• If you are a tournament player, always try to get away from your computer/table during breaks in play.
• Avoid eye fatigue by resting and refocusing your eyes periodically. Look away from the monitor and focus on something in the distance.
• Rest your eyes by covering them with your palms for 10-15 seconds.
• Use correct posture when working. Keep moving as much as possible.
• Roll and stretch your wrists regularly.
• Contract and hold your abdominal and gluteus muscles repeatedly until comfortably tired.
• Exercise your calves by pushing up onto the balls of your feet, hold and repeat.
• Utilize the same process each time. A routine allows you to be habitual. This way you don’t forget any areas and you treat all areas of your body each time.
Unfortunately knowing which foods to eat and which exercises to do doesn’t count for a whole lot if you don’t put it into action.
Observe your own habits and schedules and make a note of them. Not just a mental note, actually write it down.
Keep track of when you are playing, what you’re eating, and how much sleep you are getting. If you rely on memory for this you will lose track or stop caring. Having it on paper will keep you on track.
Once you have your pattern on paper you can begin to dissect the info and figure out where to make the necessary changes. If you’re serious about it you can change your lifestyle.
Once you have your brain and body functioning at peak performance you will see a real effect on your play.