Food supplements enjoy unquestionable success as one in two French people take them. But what about their relevance to a sector as specific as esport?
What is Esport?
After originally becoming popular in South Korea, esport gradually developed worldwide.
Esport is a contraction of the words “electronic sport”. It involves individual players or groups of players competing against each other in video games at tournaments or in competitions. This phenomenon has hugely taken off in recent years and continues to attract many new followers and fans. Gamers can compete against each other from home or at major events bringing them all together. This sector is often wrongly seen as a male-only environment. However, more and more women are getting involved too.
While esport is not a sport in the physical sense, it is nevertheless considered as such. Indeed, it is a very demanding discipline that requires great mental dexterity. Some games may require strategy or logic. When gamers play together, communication and good teamwork are essential. Also, some games can last several hours, or even all night. Gamers therefore need to preserve their energy and remain very focused.
Today, gamers are becoming aware of the importance of being physically fit.
To reach the highest level, gamers need to train several hours a day. It is even possible to be a professional player, known as a pro-gamer.
From geeks slumped in front of their PCs, gamers have adopted a more positive image of real athletes!
Nutrition for Esport
Manufacturers of food supplements specifically aimed at gamers take their inspiration from sports nutrition. Currently, there are not many of them on the market but the trend is set to develop over the coming years. Indeed, the video game community is continuing to grow. This phenomenon intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anticipating innovations is crucial to offer the best combinations of ingredients. To do this, consumer expectations and scientific developments need to be taken into account. It is also important to regularly monitor the latest consumer trends, the market and new product releases.
Before a competition, gamers need to be in perfect physical and mental health.
E-gamers, a demanding target
Gamers are a high-potential target but can be difficult to convince. Above all, they are looking for real results and benefits from the food supplements aimed at them. This particular target seeks primarily to maximise their chances of winning games. A product that improves their performance and also corresponds to their values will be seen as credible.
The quest for a performance advantage in games!
Specific formulas for Esport
Top-level e-gamers need to be able to perform for several hours at tournaments or in competitions. A specifically-developed formulation allows gamers to be in ideal condition during their performance with optimised cognitive faculties.
But while coming up with a formula that boosts players’ abilities for the duration of the game is essential, this is not enough. They also need to remain focused at all times and be able to manage the stress caused by a big challenge. Once the competition is over, they also need to recuperate and prevent the development of physical pains caused by repeating the same movements.
“Before the game” formula
Before a competition, all athletes prepare themselves mentally and try to get themselves into the best possible condition to excel on match day.
The aim of this formula is to boost gamers’ energy and concentration.
- Rhodiozen©, from the rhodiola rosea plant, is a natural ingredient that helps the body better resist physical and mental stress. This plant is also commonly used by students before exam periods. Moreover, many studies have amply demonstrated its effects on concentration and alleviating fatigue.
- Ginseng also has very interesting benefits for boosting performance. Like rhodiola, it is one of the so-called “adaptogenic” plants. It helps the body resist stress and feel more energetic. Also, it improves concentration and coordination.
- Guarana is a plant rich in caffeine, known for its energizing and stimulating properties. It is widely used in products for athletes. On a psychological level, it is clinically proven to help maintain mental well-being, memory and alertness. It also helps reduce mental fatigue.
- Luzixine™ is a botanical health ingredient derived from the medicago sativa plant that is 100% made in France. It is naturally rich in iron, meaning that it has many validated health claims. Iron intake helps reduce fatigue and maintain normal cognitive function. It may be taken along with acerola, which is an excellent source of natural vitamin C. Indeed, acerola promotes proper absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal tract. It should also be noted that Luzixine™ is rich in plant-based proteins (>50%), minerals and vitamins.
“After the game” formula
Just like athletes, e-gamers need to need to let off pent-up nervous energy after their performance. However, recuperation is all too often neglected.
This formula was developed to optimise recuperation after several intensive hours of gaming. For this purpose, it contains ingredients that promote physical and mental relaxation. The “after the game” formula also focuses on eye care since the eyes are exposed to blue light for an extended period of time.
- Ginkgo contributes to good vision by promoting peripheral blood circulation, which is particularly useful for the eyes. It is also known to improve cognitive performance. Ginkgo can therefore also be used in a “before the game” formula.
- Blueberry is beneficial for tired eyes and protects them from oxidative stress. It helps improve night vision. Also, the antioxidants found in blueberry, anthocyanosides, help maintain the proper functioning of the retina.
- Valerian promotes relaxation and contributes to a balanced nervous system. It has a soothing and relaxing effect.
- Hawthorn (crataegus laevigata) is traditionally used to reduce tension and agitation. It also promotes better sleep.
- Lavender helps achieve optimal relaxation and maintain healthy sleep patterns.
“Flexible game” formula
Gamers can suffer from joint pains as a result of performing several micro-movements per second. These pains affect the wrist but can spread up into the forearm even as far as the shoulder. Maintaining constant hand pressure on the mouse and stretching the wrist can also lead to inflammation. In the long term, this can cause permanent damage. To prevent the trauma associated with long periods of gaming, certain medicinal plants are recommended.
- Turmeric helps keep joints supple and protect them.
- Harpagophytum helps maintain mobility. Like turmeric, it is traditionally used to ensure the proper functioning of the joints.
- Blackcurrant contributes to the proper functioning of muscles and joints.
- Boswellia serrata promotes joint flexibility.
What the body ingests has an important impact on a gamer’s performance and health, just like for top athletes.
Original Esport packaging & fun galenic form
The final design of the packaging must correlate with the target’s areas of interest. It is, in fact, a powerful marketing tool in itself by way of its form and design. In the sports nutrition market, attractive and original packaging abounds. Several different categories of athletes are targeted to further customize product offerings.
For most e-gamers, a capsule or tablet form would directly conjure up a medicinal product. Such forms could repel them. A fun “on-the-go” form should therefore be prioritised.
Gummies are a perfect example of this. They are easy to take on-the-go and taste good. They are actually a very popular form with the millennial generation as they remind them of sweets. For ultra-customisation, it is even possible to develop a form of gummies that evokes the world of esports.
Like gummies, orodispersible forms or shots are also very interesting as they can be taken very quickly. Sticks or other sachet forms can also be considered, as well as stand-up pouches (doypacks), which are usually taken in a shaker.
Doypacks directly conjure up the image of an athlete taking a supplement before, during or after a sports session. Consequently, e-gamers will be more familiar with this form, which they associate with an energizing effect.
Once again, they are a demanding target! To give players the best possible experience, it is essential to regularly monitor their online behaviour and comments to stay in touch with their changing needs.
The long-term success of esport food supplements will depend on ongoing research and new ingredients to win over such a demanding customer base. In the future, this specific market could be ready for new investments in innovation. Indeed, there is always a need for products backed up by science and research.
Pharmanager Ingredients: supplier of ingredients and so much more!
We direct our clients towards nutraceutical formulations that are in line with current regulations. We offer a variety of ingredient combinations to meet their needs as closely as possible. For this purpose, we have a wide range of high-quality ingredients (premium, plants or plant extracts) available in our online catalogue. Our premium ingredients are based on scientific studies or evidence of efficacy showing real potential.
- E-gamers are to be considered as real athletes.
- Quality ingredients based on scientific studies should be prioritised.
- Attractive and well-targeted packaging and galenic forms will more easily appeal to professional players.