Gambling is more a game of wits than chance, especially in games like poker. Professional gamblers require excellent mental fortitude to consistently maintain their performance. However, mental fortitude only comes with practice and a healthy body. You need a well-rounded diet that can provide essential nutrients to boost your memory and cognitive functions and maintain bodily health.
Consequently, the average Middle Eastern diet is insufficient for professional gamblers to meet their body’s daily energy requirements. Let’s explore the topic in more depth and learn whether there’s such a thing as a diet for gamblers.
Do You Need to Avoid Certain Foods?
Yes, gamblers, especially poker players, need to avoid certain foods that can negatively affect their health and alter healthy brain activity. These effects are reflected in the player’s rate of performance and decision-making skills.
Here are three dietary habits that professional gamblers must try and avoid.
1. Consuming Lots of Nuts and Stimulants
Nuts and dried fruits are rich in cholesterol which is bad for the body, especially the heart. Increased consumption can lead to the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, restricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure.
Similarly, stimulants like coffee also increase anxiety and the tension on your nerves, both of which reduce efficient and critical thinking. A tense player is also more likely to make rash or impulsive gambling decisions.
2. Increased Uptake of Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are difficult to digest and are not an active energy source. Therefore, a good diet for gamblers must not have saturated fats, as it can make players feel lazy, lethargic, and unfocused during gaming sessions.
3. Low Water Consumption
Drinking lots of water is imperative to ensure good health. Dehydration can affect gaming performance, reduce the brain’s efficiency, and trigger irritability. As a thumb rule, gamblers should try and drink at least two liters of water daily to improve their performance, enhance brain functions, and maintain muscle flexibility.
Best Diet for Gamblers
Professional gamblers, especially poker players, keep strict diets before important tournaments. According to a newly published article by Arabwinners, keeping a Middle Eastern Diet isn’t enough, suggesting that an improper diet could negatively affect a player’s performance. The “Middle Eastern” diet consists of vegetables, legumes, and fruits. The diet also includes wheat, brown rice, and lentils and is commonly regarded as a healthy diet. However, according to the article, a healthy diet for gamblers and poker players would consist of more proteins such as fish and chicken while fruits would be limited in favor of vegetables.
While there is no set diet plan for professional gamblers, it helps if one focuses on incorporating various foods in a diet with a healthy dose of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow the brain cells, or neurons, to communicate with each other and the rest of the body.
As a result, the best diet for gamblers must be rich in serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. Let’s look at their benefits.
Benefits of Neurotransmitters
Dopamine interacts with the brain’s reward center and makes you feel happy, relaxed, and satisfied. Professional gamblers require healthy amounts of dopamine in their diet to keep cool during intense gambling sessions and have fun simultaneously. Foods rich in dopamine include:
- Fish and cheese (cheese can also lower blood pressure and regulate hormone excretion)
Acetylcholine is an essential neurotransmitter responsible for brain health, memory storage and recall, and muscular coordination. These are all traits that professional gamblers require to drastically boost their performance. A good diet for gamblers should meet their daily acetylcholine requirements to thrive at casino tables.
Foods rich in acetylcholine include:
a. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and corn grains
b. Tomatoes, bananas, and potatoes
c. Oats, flax seeds, and black beans
d. Salmon (salmon and other types of fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which boost memory)
Additionally, you should be careful not to overcook the vegetables as it can alter the chemical structure of acetylcholine!
Serotonin is often called the happy chemical as it is closely associated with mental well-being and happiness. It is a complex molecule that can enhance the body’s energy levels, reduce tension and anxiety, and positively affect the gambler’s mood.
Professional gamblers with a healthy supply of serotonin in their brains appear stronger and more energetic, and they can also enjoy their games more than players with a serotonin deficit. Therefore, the best diet for gamblers should include a healthy amount of serotonin-rich foods, such as:
a. Dark chocolate
b. Chickpeas and lentils
c. Bananas, avocados, and potatoes
e. Large fish and turkey
Notice how the mentioned food types are characteristic of a protein-rich diet. Professional gamblers need to increase their protein intake and cut down on fruits to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.
In conclusion, food choices play an integral role in gambling performance, and the best diet for gamblers should incorporate healthy doses of essential nutrients and neurotransmitters that enhance their brain activity, improve muscular coordination, and reduce stress and anxiety. Start supporting your diet today, and witness how it improves your performance!