Esports Performance Nutrition Trends

Esports Performance Nutrition Trends

What Food & Beverage Manufacturers Need to Know

Professional gamers are beginning to be recognized as athletes with specific performance nutrition needs—such as optimal energy, focus, and vision. Here’s a look at the trends in esports nutrition for manufacturers who want to get in the game!

Esports Market and Audiences Growing

Esports has become a global phenomenon with nearly half a billion people expected to watch an esports event this year.1

Esports is a bustling industry with Asia Pacific at its center. Asia Pacific boasts a $71.5 billion esports market, supported by international tournaments, sponsors, and merchandise, with 6.6 percent year-over-year growth.2 While the esports market in North and South America is smaller at $43.9 billion, its year-over-year growth is higher at over 8 percent.3

Viewership continues to expand as esports events become more mainstream. Last year, there were 443 million viewers globally, up 12.3 percent from the year before.5 Forty-five percent of viewers are considered esports enthusiasts, while the remaining 55 percent are occasional viewers.5 The global audience is forecast to grow another 11.7 percent this year to reach 495 million people.6

What Food and Beverage Manufacturers Need to Know about Esports Performance Nutrition Trends 1

Opportunities in Esports Nutrition

At the largest esports tournaments where prize money is high, gamers need to perform their best. This not only creates an opportunity for manufacturers to develop products that support the nutritional needs of competitive gamers but also to connect with their large and growing audiences, many of whom are gamers themselves. 

Food and beverage manufacturers seeking to tap into the esports nutrition market by creating products or brands just for gamers should understand exactly what gamers are seeking in functional nutrition.

1. Science-Based Performance Nutrition

Serious gamers are interested in anything that can offer a competitive edge. For esports nutrition, this means science-based ingredients that support brain and eye health are a must to address gamers’ needs for optimal energy, focus, and vision.

Top Benefits and Ingredients for Esports Nutrition

 Benefit  Associated Ingredients
 Energy  Caffeine, taurine, B vitamins, creatine, CoQ10                                     
 Focus  L-theanine, L-glutamine, Ginkgo biloba, Panax ginseng, choline
 Visual health  Lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins A, C, and E

In addition, esports performance nutrition is seeing a shift toward sustained energy. This is boosting the popularity of low-sugar and sugar-free formulas that have moderate (rather than high) levels of caffeine to prevent “crashing.” Another trend is the interest in ingredients that support the nervous system for optimal reflexes and support the muscles to promote muscle recovery after long gaming sessions.

2. Alternative Ingredients in Esports Nutrition

Esports nutrition is also expanding to include ingredients associated with herbalism and other alternative medicine traditions. Products that take this approach typically rely on science-based ingredients but will feature one or more alternative ingredients. Bacopa leaf extract, lion’s mane mushroom, and cannabidiol are examples of alternative ingredients for esports nutrition.

What Food and Beverage Manufacturers Need to Know about Esports Performance Nutrition Trends 2

3. Macronutrients for Satiety

Competitive gamers are increasingly looking to performance nutrition products to provide satiety as well as functional nutrition. To this end, some manufacturers are including protein and fiber in their esports products. A meal replacement beverage formulated for gamers would be an ideal format to address the needs for satiety, sustained energy, and functional nutrition benefits.

4. Convenient Formats

For gamers looking to refuel during an intense gaming session, a product’s format can be as important as its nutritional value. Convenient formats such as ready-to-drink beverages, bars, gels, chews, and gummies are all smart options for manufacturers looking to enter the esports nutrition market.

Game On!

The largely untapped potential of esports performance nutrition makes this an exciting time for sports nutrition manufacturers. The right ingredients along with the right product format are the secrets to succeeding in this game. From our functionally optimized proteins for bars and healthy snacks to our library of essential micronutrients and bioactives, we have the solutions to help you come in first. To learn more about creating your own esports nutrition line, contact Glanbia Nutritionals today.


1. Newzoo. (2019). 2019 Global Esports Market Report. 
2-3. Mintel. (2020). Esports a huge opportunity for specialized nutrition.
4-6. Newzoo. (2019). 2019 Global Esports Market Report.

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