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Why Coffee is my Go-To Energy Source For Gaming Focus

Posted by Naomi Roots on
Why Coffee is my Go-To Energy Source For Gaming Focus

I know why I grab a morning coffee as part of my daily routine, it definitely helps wake me up and gives me a kick before my commute to the office. But is this effect psychological because I’m telling my (slightly grumpy) morning self that the coffee in my hand will make me alert, help me focus and make me ‘ready’ for the day ahead, or is there actual science behind my morning coffee habit?

Synthetic caffeine vs natural caffeine 

This thought came to me during a gaming session, when I went to pick up an energy drink in a can and bothered for once to look at the list of ingredients included. I noticed the word caffeine first because I know caffeine helps me to stay focused during a gaming session (like the caffeine in my coffee in the morning, or so I thought). Why caffeine, why not coffee? Why was I drinking synthetic caffeine and not caffeine from natural compounds found in nature like coffee beans? 

Why do gamers drink energy drinks? 

I had grabbed the energy drink because I believed it would give me the energy hit I needed to play my best, but why was my go to for focus and concentration during a gaming session full of synthetic crap? Surely coffee, in its most natural form, would be the best option? Artificial caffeine is a cheap and easy option, but the energy drink in my hand was far from reasonably priced. But then I noticed there was also a list of other scary looking ingredients listed on the side of the can including taurine and glucose. What the hell was I putting into my body? (The body that is obviously a temple by the way!)

What is taurine in energy drinks? 

So why did my energy drink have taurine in it? (Red Bull had to dismiss the rumours that they sourced it from bull’s testicles) but from my understanding (and Googling 😏) Taurine suppresses your neurotransmitter receptors which can creates a calming effect. So one minute this energy drink company is filling me with a fake stimulant, the next they are trying to balance the effects of that stimulant? It was enough to blow my mind, never mind my wallet!

Does caffeine help with gaming?

Synthetic caffeine in energy drinks absorbs into the body so much quicker than natural caffeine but also wears off quickly too, so the crash and burn is so much more brutal with the synthetic stuff which means you will need to keep smashing energy drinks laden with sugar to get the same kick that natural coffee would give you. That’s no good for my waistline (remember the body and temple bit). So yes, caffeine helps with gaming, but from now on I’m only going to talk about natural caffeine, the stuff found in plant compounds, and look at how this natural caffeine found in coffee is going to make me a better gamer.  

Is coffee good for gaming?

Yes, there is actual science behind the benefits of natural caffeine found in coffee which is why so many gamers drink coffee. 

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and an organic molecule called methylxanthine. 

Caffeine increases activity in the brain and nervous system and increases the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline. Therefore caffeine can increase mental alertness as well as physical energy. 

When should I drink coffee to optimise my gaming performance? 

Like all stimulants, caffeine can affect people differently and for different lengths of time. So it’s hard to answer the question ‘how much coffee is needed to increase focus?’ Caffeine is well absorbed by the body, it can take from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to take effect and this effect can last for up to 12 hours. 

This 2021 study looked at how caffeine enhanced cognitive performance and I found it fascinating. I have pulled out some of the findings that I think stand out for me as a gamer and demonstrate how coffee can make you a better gamer!

Caffeine was found to enhance processing speed 

This is critical for gamers, particularly those who enjoy action genres who need to be able to detect and respond to rapid changes in an environment. If caffeine increases the speed at which an individual can do this then caffeine will directly improve their performance in the game. Caffeine has a positive effect on short and long term memory. This is particularly important if you enjoy adventure genres that might include quests or maps that need following. If caffeine helps you recall the information more effectively and retain it, it will help give you an edge over the competition. 

It’s no surprise students drink more coffee when they are studying for their exams!

Why coffee is a better choice than energy drinks 

I realise that energy drinks became my go to because there wasn't anything out there at the time that was designed to meet my needs as a gamer; that I could just grab quickly and enjoy straight from my fridge. Don’t even get me started on powdered energy options that you have to measure out and put in a shaker! They always remind me of protein shakes that people have before a gym workout, something you might drink whilst holding your breath to avoid the nasty fake taste!

But then I discovered a new Gaming Coffee

When Kontrol Coffee launched in late 2023 they clearly knew what they were doing, they found the niche in the market that spoke directly to me, a gamer who was looking for an amazing tasting drink in a can that increased focus without all the synthetic rubbish. In their own words “gamers deserve an upgrade”. They are the only iced coffee gaming brand in the UK.

The upgrade comes in the form of iced lattes in four incredible flavours - original, caramel, mocha, and vanilla. They contain caffeine in its most natural form with each can containing a caffeine kick equivalent to two shots of espresso (79.2mg per can). There are no synthetic copycats in this can. It is also naturally sweetened which gives it a satisfying punch. This is without doubt THE best gaming coffee on the market. 

Ready-to-Drink Cans

The ready-to-drink can is perfect for me. I can stock up my cupboard because they last an incredible 18 months on the shelf, and then I leave a few (well four/five) in the fridge so I can enjoy them chilled when I want one. I have even kicked my expensive morning Costa Coffee iced latte habit because I now grab a Kontrol can from the fridge on the way out of the house. It’s the largest ready-to-drink iced coffee can on the market, and at such a good price I’m quids in, and they get delivered straight to my door so I never have to worry about running out.

Assassin’s Creed Coffee 

I have also just discovered that Kontrol is not only the best gaming coffee but they have made a new gaming collectible. Kontrol partnered with Ubisoft to launch Kontrol Coffee’s vanilla flavoured latte. The ‘Mirage Vanilla Latte’ can features incredible original artwork from Ubisoft’s new title, Assassin's Creed Mirage, that was released at the end of 2023. It’s a definite nod to gamers like me who are looking to fuel their game naturally. Just try it and see if Kontrol will become your go-to gaming coffee for focus and energy.

This is the OG iced coffee gaming brand and I can’t wait for new flavours and collaborations to be released soon!