If you’ve ever used corrective lenses, LASIK surgery or eyedrops, you know the big difference any vision enhancement makes in gaming performance. Because of this, natural vision supplements for gaming and eSports are now emerging as a safe, legal way for gamers to gain a unique competitive edge.
This article details eyesight functions needed for peak eSports performance, followed by the best research-backed vision supplements and stacks that can improve those gamer vision functions.
How Video Games Challenge Your Vision
Video game vision is a lot more intense than day-to-day eyesight.
Gamer vision places an unusually high demand on light-catching eye cells called rods and cones, due to constantly shifting light conditions and heavy demands on performance-oriented eyesight functions. For example:
This Star Wars Battlefront II still shows video game vision’s uniquely difficult challenges. Here, we see several vision-impairing symptoms striking the eyes at the same time, including:
This is why — perhaps more than any other competitive activity — vision performance determines video gaming outcomes. Any strategy that meets the unique demands of gamer vision, then, could be viewed as a gaming performance-enhancer.
Some of today’s advanced nutritional supplements for vision can make a big difference in video game vision performance.
That’s because science is now discovering that some eye health nutrients — usually found in supplements for people age 50+ — are also good for improving performance-oriented eyesight.
In fact, some vision supplements are now even shown in clinical research to boost many of the exact same visual functions that gamers need most to excel.
Gamer Vision Functions
Competitive gamers use some specific performance-oriented eyesight functions more than other people. The most important video game vision functions that can be improved with eSports supplements for vision include:
Acuity is a measure of crystal clear, healthy vision, with an emphasis on seeing fine details. When you go to the eye doctor and read letters off a chart, you are taking a visual acuity test. If you score 20/20, your vision is considered “perfect.” If you score 20/200, everything looks blurry and you are legally blind.
Recent LASIK advancements can now boost vision beyond perfect, to a score of 20/10 visual acuity. While not as dramatic, natural vision enhancer supplements have been shown to boost aspects of visual acuity that are key for peak gaming performance.
This refers to being able to see decently well in low-light scenarios. As humans, our night vision is generally poor compared to say, cats. Goggles and thermal imaging aside, we humans can still significantly improve our night vision performance with some vision supplements.
One classic example: Carrots supply vitamins for night vision. While they’re not the best natural night-vision enhancer, carrots may improve night vision in people who do not get enough beta carotene.
Critical to gamer vision, contrast sensitivity is our eyes’ ability to detect miniscule changes in light and shade. With good contrast sensitivity, we can track objects against all sorts of backgrounds — a vital ability for video games ranging from retro military ops to futuristic space battle epics
Examples where superior contrast sensitivity gives gamers a competitive edge:
- Seeing an enemy in camouflage gear against a jungle background
- Piloting an aircraft through heavy fog in a mountainous region
- Tracking and catching a football against a cheering crowd background
Some of the best video game supplements for vision have demonstrated contrast sensitivity improvements in clinical research settings. Performance-oriented vision supplements also enhance retinal flicker sensitivity, improving a gamer’s “motion sensing” vision.
Glare and Flash Recovery
There are two main glare-related culprits that can get you frakked in competitive gaming:
- Veiling glare from the sun, as well as realistic sun depictions in video games, creates a haze over objects that makes them harder to see and track
- Flash blindness is when a flash of bright light temporarily disables vision
Glare and flash blindness can cripple gaming vision performance.
Of course, that is why they are ever-present in games as grenade explosions, magic fireballs, oncoming headlights in driving games, brightly lit open settings and more. Some natural visual performance enhancers have strong research-backed benefits for glare and flash recovery.
When you walk from a bright room to a dark room, your eyesight is temporarily diminished as your vision adjusts. Of course, while you’re standing around “adjusting,” you are easy prey. Boom, fragged.
Dark adaptation refers to our eyes’ ability to shift from bright-light vision mode to low-light vision mode. Adapting can take anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes, creating competitive disadvantages for gamers, especially in games that have a lot of shifting light conditions.
While nothing can eliminate the eyesight adaptation period, some natural vision enhancers have been shown in research to accelerate the dark adaptation process. So you can regain peak competitive eyesight faster than your opponents.
Eyes get tired, too. Gaming tends to make visual fatigue worse, since many gamers will stare at a screen for way too long. Sometimes, gamers even forget to blink. (This is related to Computer Vision Syndrome).
As marathon gaming sessions go on and on until the early hours of morning, eyes get more and more fatigued – and all aspects of competitive eyesight performance get worse and worse.
By keeping your eyes energized with the right natural vision enhancers, you can maintain sharp, clear and active vision for a longer time while gaming.
Ocular Signalling Speed
When light hits the retina, photoreceptors send neural impulses across the optic nerve. Healthy ocular signaling is tied to healthy eyesight. Optimized signaling might also enhance hand-eye coordination and reflexes, helping you to react faster.
We’re talking millionths of a second here. But even that slight competitive reaction-time edge might mean the difference between flawless gaming victory and utter defeat.
Research links Black currant antioxidants to retinal transmission speed. Due to this, currants are an intriguing speculative addition to any premade stack vision supplements for gaming.
Vision Supplements for Military Video Games: A Tactical Advantage
Military institutions have long been aware of how assaults to vision can create serious disadvantages in combat and military ops.
Check out this “Declassified” 1968 paper from the US Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory. It focuses on flash blindness, but also discusses glare, light-dark adaptation, afterimages, and other vision performance parameters. This naval document on combat reminds us of:
- The nootropic N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, which has been shown to boost cognitive ability during high-stress situations including military combat training exercises;
- and Bilberries, which were consumed by British Royal Air Force fighter pilots to improve their night vision while on missions
Any aspect of performance that is mission-critical in real military ops is equally important in military video games.
Furthermore, anything that improves soldier performance in reality is also probably going to improve military gaming performance.
Taking advantage of every possible competitive edge? That’s just great strategy, whether in a real-life combat or playing a military video game.
Best 5 Vision Supplements for Gaming and eSports
#1 – Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Healthy Eyesight Sharpeners that Neutralize Flash and Glare
Lutein and zeaxanthin form the yellow macular pigment that works like “internal sunglasses” to absorb solar radiation and blue light from TVs, monitors, cell phones and other digital devices. This is key because blue light damages photoreceptors and degrades performance-oriented eyesight functions.
Lutein and zeaxanthin also support cell-to-cell signaling and other vision-dependent biochemical processes, making them the best duo for vision gaming performance enhancement.
Clinical studies have shown that FloraGLO® lutein and zeaxanthin improve:
- Glare reduction
- Night driving
- Recovery speed from flash blindness
- Contrast sensitivity
- Light-dark adaptation
You can see how this dynamic antioxidant duo combine to give a competitive eyesight edge to any serious gamer.
#2 – Saffron
Natural Motion Detection Enhancer
Saffron primes the eye’s photoreceptors for better retinal flicker sensitivity, enabling gamers to detect small movements with greater speed and accuracy. Among vision supplements for gaming, saffron may help to improve reaction time in competitive scenarios.
Saffron’s active antioxidants, safranal and crocin, also protect the macula and boost blood flow to the eyes. Like Lutein and Zeaxanthin, saffron also helps reduce the flash and glare-blinding effects of blue light rays
#3 – Black Currants and Bilberries
Improve Night Vision and Dark Adaptation
Black currants and bilberries would give you a competitive edge in this gaming scenario by boosting your eyesight’s dark adaptation ability. That is because these berries supply an exciting visual performance-enhancer called Cyanidin-3-glucoside, or C3G.
C3G is a vision supplement for gaming because it improves dark adaptation: It helps your eyes to adjust more quickly. This is due to its ability to boost rhodopsin, a natural compound that is responsible for “switching on” your night vision photoreceptors.
Black currants and bilberries also naturally deliver a versatile complex of eye protective antioxidants called anthocyanidins and anthocyanosides that are suggested to accelerate retinal transmission speed, boost blood flow to the eyes, improve night vision and energize visual performance.
#4 – Astaxanthin
Ocular Blood Flow Booster for Energized Eyesight
So far, our vision booster nutrients include pigment antioxidants: Dark purple bilberry and currant; bright yellow lutein and zeaxanthin. Astaxanthin is another sight-enhancing pigment antioxidant that is reddish-pink.
Also called a xanthophyll, astaxanthin has off-the-charts antioxidant activity. Research has shown that Astaxanthin boosts blood flow to the retina, improving oxygen and nutrient delivery. Astaxanthin helps computer vision and visual fatigue, focusing speed and eye strain issues.
#5 – Citicoline
Advanced Hybrid Vision-Enhancer/Nootropic for Gamers
Citicoline is most famous as a leading nootropic brain booster. Nootropics have their own place in video gaming performance enhancement: Citicoline in particular helps with mental energy, focus, concentration and other brainpower functions for gaming performance.
Citicoline is also neuroprotective. We usually think of neurons as brain cells and nerve cells. But the eyes’ photoreceptors are neurons, too. Citicoine works as a vision supplement for gaming by protecting photoreceptor cells and supporting dopamine for healthy nerve-signaling performance.
Gamers ranging from casual players to eSports pros are constantly looking for new ways to gain a competitive edge.
- Natural vision enhancers work for a lot more than long-range eye health. The ones in this article also boost video game vision performance in many ways.
Today’s vision supplements for gaming and esports are also more potent and powerful than ever, due to advanced and patented nutrient forms.
Combined the right way, they form an eSports supplement for dominant eyesight performance — potentially giving a unique competitive edge to any and all gamers who play to win.
Products suitable as vision supplements for gaming and eSports:
- Best Nootropic Brain Supplements
- Energy Supplement Reviews
- Best 5 Supplements Guide: How to Buy a Good Supplement
Krinsky NI, Landrum JT, Bone RA. Biologic mechanisms of the protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye. Annu Rev Nutr. 2003;23:171- 201. Epub 2003 Feb 27.
Falsini B, et al. Influence of Saffron Supplementation of Retinal Flicker Sensitivity in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration. IOVS, December 2010, Vol. 51, No. 12.
Matsumoto H., et al. Stimulatory Effect of Cyanidin 3-Glycosides on the Regeneration of Rhodopsin. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 3560-3563.
Otsuka T, et al. Astaxanthin Protects Against Retinal Damage: Evidence from In Vivo and In Vitro Retinal Ischemia and Reperfusion Models. Curr Eye Res. 2016 Nov;41(11):1465-1472.
Van Kujik FJ. Effects of ultraviolet light on the eye: role of protective glasses. Environ Health Perspect. 1991 December; 96: 177–184.