Before we get started, let's be honest for a second. Poker players, as a whole, are not the most physically fit group of people.
Our brains are processing information on a regular basis but our bodies get little more than the occasional chair wiggle or lethargic stretch.
Articles like these need to be realistic. The point isn't to turn grinders into Olympic athletes; the aim is to offer practical advice that can keep the mind sharp and the body healthy.
Whether you play live or online, poker guarantees one thing; you spend plenty of time sitting in a chair. In order to be profitable in the long run it's crucial to revitalize the body and mind with exercise and healthy food.
Eating well and exercising have a real effect on your ability to make good decisions, the same decisions that translate into wins and losses at the poker table.
Best Brain Foods for the Poker Player
A healthy diet is something you should be interested in for more reasons than just winning at poker.
Make sure to have complete meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner with scheduled light snacks in the times between to refuel your batteries. Have one small snack 2.5 hours before lunch and another light snack 2 hours before dinner.
Include an assortment of vegetables and fruits in your menu use organic foods. Fiber in your breakfast meal with juice will give you the kickstart you need. Avoid carb-heavy meals at night.
If you're like most people, however, you're going to be looking for something to snack and sip on while you're on the grind.
These five items are not only ideal fuels for your brain, they're also tasty and easy to add to your snack menu.
1. Acai berries and Blueberries
Purple berries, in general, are known to contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins.
Acai berries, which are a unique fruit from South America, also possess essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids and protein.
Blueberries are one of the healthiest things to eat in the world. They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit and are linked to improved vision, coordination and cognitive function.
Brain benefits for the poker player: Improved vision and coordination will cut down on costly multi-tabling mistakes.
2. Coffee beans
Coffee's gotten a bit of a bad rap when it comes to health but the truth of the matter is that coffee is a great source of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
It has also been shown recently that caffeine is actually good for the brain – in moderation of course.
The ideal form of coffee, when speaking in terms of mental health and benefits, is pure Espresso. Drink without milk and sugar for best brain results.
Brain benfits for the poker player: Rocket fuel for the brain. Stay alert and on point with a steady stream of caffeine.
3. Matcha – aka Gyokuru green tea powder
This is some of the rarest, purest, and most revered tea there is. What's unique about having Matcha tea is that you actually consume the whole thing. It's like a drink and a meal, and it's great for you.
It is grown in the shade and very rich in nutrients and chlorophyll.
Its high concentrations of amino acid L-Theanine which have relaxing and calming effects.
It has roughly 10 times the quantitative benefit of regular tea including greater amounts of antioxidants, catechins, vitamins such as C and A, even Fluoride and L-Theanine.
Brain benefits for the poker player: Take the edge off a bad beat with the calming effects of this revered tea.
4. Cacao Beans
Even though cacao beans are a big part of chocolate you're not going to get the good stuff they have to offer by eating an average chocolate bar.
You need to get the bean naturally. You can find it either in high percentage (over 75%) dark chocolate or 100% organic non-alkalized cacao powder.
Cacao is rich in brain-enhancing goodies like antioxidants, flavanoids, catechins and theobromine.
It's inked to improved cognitive function, bliss and mood enhancement.
Brain benefits for the poker player: Eating chocolate releases brain chemicals that will help you stay positive and optimistic, two very important traits at the poker table.
5. Wild Salmon
An amazing source of Essential Fatty Acids (like Omega-3), low in saturated fats, among the lowest contaminant (mercury) levels of all seafood.
It's linked to improved brain function, mood, synaptic connections, and even reduces your risk of stroke, Dementia and Alzheimers.
Brain benefits for the poker player: Wild salmon will keep your brain firing on all cylinders, giving you the faculties you need to outsmart your opponents at the table.