Andres, 34, admittedly used to have really unhealthy snack habits as a gamer. “I almost always went for anything packed with caffeine and sugar. It was rare to see me without some kind of candy bar and soda or awful energy drink while sitting in front of a screen for up to 6 or 7 hours a day,” he said.
But after losing 100 pounds on the keto diet (with no exercise he adds), Andres learned to create healthier eating habits and incorporate healthy gaming snacks into his diet. “My appetite changed drastically, along with my eating habits, and I discovered some great snacks and drinks to replace my usual go-to's,” he said.
Why diet matters for gamers
Diet is important for your overall health (obviously), but what you may not realize is that eating healthy gaming snacks can actually improve your gaming performance. Studies suggest that low carb, high protein diets (like keto) are good for brain function; they help you stay energized and focused, which is what you want when you’re gaming for 5+ hours. But fueling yourself with natural “super foods” to stay alert, is much healthier than doing so with caffeine and sugar, plus you will avoid the inevitable “crash” from energy drinks.
This is one of the reasons Rez Bars are keto and paleo friendly. We know what our gamers need out of a snack!
Foods to avoid
The bad news is we’re about to tell you to stop eating all that delicious junk food. Sugary, greasy, carb-filled foods like potato chips, ice cream, soda, candy and cookies are doing you zero favors as a gamer. Not only are these not healthy gaming snacks, but also these types of gaming snacks do nothing to improve brain function, they are fattening, and not good for your body. As a gamer, you are probably sitting down for long periods of time, which means you’re barely burning off any of those sugars and fats you’re consuming. All that bad stuff just accumulates in your body causing you to gain weight. And it can be really bad for your heart health too.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, or, conversely, feel sluggish all the time, these bad gaming snacks could have something to do with that. Think of your body like a car: the higher the quality of the fuel you put in, the better performance you get. Now, you may be thinking “I always just use standard gasoline.” But here's the major difference: you can trade in an old, broken-down car. You only have one body for life.
10 healthy gaming snacks
1. Cheese — Cheese is a great source of protein, and it’s low carb, which makes it a great healthy gaming snack. Andres recommends string cheese for its convenience. If you’re feeling a little ambitious, you can make yourself super easy keto-friendly cheese crisps by putting little mounds of parmesan cheese onto a baking sheet and baking them until they become crunchy discs.
2. Nuts — Nuts are high in protein and good fat and will leave you feeling full and satisfied (unlike chips that can leave you feeling either hungry or grossly full). If you’re doing the keto diet, cashews are the preferred nut.
3. Peanut butter — Who doesn't love creamy peanut butter? You get all the nutrients of peanuts (iron, antioxidants, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy fats) in an easy-to-eat spready. Spread it on some celery or just eat a couple spoonfuls to curb your appetite. If you’re a peanut butter fan, you should also try our Peanut Butter Punch Out Bar.
4. Medjool dates — Put down the candy bar. If you have a sweet tooth, stock up on dates. They’re like nature’s candy. Rez bars contain Medjool dates because they are naturally sweet, chewy and delicious. Plus, they’re packed with iron, potassium, B vitamins and fiber.
5. Chia “pudding” — Rez Bars use chia seeds because they are tiny little super seeds full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and calcium. A fun way to eat them is or prepare an overnight “pudding.” Pour some milk or nut milk over your chia seeds and let them soak in the fridge overnight or for a few hours. When you come back, you’ll see that the seeds have produced a gelatinous layer around the outside, leaving you with a gooey pudding-like substance (sounds gross, but it’s not!). Flavor your pudding with cocoa powder, peanut butter or honey and add some fruit overtop.
6. Protein shake — As we mentioned, protein is key for a healthy gaming snack. Keep some milk protein isolate powder at home so you can add it to smoothies for an easy protein shake. Rez Bars use milk protein isolate because it’s high in amino acids and low in carbs and fat.
7. Jerky — It’s meat that you don’t have to cook or refrigerate — how great is that?
8. Deli meat wraps — Andres said he got a little more ambitious with his healthy gaming snacks after doing keto. When you’re craving something fresh, he recommends carb-free deli meat wraps. Wrap some turkey and cheese around a thin slice of avocado for a super satisfying snack.
9. Flavored seltzer water — Ditch the sodas and energy drinks. Instead, try zero-calorie flavored seltzer waters. You’ll get the zing of the carbonation with none of the sugar and processed gunk. And while we don’t condone using caffeine to stay up all night, if you do need a pick-me-up in the morning or afternoon (who doesn't?), go for coffee with no sugar or a caffeinated tea.10. Rez Bar — Rez Bars are designed to be a healthy gaming snack and fit all the good stuff we just talked about into a convenient bar. This is something Andres says he can appreciate as a gamer. “If I had to choose anything to eat while playing video games, it would definitely be in some kind of bar form,” he said. “Protein and meal replacement bars are key due to their size and convenience. They're also less likely to cause any kind of mess which works great for me — I can't stand greasy, gunked up controllers.”