The gaming industry is expected to be worth $300 billion by the year 2025. But some beverage companies have already started monetizing on the trend years ago by coming out with energy drinks specifically tailored for gamers.
One of them is Mountain Dew, which released its spin-off brand, Game Fuel way back in 2007.
Gamers tend to play video games for a couple of hours every day — especially pro gamers who play for about seven to nine hours a day.
Playing for hours can be tiresome, so does this mean that you should drink Game Fuel every day to fulfill your energy needs?
The answer is no. Like most energy drinks, Game Fuel is chockful of sugar, and not just any kind of sugar, but high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is pretty bad for your health.
That should be enough reason to limit your intake, but if it’s not, read the rest of this article and you will be convinced, especially once you read about what I have to say about HFCS.
But before we unpack all the juicy details, let us learn a little bit more about Mountain Dew Game Fuel.
Is Game Fuel An Energy Drink?
Game Fuel is a sister product of Mountain Dew AMP, so yes, its an energy drink, but one allegedly formulated for gamers.
The reason it’s marketed that way is because of a “special” formulation of caffeine and L-theanine, a spill-proof, resealable lid and extra-grip layer around the can.
These features are supposed to cater to gamers who need extra focus so they can be more alert during games. The can itself is meant to protect gaming hardware from accidental spillage since gamers will want to keep their energy drinks close by when the need arises.
Aside form the L-Theanine, which enhances cognitive performance, there really isn’t anything special about the formulation other than maybe the selection of flavors it comes in.
Game Fuel Energy Drink Nutrition Facts
It’s important to read the nutrition facts on your beverages because it lets you know what you’re putting inside your body, but reading it from the can is quite hard so here’s a table with regards to nutrition facts:
|Typical Values||Per 16 fl.oz can of Game Fuel|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||6.4mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||2.0mg|
Right off the bat, I can tell you, that aside from the sugar, Mountain Dew has a safe amount of caffeine. It is also not heavy on vitamins, which is the case for most energy drinks.
Contrary to popular belief, overdosing on vitamins won’t suddenly infuse your body with an abundance of health.
Some vitamins are impossible to overdose on, but others like vitamin B6 and B3 (which are quite popular in a lot of energy drink brands) can cause terrible side effects when taken in access and over an extended period of time.
Fortunately for Game Fuel, their vitamin content is still under the daily value limit, which means you can drink it without worrying whether you’ll get impaired vision, or gastrointestinal problems.
Game Fuel Ingredients
Game Fuel’s ingredients consists of:
- Carbonated Water
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Phosphates
- Natural Flavor
- Sodium Benzoate
- Caffeine (90mg per can)
- Gum Arabic
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Calcium Disodium Edta
- Ester of Rosin
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract
- Calcium Pantothenate
- Yerba Mate Extract
- Beta Carotene
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
There’s a lot to unpack here, so we’ll only be discussing some of the more significant ingredients that you may want to watch out for: high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, L-theanine, artificial sweeteners, and additives.
However, because no company ever puts the exact measurement that goes into their formula, we may never know for sure if each ingredient is in a safe amount.
But before we go into the ingredients, let us talk about why gamers like energy drinks, and why it may help them during a game.
Are Energy Drinks Good for Gaming?
There are a bunch of reasons why gamers love energy drinks. It has benefits like:
- Improvement in Cognitive Performance
- Reaction Time
- Energy Boost
- Fatigue Resistance
A huge contributing factor to these benefits is caffeine. It’s a stimulant that helps you feel awake and can temporarily give you a boost that lasts for 12 hours.
Game Fuel has a total of 90 mg of caffeine per 16 fl.oz cans, which is not that high compared to other energy drinks that contain over 100 mg of caffeine.
For a more in-depth look at Game Fuel, how effective it is and a bit of history of the brand, have a look at the video below:
Is Mountain Dew Game Fuel Safe To Drink Everyday?
In order to determine whether it’s safe for you to drink Game Fuel every day, it’s important to look at the ingredients. As I’ve mentioned before we won’t be looking at all of them, just the important ones.
As I’ve mentioned before, there is only 90 grams of caffeine in a can of Game Fuel, which is not that much to be honest. So on the basis of caffeine alone, its probably okay to drink a can a day, although probably not more than two.
However, its important to limit your caffeine intake since the daily recommended intake should not exceed more than 300 mg a day. However, as with all caffeinated drinks, pregnant women and children under 18 should avoid it.
But in my opinion, you should try to challenge yourself and abstain from caffeine for a day or so. That way, you don’t get into a habit of drinking caffeine daily and as well as not get dependent on the temporary energy it provides.
Get as much sleep as possible, doing this can bring you real energy that’ll last longer. Only drink energy drinks when it’s really needed. A healthy tip from me to you!
High Fructose Corn Syrup
There is a total of 23 grams of added sugar in a single can of Game Fuel, which comes solely in the form of high fructose corn syrup (of HFCS).
Is that too much sugar for an energy drink? Most definitely.
The recommended daily limit for full grown adults is 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men, which is equivalent to 6 and 9 teaspoons respectively. The amount in Game Fuel will fulfill almost 90% of your daily value.
Going over the safety limit would result in some unpleasant side effects, especially where high fructose corn syrup is concerned. It has been linked to
- fatty liver disease
- type 2 diabetes
If you still want to try out Game Fuel, hope is not lost. Mountain Dew recently came up with a sugar-free version called Game Fuel Zero Sugar. This version has no high fructose corn syrup or any other form of sugar, but instead gets its sweetness from sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener.
While artificial sweeteners may not be nearly as bad as regular sugar, they’re actually only the lesser of two evils. But don’t worry, I will explain further about this issue in the following section.
If you want to reduce sugar and calories in your diet, then artificial sweeteners might be an option for you.
However, the drawbacks of artificial sweeteners is that they can lead to weight gain brain tumors, bladder cancer, and many other health hazards when taken in excess.
While we don’t know how much artificial sweetener is in the formulation, we do know that they are present in the product. So this may be another good reason for you to think twice about reaching for another can of Game Fuel.
According to some studies, L-theanine can help you with sleep, increase cognitive performance, lose weight, boost the immune system, and the like.
It is abundantly found in tea leaves and mushrooms.
L-theanine is one of two ingredients that are responsible for giving Game Fuel its attention-boosting powers and is probably the reason why gamers are a fan of it.
One study found that L-theanine is able to increase mental focus, but only if taken in doses of 100mg every day. However, some experts say more research needs to be done to confirm its supposed benefits.
While it has been officially declared safe by experts in the medical community, L-theanine may interact adversely with certain drugs so it’s important to consult your physician if you’re currently on any medication.
In conclusion, L-theanine is, for the most part, safe, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Additives and Preservatives
While safe in small doses, these compounds can cause a variety of side effects if taken in excess.
In food processing, food preservatives are used to limit the growth of harmful microbes. Food additives, on the other hand, are used to enhance the flavor of food.
Since we don’t know how much of these compounds are used in Game Fuel, there is no way to find out if the amount is safe. However, most food products have to undergo strict testing to ensure that they are up to code before being released to the public.
So while preservatives and additives may not be a cause for concern for now, you may want to limit your intake of them regardless before they become a problem you can’t reverse.
How Many Cans Of Game Fuel Can I Have A Day?
Just like you shouldn’t be drinking Game Fuel everyday, you shouldn’t be drinking more than one can a day either. Here are just some of a few reasons why.
No More Than One Can
As I’ve mentioned in the previous section, a single can of Game Fuel energy drink contains over 23 g of high fructose corn syrup. That’s almost 97% of your daily recommended limit of sugar.
Drinking one can is enough to make you almost overdose on sugar, and that’s not counting the extra sugar you may come across during your meals and snack times. Even a stick of carrot has carbs and carbs are eventually converted into sugar.
So no, based on the sugar content in Game Fuel alone, you should not drink more than one can of Game Fuel.
If you still want to, or should I say have to (if you’re all about that gamer life) then you have to exercise at least 20-30 minutes (not including rest periods) to burn off the 90-100 calories you just consumed from a single can of Game Fuel.
Then maybe you can drink another can.
But personally, I don’t think you’ll have that much time in between Call of Duty and Mobile Legends, so it’s probably best to just stick to a regular cup of unsweetened black coffee to keep you on your feet.
You’ve had enough sugar for one day.
As gamers, energy is important. Playing games can be exhausting and sometimes we need a little bit of energy boost to improve our gaming performance. Which is why energy drinks are so popular among gamers.
Mountain Dew was smart to add a version to their product line that specifically caters to the vast majority of video game enthusiasts. Energy drinks for gamers have proven to be a lucrative business venture in the end.
Brands like Game Fuel for instance are good for gaming on the grounds that it makes the drinker more focused, while keeping their energy levels up, despite not having that much caffeine.
However, on the downside, the product also contains a lot of high fructose syrup which can be terrible for your body. Coupled with the artificial sweeteners and preservatives, which come with their own set of problems, Game Fuel may not exactly be the elixir of life you are looking for.
Sitting for long hours in front of your console with all that sugar coursing through your body is not good for your health. You may suddenly wake up one day with a few extra inches on your waist that wasn’t there a few weeks ago.
If you are an avid gamer, you should not rely on Game Fuel for your gaming needs. Keep an eye out for newer, healthier brands on the market and you may find something a lot better then what Game Fuel has to offer.