Game Fuel is marketed as an energy drink for gamers, “Designed To Give You An Edge!”.
Fortified with caffeine and L-theanine, Game Fuel is a sister product of Mountain Dew AMP that promises to keep you alert during those epic duels on the virtual battleground.
Equipped with a spill-proof, resealable lid and a textured outer layer for better grip, Game Fuel seems to be every gamer’s best friend.
But does this energy drink really live up to its reputation?
To cut a long story short, yes, Game Fuel does work, and it does this through a combination of caffeine and L-theanine to improve “accuracy and alertness”.
Game Fuel has caffeine and sugar, and these two ingredients alone can give you a rush of energy that can last for a few hours. However, it may not be as effective as other energy drinks.
Keep on reading if you’re interested to find out if Game Fuel actually works, or if it’s all just smoke and mirrors.
Why Do Gamers Drink Energy Drinks?
Within the past few years or so there’s been a steady rise in the use of energy drinks by gamers who wish to enhance their performance in the virtual arena.
Some brands have monetized on this trend by producing energy drinks specifically tailored for the gaming community, which has slowly gained in popularity thanks to certain ingredients that can help you stay more alert.
According to this article, what make energy drinks so popular among gamers is its ability to stave off fatigue, help improve focus, “reaction time, vigilance, attention, judgement and perception of effort“.
A recent survey found that on average, hardcore gamers will spend close to six hours on a single game and that;s not counting the many others who spend days on an online tournament with minimal breaks in between.
If you want to know the other benefits of gaming energy drinks and if they really deliver what they promise, here’s a video:
Game Fuel is mentioned in this video above so let’s unpack what the presenter, Drumblanket, has to say about the product. So right of the bat, he gave a rating of 3.5/5 stars for Game Fuel, although I’m not sure based on what criteria.
Drumblanket did make a note to warn about teenagers and underage children getting a hold of Game Fuel since it’s so widely available in stores.
I don’t have to tell you why children and teenagers shouldn’t go anywhere near coffee since I’ve explained about the unpleasant side effects of caffeine for underage individuals ad nauseam in my other articles.
So the video gave doesn’t really say how Game Fuel works, which means we have to tackle the question for ourselves, and to do that we need to take a look at the ingredients (you know the drill).
But before that let us look at what Game Fuel claims to be able to do for you.
What Does Game Fuel Claim To Do For You?
One of Game Fuel’s main claims is to be able to improve “alertness and accuracy”, a quality much desired by all gamers young and old.
The product claims to be able to do this due to a combination of caffeine and L-theanine, which will supposedly help gamers stay focused longer and also keep them awake during late-night battle royales.
This is the main topic that we will be tackling in answering the question of whether Game Fuel works or not: “Does the combination of L-theanine and caffeine improve alertness and accuracy?”.
Game Fuel Ingredients
The following list contains all the ingredients used in the formulation of Game Fuel. Because all ingredient lists are listed in order of amount, the higher something is on the list, the more there is of it in the product.
- Carbonated Water
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Phosphates
- Natural Flavor
- Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)
- Caffeine (90mg per can)
- Gum Arabic
- Acesulfame Potassium
- Calcium Disodium EDTA
- Ester of Rosin
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract
- Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
- Yerba Mate Extract
- Beta Carotene (Vitamin A)
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
How Does Game Fuel Work?
According to the brand’s official website, Game Fuel owes its special formulation not only to caffeine but to a compound known as L-theanine.
The website explains how L-theanine works to deliver the product’s promises to its target customers. You can read the details of that information below:
According to studies, caffeine in combination with theanine has been shown to improve accuracy and alertness. Accuracy refers to the state of being correct or precise. In some studies, people who consumed caffeine and theanine had improved accuracy on an “attention switching task” – the ability to shift back and forth between different task sets – and reported increased alertness. In another study, people who consumed caffeine and theanine improved on a computer task that measured how accurately the participants responded to targets and did not respond to non-targets.Game Fuel Official Website
So are we just supposed to take their word for it? Absolutely not, because I will give you the full low-down of how Game Fuel works, just by caffeine and L-theanine.
Since the product doesn’t mention any other pertinent ingredient to which it owes its miraculous powers, then we will only be analyzing those two ingredients.
We will also look at the key words “accuracy and alertness” to see if Game Fuel truly delivers what it promises.
Caffeine is one of the most popular legal stimulants in the world. It is used in possibly every energy drink thanks to its ability to temporarily delay the body’s sleep hormones, allowing you to stay awake longer.
It’s the ingredient that’s responsible for supplying that boost of concentration to gamers when they drink energy drinks like Game Fuel, whether they know it or not. Even without L-theanine, caffeine on its own can still pack a mighty punch, especially when it comes to enhancing your mental performance.
Aside from giving you tons of energy, caffeine has also been proven to enhance your memory performance as well as improve alertness, short-term recall, and reaction time. Avid coffee drinkers also experience a lower risk of suicide and depression.
Game Fuel has 90mg of caffeine per can (16 fl.oz) which is below the limit of caffeine intake per day. However it takes only a measly 10 milligrams for you to feel the effects, and that amount alone can keep you going for 5 hours.
However, one caveat that I like to point out whenever caffeine is concerned is that you do tend to build up a tolerance for it overtime. This means that it becomes less and less effective the more you drink it.
L-theanine is a type of amino acid that is abundantly found in green and black tea, and even in some types of mushrooms. It has been shown to help with anxiety, stress and insomnia and is commonly taken in supplement form to improve focus.
One study found that a combination of caffeine and L-theanine greatly improves cognitive performance and mental alertness. It has also been found to help with task-switching. So right of the bat, Game Fuel’s claims check out.
You need to consume approximately 200 mg of L-theanine for it to be effective, anything below that amount and the effects may be less pronounced or completely imperceptible.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how much L-theanine is contained in a single can of Game Fuel and whether the amount is enough for it to be effective. One good news is that it’s not a the bottom of the ingredient list.
This means that while it may not be one of the top three components in the formulation, there may actually be enough of it to make a difference.
Is Game Fuel Good for You?
So we know that Game Fuel works (sort of), but just because it can increase reaction time and enhance alertness, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you.
All of Mountain Dew’s Game Fuel energy drink flavors have the same caffeine content — 90mg.
The only difference is that the new version of Game Fuel has less sugar compared to its original version since it uses artificial sweeteners to enhance the energy drink’s flavor.
Game Fuel is good if you’re trying to consume less sugar, but it’s advised that only healthy adults should drink Game Fuel.
Are sweeteners better for you than sugar?
International Food Information Council stated that about 75% of American adults are trying to stay away from sugar, but they’re having a hard time resisting their sweet tooth.
The solution to this is something that tastes like sugar but is low in calories. This is where artificial sweeteners come into place; they sweeten your food and your drinks just like sugar — and sometimes you don’t even notice if it’s an artificial sweetener or not!
While artificial sweeteners are officially labeled as safe for human consumption, there is also evidence to the contrary that has proven that artificial sweeteners may “cause weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, and many other health hazards”.
So do be aware of all the pros and cons of artificial sweeteners before actively deciding to have them on the regular.
Game Fuel is favored by gamers from all walks of life, not only because it claims to help enhance your alertness and concentration, but also because it is widely available in most convenience stores.
However, good gamers rely on their skills and experience to win games, not energy drinks. Drinking one can of caffeinated sugar water with artificial flavoring will not magically help you gain more points, or suddenly make you have the reflexes of a cheetah.
Just remember that energy drinks merely boost your energy and concentration, not your skills, so if you want to get better at playing video games you still need to practice.
Moreover, energy drinks aren’t a cure-all. Just like most energy drinks in the market, Game Fuel comes chockful with a ton of sugar and artificial sweeteners as well, which is overkill in my book.
So yes, Game Fuel definitely works, but do take my advice with a grain of salt. Your level of caffeine sensitivity may be different from the next person, so, your mileage may vary.