Game Fuel has taken the gaming and e-Sports world by storm.
Released in 2015, Game Fuel is an energy drink made specifically for gamers by gamers. It’s formulated with caffeine and L-theanine to enhance accuracy and alertness and comes in a no-slip, no-spill can with a resealable lid to protect your gaming hardware from “accidents”.
If you’re a gamer you probably already know about this brand, you may even be an avid fan of this energy drink. But do you know exactly what’s inside this innocent-looking, neon-colored aluminum can?
Cutting to the chase, I’ll be doing an in-depth analysis on Game Fuel’s ingredients so you’ll know exactly what’s going into your body when you drink a can of this caffeinated sugar water.
In short, Game Fuel contains caffeine, L-theanine, some vitamins, some natural and artificial sweeteners, natural herbal supplements like Panax Ginseng and Yerba Mate and also some natural flavors.
I know, pretty anticlimactic, but you know the drill, no spoilers until the grand finale, so if you’re interested to know more, read ahead and you’ll learn all of Game Fuel’s dark and forbidden secrets.
Game Fuel Ingredients
To start off, I’ll introduce you quickly with the ingredients of Game Fuel:
- 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)
Don’t worry, if you find something peculiar in that list of ingredients I’ll explain it later along with its functions, recommended daily intake, and as well as the side effects of consuming too much of it.
Caffeine in Game Fuel
What is an energy drink without caffeine? If there’s one thing that all energy drinks have in common it’s this ingredients. This is because without caffeine energy drinks are futile. Imagine a car without an engine or to be more specific, a car without a fuel.
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
Caffeine is the golden boy of the energy drink world, but it can also be the black sheep, especially when taken in excess. In this section we will explore caffeine, it’s functions, side effects and why it’s used in Game Fuel.
Function of Caffeine
Caffeine is the reason why energy drinks are energy drinks, but it doesn’t actually give you energy the way the mitochondria in your cells give you energy.
Caffeine works in the opposite way, in the sense that it prevents you from feeling tired. It does this by blocking adenosine, an organic compound that makes you feel sleepy.
Caffeine helps you feel awake once it reaches a peak level in your body which will approximately come within 30 to 60 minutes. But that isn’t the only thing it’s good for. Caffeine also has the following benefits:
- improves cognitive function
- increases alertness
- enhances reaction time
- reduces depression
- enhances physical performances
- improves mood
The reason why its such an important ingredient in an energy drink for gamers is because gamers tend to spend five to six hours minimum in front of their gaming setup, sometimes well into the night, and caffeine may help them stay awake longer.
Moreover, working the controls, maneuvering the virtual landscape, coordinating fight moves, and paying attention to fast moving targets requires high levels of alertness and concentration, which caffeine may also help with.
One thing gamers need to note though is that caffeine does increase urination so you’ll probably end up going to the toilet more often the more you consume it which may affect your gaming sessions.
Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world and for good reason. Scientists have found that it mimics some of the effects of cocaine, especially since consuming caffeine can also boost your mood, giving you a feeling of euphoria.
Some common side effects of caffeine are:
- Increased Heart Rate
- Caffeine Withdrawal
One caveat I like to point out is that caffeine withdrawal is something that all energy drink enthusiasts should watch out for. Caffeine has a nasty habit of working less and less effectively the more you consume it, requiring you to keep drink more and more, which increases your risk of overdosing.
So a word of warning to all Game Fuel fans out there, keep you intake to a minimum of one or two cans a day, and never drink more than one can consecutively in a row.
Sweeteners in Game Fuel
There are two types of sweeteners, natural and artificial sweeteners. The only natural sweetener that Game Fuel has is high fructose corn syrup. Sucralose and acesulfame potassium, on the other hand, are the only artificial sweeteners that Game Fuel contains.
One of the very possible reasons that so much sweetener is added to energy drinks is to mask the somewhat bitter flavor of caffeine and make the product more pleasant to drink.
You’ll often wonder why a single serving of an energy drink may contain not only added sugars but also artificial sweeteners as well as if high fructose corn syrup and glucose aren’t sweet enough as they are.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a natural sweetener made from corn syrup that serves as an alternative to sugar. It’s made up of empty calories, just like other types of added sugars. Ergo, offering no essential nutrients.
This type of sweetener can lead to health issues like:
It’s been said that high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar, but there’s currently lacking evidence to support this claim. To simply put, both normal sugar and high fructose corn syrup are bad when consumed too much.
One of the artificial sweeteners of Game Fuel is sucralose. It has zero calories and is made through a complex manufacturing process, the daily intake of sucralose is 5mg for each kilogram of body weight. That means if you weigh 150-pounds, 340mg would be considered safe.
But even if sucralose may be considered safe, new studies have stated that it may affect your metabolism. Common side effects of taking sucralose are:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Weight Gain
According to Mayo Clinic, artificial sweeteners (like sucralose) don’t contribute to tooth decays and activities which are some problems when you’re consuming table sugar. However, sugar doesn’t really cause cavities.
Moreover, some sucralose brands like Splenda, has a dark past that involves animal cruelty so you may want to think twice about supporting them.
Also known as Ace-K, this artificial sweetener is 200x sweeter than table sugar. It’s often paired with other artificial sweeteners on the grounds that it has a bitter aftertaste.
Ace-K, like the two other sweeteners, is calorie-free. The only drawback of this sweetener is you may experience:
Ace-K can make you feel like you’re tasting sugar due to the fact that it stimulates the sweet-taste receptors on the tongue. Giving you a taste of sweetness without consuming sugar.
Supplements in Game Fuel
Supplements enhance the ingredients of Game Fuel, they are added to improve your physical and cognitive performance. Game Fuel contains supplements like l-theanine, panax ginseng, yerba mate, and glycerol which will be further explained with regards to its functions and side effects.
L-theanine is one of the superstars in Game Fuel’s formulation. It is an amino acid that is naturally abundant in green and black tea, as well as mushrooms. It found to help with anxiety, stress and insomnia and is commonly taken in supplement form to improve focus.
One study found that L-theanine, when used in conjuction with caffeine, can greatly improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. Another study also found that it can help with task-switching, which is a valuable skill to have for a gamer.
You need to consume approximately 200 mg of L-theanine for it to be effective, anything below that amount may not be enough for you to reap its benefits.
Grown in Korea, this supplement improves memory and thinking skills. Panax ginseng shouldn’t be confused with other ginseng like American ginseng since they’re different plants.
The most common side effect of panax ginseng is:
- Trouble sleeping
- High or low blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Mood changes
Majority of published studies recommend only 200 mg of panax ginseng per day.
It’s a herbal tea created from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. It’s gained in popularity due to the benefits of yerba mate like improving mental focus and enhancing physical performance.
Much like caffeine, this herb enhances cognitive function. Increased reaction time focus, alertness and focus, these are all highly appealing qualities to have for a gamer.
Yerba mate can only be unsafe if it’s taken too much, health problems can happen like:
- Cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs
Keep in mind that the risk of health problems are more prone to those who smoke and drink alcohol.
Glycerol is oftentimes used in energy drinks because it improves hydration and aids in athletic performance.
The negative effects that it brings are side effects like:
- Excessive thirst
- Burning and redness when applied to skin
Pregnant women or women who breast-feeds should avoid glycerol since there are no know credible information that indicates glycerol as safe to use with women who are pregnant or breast feeds.
Vitamins in Game Fuel
Game Fuel has vitamins, namely: Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6. I made a table to show you its functions and how much vitamin you should have per day.
For more information on the vitamins in Game Fuel as well as their functions and Percent Daily value, read my article on Game Fuel Nutrition Facts.
But for now, here’s a brief analysis of the vitamins in Game Fuel.
|Vitamin A (Retinol)||Helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and for other organs to work properly. Vitamin A is also important for the immune system and for having normal vision.||900 mcg for adult men and 700mcg for adult women|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||Important for making blood cells, converts the food you eat into energy,||5mg for 14 years and older (different amount are suggested for different ages, visit here to know more.)|
|Vitamin B6||Stores energy from carbohydrates and proteins of food. It’s also significant for the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.||1.3 – 1.7mg for adults over 19 are the recommended daily amount (RDA) for the status quo.|
If you want to know more about how vitamins work, here’s a video:
Preservatives in Game Fuel
Preservatives play a huge role on increasing the shelf life of food product, it prevents food poisoning that’s harmful to your health. Without preservatives, food products will go bad very quickly.
Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)
This preservative is commonly found in a lot of food and beverage products, it’s even called the Benzoate of Soda.
It has medical uses for health problems like:
- Panic disorder
Even though it has positive effects, there are risks associated with sodium benzoate. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain can occur.
Calcium Disodium EDTA
Calcium Disodium EDTA is a crystalline powder that’s odorless yet salty in flavor. Just like sodium benzoate, it’s also popular when it comes to preservatives and as well as flavoring agent.
It can be used for preserving:
Digestive issues are the only found negative effect of calcium disodium EDTA as a food additive when taken in amounts that are high. A myriad of rat studies appears to have recurring bowel movements with decreased appetite when taken with large oral doses of the substance.
Additives in Game Fuel
To enhance flavor and texture of food/beverage, additives are often used. The only difference with preservatives and additives is that additives don’t prevent the threat of microbes or fungus — it only serves to solely add flavor to the product, or to improve its texture.
The term sodium phosphate is used for the multifarious combinations of salt and phosphate. It’s used as an emulsifying agent, a leavening agent, and it also balances pH levels for processed foods
Not much information has been stated concerning the benefits of sodium phosphate with beverages but you should avoid sodium phosphate if you have:
- kidney disease
- intestinal tears or blockages
- colitis, or slow-moving bowels
- heart failure
- an allergy to sodium phosphate
Ester of Rosin
Commonly known as ester gums, this additive is usually used as a beverage-weighting agent (BWA) for citrus-flavored beverages.
The importance of this additive is typically the same — it lengthens the shelf life and stability of finished beverages.
Gum arabic is one of the most important medicinal plants that’s been used for centuries, a good reason on why it’s traditionally used. It works as an emulsifier which prevents crystallization, separation and stickiness. It’s 100% safe for human consumption.
It grows on Acacia Senegal or Acacia Seyal species and is applied on foods and beverages. The health benefits that gum arabic brings is a little bit overwhelming, but if you wish to see it, you can read it here.
Naturally found in citric fruits, citric acid can help metabolize energy, enhance nutrient absorption, and protect you against kidney stones. It is added into energy drinks to add flavor and increase shelf life.
No research has been found of citric acid’s safety when it comes to high amounts, but reports have shown sickness and allergic reactions to the additive.
However, since the researchers were aware that they couldn’t prove that the manufactured citric acid was responsible for those symptoms, they advised that further research should be made with the hopes of having conclusive research on foods and beverages that have citric acid.
So now that you know a thing or two about what goes into a can of Game Fuel, you’re better informed about how it works, and how much you should drink it, because at the end of the day, that’s what these articles are for, to help you make informed decisions so you can lead a longer, healthier, more energized life.
Energy drinks are a wonderful invention, but they are oftentimes misused or rather, improperly used. Because people think that they can get it at convenience stores that it’s perfectly fine to drink several cans in one sitting.
You may not need a doctor’s prescription to get a can of Game Fuel, or take trip to your local pharmacy, you still need to remember that energy drinks do contain caffeine, and caffeine for all intents and purposes is a drug, and just like any other drug you can always overdose on it if you take too much.
While caffeine is indeed a problem, sugar and other sweeteners can also pose a problem, since they are also a staple ingredient in energy drinks. I find energy drinks are better when used as pre-workouts before an exercise than as leisure beverages.
Unfortunately for gamers, gaming is a rather sedentary activity that does not burn up many calories (if at all). So if you are to make Game Fuel a part of your daily diet, make sure you either reduce your sugar intake throughout the day or hit the gym to burn off all those useless calories.
Use energy drinks responsibly, and consult a physician if you have any preexisting conditions and definitely stay away from Game Fuel if you’re pregnant or under the age of eighteen.