“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach you to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” -Author unknown
It’s the big day. You’re nervous, yet excited. Over the last 24 hours, you’ve been strategizing. You know, you’re prepared, but there’s always that self-doubt, what-if. You’ve already played thousand times in your head. However, you know better than anyone that once the cards are dealt, anything can happen. You’ve made sure that you’ve done everything right. You’ve completed every pre-tournament ritual to the “T”. You fell asleep watching “Rounders”, sleeping exactly 8 hours and fifteen minutes. Your iPod is loaded with your favorite adrenaline-pumping songs. The ballad from “Rocky” starts to play as you sit down at your computer. It’s time M카지노.
One hand into the tournament, and you’ve realized you’ve made a BIG mistake. What did I eat today? What kind of food did I pack for this tournament? My energy is low. My brain seems to be a little foggy. My sharpness is just not there. I’m not seeing the cards like I usually do. Ahhhhh. A wasted tournament!
That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to your diet. Pre-tournament nutrition is the key to peak mental performance. This is not what you eat while you play. You’ve eaten it over the last 24 hours. Without it, you’re destined for failure. It’s the difference between an early exit and a sweet victory. Only fools ignore it.
This article was written for you. I’ve received many requests over the last 2 weeks about what poker players should eat the day of and during a tournament. It seems that you are beginning to see the end of the tunnel, and realize how important your lifestyle is to your poker performance. You’ve specifically asked me to outline a detailed diet. I’ll do that. Just not in this post.
This post is even more important than a “detailed poker menu.” It’s going to explain the why’s behind my recommendations. After reading this, you won’t even need my poker menu. You can make it yourself, one that specifically is made for you! What happens if I recommend a salmon one hour before the tournament begins, and all you have is peanut butter and jelly? This post will help you answer that question.
Now for my top three rules regarding nutrition and mental performance.
Rule 1- Blood sugar, blood sugar, blood sugar
Blood sugar levels will make you break at the table. It is vital that you maintain a stable blood sugar. I guarantee that you put your blood sugar on a roller coaster by eating high glycemic, junk carbohydrates, your mental performance will suffer. Mental errors will be plentiful.Guaranteed!
Remember, your brain primarily relies on carbohydrates for energy. In addition, it cannot store carbohydrates for later use. Thus, it is important that your blood supply brain with a steady source of carbohydrates. Numerous studies have shown that blood sugar fluctuations, extremely high and extremely low levels, impaired mental performance. Over time, these fluctuations can lead to insulin resistance, which have been shown to negatively affect cognitive performance.
Don’t believe me?
“Furthermore, a period of intense cognitive processing leads to reduced levels of peripheral measured blood glucose, which may be linked to increased neural energy expenditure.” – Journal of Physiology and Behavior, 2001
Our findings support the concept of stable cognitive performance related to balanced glucose metabolism and metabolic activation state. British Journal of Nutrition, 2001
There was also a very good review article detailing a direct correlation between the difficulty of the mental task and its sensitivity to blood sugar levels. Thus, a hard mental task like poker is extremely sensitive to blood sugar levels, and carbohydrates become events more vital to poker performance. However, I cannot find it right at this moment.
Out of the three major macronutrients, carbs, proteins, and fats, carbohydrates have the largest impact on cognitive performance. Over 50 clinical studies have shown a positive relationship between consumption of carbohydrates and improved mental performance. You must pay attention to what kind of carbohydrates you eat. Not all are created equal. They will have a major impact on your game.
Rule 2- Proper Hydration
Even the slightest bit of dehydration will impair your mental performance. You know that Caffeine has been consuming for breakfast, lunch and dinner? It actually acts like a diuretic. Thus, you become a more at risk for dehydration event.
When people think of dehydration, they think of physical performance. However, the performance was even more sensitive to your hydration status. During the extreme cases of dehydration, it’s not the body that stops. It’s the brain telling your body to stop! Your brain will quit long before your body quits.