Can Coffee Give You an Edge in Online Gaming?

8th Mar 2022

Can Coffee Give You an Edge in Online Gaming?

Coffee is such a versatile and multifunctional drink.

It’s used to take a break at work, to relax with friends you haven’t seen in a while, or to wake you up in the morning. It’s functional and social, enjoyable and delicious, and however you take it, some people hold a coffee as an important part of their day.

If you sit having a coffee alone in a coffee shop such as Wailuku Coffee Co you might see people on their own, coffee in hand, staring at a screen. They could well be one of the growing numbers of Americans who enjoy video games; 227m to be precise. Of that number, more than 70% spend an hour or more a day playing online. They could be doing it right now, with a warm cup of coffee to keep them alert.

Of course, that means online gaming isn’t just about people with headsets on in darkened basements. Online gaming could mean anything; it could be completing the Wordle daily, the Quordle, the Worldle, or whatever other spin-off someone comes up with next. It might be someone looking to qualify for the World Series of Poker, as Chris Moneymaker did from his home in 2003, before winning $1m. It might just be two friends having a friendly game of something to keep in touch, separated by miles, by in touch virtually, both with a coffee by their side.

Will a coffee help give them an edge? Are you more likely to nail that Wordle in four if you’ve had your caffeine intake? Could you be closer to a real World Series of Poker table if you’ve got your trust mocha by your side? The answer is yes.

Coffee, or rather the caffeine in coffee, boosts mental alertness, which helps video gamers concentrate and focus. Of course, this is an obvious benefit when playing something like Call of Duty, but focus is needed when playing games such as poker. These days, you can play several hands at once if you desire, so you need to be alert and awake to what is happening on screen. It might not be such a benefit when you’re doing the daily Wordle, but even then, a simple slip could cost you your streak.

Caffeine can also help with reaction times, something else of benefit to certain gamers. If you’re playing a timed game, or need a degree of speed to your play, then having a coffee by your side can certainly help. Some studies have suggested too much coffee could have the opposite effect; there’s little point in downing cup after cup because the negative effects, such as increased anxiety, could be detrimental to your play.

There’s also the sleep issue. A good night’s sleep before a gaming session is important, so if you’re playing late into the night and again the following morning, timing the coffee is crucial. Having a latte an hour before bed won’t help you at all, and you’ll be fatigued the next morning. Having one before turning your computer on the next day might make you a bit more alert to a poker player’s bluff as he goes all-in on a seemingly innocuous flop.

The truth is a coffee can help you with your online gaming if a cup is taken at the right time and in moderation. If you’re in a coffee shop right now, pondering on whether it’ll help you win a hand of poker or get today’s Wordle, the message is this; it can’t hurt, and if it tastes good whilst you’re playing, why not?