Regeneration in eSports: Improvements by pause?

Hours of focus and full concentration in front of the screen every day. It is quite usual for eSports players to have a day like this. However, those who run at full speed every day also need time off to recover. In the following, we give you an overview of what regeneration should look like.

Physical and mental regeneration

The fact that the body needs rest after physical exertion is clear to everyone. After all, intense physical activity is often accompanied by slightly damaged tissue. Therefore, a subsequent break is necessary to repair the damage and to replenish the energy stores in the organism. A simple rule says: the more intense the stress, the longer the regeneration needs to be. Just like the body, the brain also needs rest periods. The focus here is on stress regulation, so that there is a balance between mental tension and relaxation. Too much prolonged stress can lead to physical symptoms, often in the form of muscle tension or stiffness. Especially in eSports, the psyche is under a lot of stress and therefore requires sufficient regeneration and recovery.

The principle of supercompensation

The necessityof loading and discharge, both physically and mentally, can be explained by the principle of supercompensation. Through a workout, we set a stimulus in our body that signals the necessity to improve. However, during and immediately after the exercise, our performance drops below the initial performance level as we use up the body’s resources. Therefore, we need sufficient time for regeneration afterwards. During the regeneration phase, various reconstructions and adaptational processes take place. For example, new neural connections are made in the brain and proteins are stored in the muscles. As a result, our performance increases to a higher level and we improve.

(Figure1: The principle of supercompensation)

Effects of lacking regeneration

If there is a lack of sufficient regeneration and we strain ourselves again too early, the performance can stagnate or even decrease. If this condition persists, it is called overload. It is then no longer possible to call up the full performance capacity. In addition, there are other factors such as pressure to perform, which have an additional influence on the psyche. If the state of constant overload or mental exhaustion persists, it can result in depression or burnout. In order to avoid these negative effects, sufficient regeneration is therefore necessary. However, this involves much more than justtaking a break and doing nothing.

Tips for regeneration in eSports

To support regeneration, we can become active ourselves. Even a walk or an endurance workout, without pushing the limits, contributes to balance and stimulates regeneration. Especially in eSports, physical activity is a perfect balance to the high mental load. In addition, relaxation methods like autogenic or mental training are helpful in reducing mental stress. Flexibility training in the form of mobilization or yoga can help to relax the body and mind and loosen up strong muscle tone resulting from constant stress. Heat therapies such as saunas or massages can also stimulate regeneration. Especially after a long session at the computer screen, a short cool-down session with the help of the mentioned relaxation techniques is recommended. A healthy nutrition and sufficient sleep are necessary in order to support the regeneration in the best possible way. In the video on regeneration, we give you a few active regeneration exercises you can do.

Regeneration through sleep

Sleep is the most important method of regeneration. While we sleep, the body and the mind can rest and recover. However, various rebuilding and reconstruction processes also take place during this time. For example, the body needs sleep to rebuild its resources and execute repair processes. The brain, on the other hand, cognitively organizes the various sensory impressions and experiences of the day. For example, it processes what it has learned during the day. For this reason, cognitive exercises usually work better the next day if we have slept a night in between. Therefore, anundisturbed and sufficiently long sleep of about 7-8 hours is indispensable! Since increased screen time has a negative impact on sleep, a longer screen-free period should be observed before going to bed. For this reason, make sure that you don’t go to bed immediately after the last game, but rather to schedule a screen-free time at least one hour before. This allows the body to better prepare for sleep and to rest more easily.