Home Articles Top 10 Best Foods for Poker Tournament

Get The Most Out Of Your Poker Tournament With Brain Food

By: Cliff Fontenot

Thurs. Jun. 09, 2016

poker tournament food

When most people, both men and women, think of organizing a poker tournament, they think about pizza, wings, and beer. While this all sounds great and will get plenty seats taken, it really isn't what you should be thinking about. You might not realize, that filling your body with the right food for a long, enduring poker tournament is essential. Beer, pizza, and chicken wings is not going to do this. You need to think about healthy food options because not only will your waistline thank you, but you could find that your bankroll and poker strategy benefits too. Your brain requires the right nutrients just like the rest of your body and this is why we have made a list of 10 best foods for poker tournaments.

Feed Your Brain For Endurance

Surviving a poker tournament is all about endurance. Your brain will be processing lots of information while your body will be sitting in a chair for hours with very little movement. You can't leave the table and go for a run because you are starting to feel tired. To be effective and come out profitable, it is crucial that you keep your brain boosted and this can be done with the food you consume during the night. For this you will need foods high in Omega 3 fats and fluids that will keep you well hydrated. The last thing you want is a sugar slump. You will also want to avoid carb-heavy meals as these will cause your body to slow. Below you will find out list of the top 10 best foods for poker tournaments.

Top 10 Best Foods For Poker Tournaments

  1. berriesBerries: Blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, strawberries, etc. are great and contain high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These help to enhance blood flow to the brain and promote neural activity. They also reduce the levels of toxins in your bloodstream. Acai berries also contain Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Blueberries can help with vision, coordination, and cognitive function. Adding these as snacks in your poker game can help you avoid costly mistakes.
  2. applesApples: Something you might not think of, but the peel of the apple contains a powerful antioxidant called quercetin that enhances memory function. Another essential element for any poker game. You need to be able to remember plays especially late into the night.
  3. dark chocolateDark Chocolate: Make sure you choose dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa as this has been proven to enhance memory, alertness, and clarity by increasing blood flow. Cacao is rich in brain enhancing antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins, and theobromine which all help to improve cognitive function. They also help improve your mood. During poker tournaments dark chocolate can help you to stay positive and optimistic.
  4. coffeeCoffee & Energy Drinks: Hydration is critical when it comes to your poker health. It will help your brain function remain at its highest potential. Staying hydrated helps brain function, improves memory, and helps with decision making. Coffee contains antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It is known to improve focus and memory, but only in moderation. Too much is counterproductive. A quick jolt of caffeine will give you a little bit of energy and allow you to refocus but too much can cause headaches. It is the same for energy drinks like Red Bull, one is okay but more than this can cause dehydration and/or over simulation which can lead to poor decision making at a crucial point in the tournament.
  5. nutsNuts: Nuts are a great snack to have at hand during any poker game. They contain protein, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids. These are all important for brain function and brain health and they can help you go the distance in any long poker event.
  6. saladsSalads: Salads are great depending on what you put in them. Onions can help improve brain function associated with memory and focus and science has proven that the anthocyanin and quercetin in onions can help prevent Alzheimer's. Spinach is another great ingredient for salads. It contains folic acid which has also been shown to reverse memory loss. Avocados are high in omega 3s and help lower bad cholesterol and enhance blood flow to fuel your brain. Tomatoes contain lycopene which is known to prevent free radical damage to cells another known factor behind dementia and Alzheimer's.
  7. popcornPopcorn: This natural substance contains vitamins B6, B12, and vitamin E which are all known to enhance focus and brain power. So instead of chips, why not place some bowls of popcorn on your poker snack table.
  8. salmonWild Salmon: This is a great source of Omega 3. It is also low in saturated fats and is linked to improved brain function, mood, and synaptic connections. Adding this to your poker snacks will keep you brain boosted and keep you in the game right the way through the night.
  9. greek yogurtGreek Yogurt: This is rich in calcium which helps to improve nerve function. It also contains the amino acid tyrosine which helps with the production of dopamine and noradrenalin which lead to improved memory and alertness.
  10. popcornWater: It's preached in every healthy diet - never forget to stay hydrated with water! Some players avoid drinking too much fluids to avoid annoying washroom breaks, but staying well-hydrated will not only keep you feeling fresh, you'll also reduce your appetite throughtout the day keeping you focused on the cards, not your growling belly.

Some Final Advice For Improving Your Poker Tournament

The key to the best foods for poker tournaments is to fill yourself up. Playing hungry will cause plenty of bad decisions. Heavy, high calorie meals, or meals that are high in carbohydrates can make you drowsy and lethargic. Snacks are really important for poker players as you will be playing for a number of hours. Instead of opting for nachos covered in burger meat and store bought salsa, you could offer tortilla chips with a homemade salsa. Remember the aim is to remain alert and focused for the duration of your tournament and in order to do this you need to choose the best foods. Go through the list and try to incorporate as many as you can and see how this improves your game.