Compound Solutions study highlights nootropic benefits for esports

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images /  nemke
Getty Images / nemke

Related tags: eSports, Nootropic, Cognitive health

A new study at Statespace's Aim Lab examined how nootropics would impact esports athletes’ cognitive and motor performance.

The research, published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition​, looked specifically at the branded ingredients TeaCrine and Dynamine for a small group of gamers during first-person shooter (FPS) games. Compound Solutions markets the ingredients and also funded the research.

Theacrine and methylliberine are methylurate compounds that share some similarities in chemical structure to methylxanthines such as caffeine, paraxanthine, and theobromine. 

“However, the subtle chemical differences give the methylurates TeaCrine and Dynamine additional differentiated benefits including greater dopamine signaling, lower habituation/ tolerance potential, healthy immune/inflammation cytokine signatures, liver health and neuroprotective features. Moreover, both pre-clinical and human clinical data suggests TeaCrine and Dynamine may not possess some of the undesirable effects of caffeine & methylxanthines, while amplifying the benefits,”​ explained Matt Titlow, CEO, Compound Solutions.

Statespace 

The research was conducted at New York-based Statespace, a company that uses performance analytics and a suite of tools for casual gamers and esports athletes to maximize their potential.

Statespace may be best known for its AI-driven Aim Lab, a program that trains players in first-person shooting games. So far, the lab has trained over 15 million players, ranging from beginners to experts. 

The current study used Aim Lab software, which was developed by a team of neuroscientists, researchers assessed and compared speed, precision, accuracy, reaction time, working memory capacity and cognitive control during a first-person shooter (FPS) game. 

The study

Using a placebo-controlled crossover design, nine healthy men completed four 20-minute gaming sessions designed to assess cognitive, motor, and perceptual skills via artificial intelligence-driven battery of tasks (Aim Lab). Participants ingested either a placebo (PL), caffeine (CAFF), or caffeine + methylliberine (Dynamine) + theacrine (TeaCrine) (CMT). Before and after each gaming session participants rated various feelings of affect. 

Key takeaways

  • The 125mg caffeine-only group increased in speed and reaction time, but declined significantly in precision and accuracy. The subjects got ‘trigger happy’ with more errors, and shot the wrong target and/or missed more often. 
  • Supplementation with 75mg Dynamine and 50mg TeaCrine amplified key aspects of cognitive performance such as working memory, speed, cognitive control, and greater consistency in reaction time when added to a moderate 125 mg dose of caffeine. Adding Dynamine and TeaCrine to caffeine also improved precision and accuracy while maintaining speed and reaction time.
  • Dynamine plus TeaCrine were able to decrease the error rates (e.g., identifying false targets in FPS scenario) and jitters associated with isolated caffeine supplementation.
  • Self-assessment of performance was also highest in the group using Dynamine plus TeaCrine and caffeine. 

“The average age of the gamers was 23, so the statistically significant improvements are remarkable considering the gamers were already at the height of their cognitive ability. Dynamine and TeaCrine  helped make them even better,” ​noted Titlow. 

“Acute CMT supplementation improved cognitive and motor abilities in recreational gamers. The addition of theacrine and methylliberine to caffeine may lessen some undesirable effects of isolated caffeine ingestion on cognitive control and jitteriness,”​ the study authors concluded. 

Esports explored in upcoming summit 

The Sports & Active Nutrition Summit returns in 2022 as an in-person event. A leading session of the event, which is scheduled for February 14-16, will focus on esports. One presentation will feature the founder of the first academic program in the country to address esports.  Jason Chung, PhD, of the University of New Haven in Connecticut, will take attendees through the program he has created. For more information and to secure an early bird registration discount visit the event homepage​.

Source:Journal of Excercise and Nutrition 

2021 journalofexerciseandnutrition.com/index.php/JEN/article/view/104

Effects of TeaCrine® (Theacrine), Dynamine™ (Methylliberine), and Caffeine on Gamer Psychomotor Performance in a First-Person Shooter Video Game Scenario

Authors: M Monica, et al.

 

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