Every time we talk about poker as a sport, it is always confused for its status as a casino game. Is poker really a sport? Yes, it is! Now you may think poker does not involve physical activity then how can it be considered a sport. Professional poker players like any other sport player (eg. Chess, Cricket) have to possess perseverance power, high concentration level, decision-making ability and many more traits to effectively play the game. Furthermore, while playing cash games and tournaments, poker players usually have to sit down for long hours without much of physical movement that ultimately affects their health and poker winnings. Hence, poker players like other sport players should follow a healthy routine to stay fit and active during the long poker playing hours.
Health in Poker
Poker is an indoor game and does not require much of physical activity. Because of this, most of the poker players think good health is not important for winning in poker. Poor health can indeed affect the game of a poker player. Suppose A and B are attending a bigger tournament that will run for four days. A played well on first day but by the end of Day 2, A’s energy was exhausted and hit by poker fatigue which affected his performance level in the first half of third day, and he couldn’t play further. But B with good health is still active, alert and prepared for further stages of a tourney. Thus, it is important to keep yourself in shape by following a healthy diet routine.
Generally, poker pros play continuously for 10-12 hours in high-stress situations. Stress because the game involves big money. Less and unsound sleep may deter them from thinking smartly. Inadequate sleep results in low performance, relationship drags and mood swings. Poker players should sleep 8 hours a day to repose their mind and body. Furthermore, while playing poker, players should avoid eye fatigue by refocusing the eyes recurrently by looking away from the cards or by covering them with palms for 10-15 seconds.
Poker players should always take out some time for physical activity like exercise, yoga, etc. They should work out for 1 hour a day or 4 days a week. Daily exercise will not only keep them in shape but also improve their overall health in terms of more stamina, extra alertness, high focus and better sleeping patterns.
Besides focusing on winnings in poker, players should also focus on a healthy diet. While playing live poker or online poker, players should avoid eating junk food and instead opt for healthy food. For example, pasta salad instead of hot-dogs, juices in place of whiskey, etc. Further, poker players should never miss out the important meals of the day, i.e, they should not skip breakfast, lunch and dinner to keep their body functioning. Moreover, they should have quick snacks, rich in fiber, between the meals to stay fresh, and eat food with Omega 3 fats to insulate the brain.
There is a universal saying, “Drinking more water keeps the body running.” Poker players should drink at least 10 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. They should avoid drinking energy drinks, tea/coffee, sodas, etc. as they rich in sugar and affect the heart and blood sugar level. Instead, players should adopt water as it provides an extra energy boost to stay awake and alert while playing poker all day long.