Think Red Bull helps you focus during long sessions?

Join our established mindset coach Schnitzelfisch for his new series on nutrition in poker; banish your bad eating habits and reap the rewards at the tables.

Video type: Nutrition in poker
Producer: AdminSchnitzelfisch
Status: FreeBasic+
Length: 14 minutes

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Do you find yourself gorging on takeaways for a quick buzz or chugging down energy drinks to stay 'focussed' during long sessions? Think your diet has no impact on your poker game? Think again.

In his new series on nutrition in poker, AdminSchnitzelfisch discusses the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for a poker player.

Learn about what foods have a negative impact on your ability to maintain focus during sessions and what sort of diet you should implement to help you maxmise your productivity at the tables.

Hungry for more? Check out his interview about the series below, or his incredibly detailed thread on nutrition in our forum.

Wake up every day feeling refreshed and ready for the grind!

Schnitzelfisch on his new series: Can you tell us what inspired you to make this series?

AdminSchnitzelfisch: In the beginning of my professional poker career, I didn't really care about nutrition. I ate whatever I felt like eating, including a lot of pizza, sandwiches, pre-made pasta, and of course my late night poker sessions were fueled by candy, chips and red bull. During those times, I could never really focus that much on the poker sessions, my mind would start wondering and I would start playing on autopilot.

As I started experimenting with different nutrition plans later on in my life, I was shocked by how big of a difference eating differently can make. It's like discovering hidden burst of energy that you never knew existed. I did share some insights about nutrition in my guide on nutrition and poker in the pokerstartegy forums, but I feel like that guide is missing a ton of very important concepts that I'll talk about in this video series (more info below). Poker players are notorious for keeping strange schedules especially with regards to eating and can eat strange things at strange hours. How much of an effect on their productivity can this have?

AdminSchnitzelfisch: Many poker players won't really have an idea about this because they never really ate in a way that would help them stay more focused and put in more hours. They don't care about nutrition, they think it doesn't matter, that you don't need good nutrition to succeed (besides, why would you even worry about this and DEPRIVE yourself of all the delicious food?).

To those that doubt that nutrition has an effect on productivity, I propose a very simple experiment.

DAY 1: Before your poker session in the evening, go to McDonald's and eat a few burgers, some french fries and drink a ton of coke. Throughout the session, keep eating chocolates, candy and chips.

DAY 2: Replace the McDonald's trip with a chicken salad and water. Replace the session snacks with fruits, nuts and more water.

Compare how you felt during both sessions. More specifically, how long could you stay focused?

Don't take my word for it, if you really want to improve, test things out on your own to see whether they work for you or not.

From my experience, the effect of nutrition on productivity is much bigger than expected. Think about it - if you're tired all day long (which you often are if you eat junk food, especially if you don't exercise either), how much can you really get done? On the other hand, how much more could you get done if you felt energized throughout the day?

Over the last few years, I've worked with a few supernova elites and just tweaking their nutrition plans a bit gave them huge improvements in freshness and allowed them to put in more quality volume and theory. At a very high level, you can gain a really nice edge over your opponents by eating right. How do you intend to structure the series?

AdminSchnitzelfisch: In the series, we'll talk about a few things:

- What are the foods that tend to kill your focus and productivity
- What to eat to wake up productive and start grinding or learning theory as soon as possible
- What to eat to maximize your sleep quality and wake up fresh the next morning
- What to eat before (and during) longer poker sessions to maintain focus for longer periods of time
- How to make sure that you actually stick to your nutrition plan and don't get bored of it

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Comments (9)

newest first
  • acerbikas


    I am extremely bad with managing my nutrition, but due to my years of long hours into the night I managed to develop capabilities of being up and running without the use of caffeinated drinks, so I guess it's the best of the worst.
  • Schnitzelfisch


    acerbikas, why do you think you're so bad with managing your nutrition? is it because you don't enjoy the taste of healthy food? is it because it's more convenient to order crappy food? something else?
  • DannyJQ


    Whats up with the product placement? Now I want a Red Bull!
  • acerbikas


    I guess it is a mixture of both, but mostly the case of healthy food taste. I am very picky about my food. For example, I hardly eat any vegetables since childhood (psychological barrier? i dont know). And I very much follow the psychological route - do what thou willst, so I tend to have utter disregard for the repercussions about my food choice. I eat what I feel like, what tastes good. Then again, it advises you to do what you truly want, without the feeling of guilt which keeps my grounded.

    That said, I had dropped eating sweets for a few years, safe for when I was abroad to test some out in small quantities, so I know I can manage that, but then there is still the case of what I want vs what I should :)
  • outspan


    Thanks for making these videos. They're not as glamorous as 5-betting dynamics but they make a much bigger impact.
  • chenny8888


    @acerbikas: need to eat some better healthy food IMO, I hated so many foods when I was younger but for example eating brussel sprouts with bacon bits at Rockpool has really turned me onto the tasty possibilities out there with healthy food.
  • acerbikas


    It's very hard to pinpoint what exactly counts as healthy though. I eat a lot of lean meat, I eat fish/sushis, so I do mix in quite a lot of non-vegetably healthy food, but it definitely does not constitute the majority of my diet.
  • Schnitzelfisch


    @ Acerbikas, I totally agree - if you don't enjoy eating the food that you eat, it's extremely hard to make the nutrition plan stick.

    That's exactly why I focus on showing you how to create your own nutrition plans that helps you reach your goals in the series :).

    One important aspect is thinking of ways in which you can make food exciting to eat. For example, You could eat a salad in a mexican restaurant (salad, chicken, jalapenos, hot sauce, beans, guacamole) which can make you feel amazing and it's delicious as well (it's basically a burrito in a bowl without rice).
  • Schnitzelfisch


    @ outspan, I'm glad you like it!

    @ Acerbikas, I agree here as well. It's hard to say what "healthy" food is.

    You will have different nutrition plans for:

    1) Feeling awesome and productive
    2) Gaining muscle
    3) Losing fat
    4) Avoiding diseases like diabetes and cancer

    While these might go hand in hand sometimes, I don't think there is one universal plan that would work for everyone.

    With this video series, the focus is mostly on #1 (nutrition that will help you perform best as a poker player), and on testing different foods to see which ones work best for you.