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As with anything else in life, the food you eat and the liquids you drink can make a huge difference when it comes to extended gambling sessions. You want something that will keep you alert and focused, even when you’re playing well past the time you would usually be asleep. Many forms of gambling call for late sessions. It is common for poker tournaments to run for more than 10 hours, with cash games and tournament events often running well into the early hours. The same goes for blackjack, slots tournaments and many other forms of gambling.

So what do you need to keep you going long into the night? What can you put into your body to ensure you are alert and that you continue to have the edge over your opponents?

Bad Energy

One of the most popular ways for gamblers to find the energy they need to endure long sessions is energy drinks. Popular with students staying up late and cramming as much studying in as they can, poker players also knock plenty of them back during long tournaments. They will certainly give you energy, but in the words of one comedian who described them better than anyone, they are “anxiety in a can.”

Forget about the other ingredients, forget about the taurine and everything else they claim will pump you up. Taurine is an abundant amino acid and will do nothing in terms of energy. It’s all about the caffeine and sugar, with huge doses of both of them. There are other things in there as well, including a controversial stimulant, but it’s all about the caffeine and the sugar. Small doses of either of these won’t do you any harm, but in vast quantities they will. If you drink several of these cans you are putting a lot of stress on your body and the nervous and jittery energy they produce is not going to do you any favours.

Other things that won’t do you much good are caffeine pills, not in the high doses that many people consume them anyway. Excessive sweets treats should also be avoided, because whilst it may be easy to grab some chocolate bars and potato chips, the mass of trans fats, sugars and cheap carbs isn’t going to do your brain power any good and will make you prone to laziness and poor decisions.

Good Energy

Caffeine isn’t all bad. In fact, in moderate doses there is nothing wrong with this. As is the case with anything, once you increase the dose then you put yourself at risk and you turn a good thing into a bad thing. Energy drinks contain way more than you need, but a simple cup of tea or coffee is fine. Again, don’t overdo it, but you can drink a few of these throughout the session to keep yourself going.

Most gambling events will have breaks, even the online ones, so there will also be a chance to make yourself a cup. These usually occur every hour, certainly when it comes to poker tournaments, blackjack tournaments and slot tournaments, but it’s all down to the individual tournament. If you are not anticipating many breaks, then take a thermos and ensure that it is full before you begin so you can top up your dose throughout the session.

You should also take some snacks. Sweet and sugary snacks are okay in moderation, but if you’re going to consume these then eat something healthy with them. Fruits are good, especially berries. Blueberries have been proven to increase focus and brainpower by as much as 10%, which makes dried blueberries or blueberries baked into bars fantastic. Oats are also good for sustained energy, whilst things like flax seed can help with essential fats and brain-boosting omega 6s. One of the best things you can do is to combine all of these, baking yourself some blueberry flapjacks with a healthy dose of flax flour. There are actually several popular brands of flapjack that produce something similar, as this trick is not new and the combined effects of all of these ingredients, along with some nuts and seeds, have been well known for sometime.

It is also important to stay hydrated, as dehydration will lead to poor decisions, fatigue and everything else that you don’t need. Forget about drinks like Gatorade. These sugary and expensive drinks will do you no good. They may improve performance in athletes, but only those who push themselves to the extreme. Playing an extended session of poker or blackjack does not quite constitute pushing yourself to the extreme, and simple water will be more than enough. If you like your water with a little flavour, try something that includes natural flavours and extracts, such as green tea extract. Something with real fruit juices added will also make it easier to drink and may give your body a healthy sugar kick in the process.

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