As the eSports scene is becoming more popular and competitive, players around the world are doing their absolute best to stay at the top of their game. Optimal game performance is never without complications. We must all admit, that we have complained about performance issues like mouse sensitivity and internet connection before, but now we are addressing a more common and serious issue.
As a gamer or sports athlete, your hands are your most essential tool. High performing players need to make precise reactions in even the tightest of situations. Many people suffer from cold hands while gaming, and even though the problem is relatively simple, the solution is more complex than it would seem.
How do I avoid cold hands?
The solutions should be simple; just warm up your hands, right?
It would seem obvious to simply turn up the heater because that makes you feel warmer. Unfortunately, turning up the heater will not solve our problem, since our body temperature is dictated by our blood flow. So, the players who suffer from cold hands while gaming, is actually having a case of poor blood circulation. The steady blood flow in our veins is the reason we feel warm. That is why you sometimes feel a lot warmer when your heart rate is increasing since your heart is pumping more blood around.
An increase in heart rate is not the solution to our problem, though. We are pretty sure that most of you have tried being under stress while gaming. This increases our heart rate, but does not necessarily make our hands feel warmer. This is because of our body’s survival instinct. The stress not only increases our heart rate, but it also increases our production of adrenaline. The adrenaline causes the blood flow to direct itself towards the vital organs, in which the result is another case of cold fingers.
So, if the thermostat is not the solution, how can we combat this issue?
We have listed 6 tips on how to avoid cold hands while gaming
1.The hot water treatment
We are sure most us have tried something like this to avoid cold hands. Personally, we like to keep a hot cup of coffee nearby.
This is perhaps the quickest solution, but it is also the most temporary. If you leave your hand in a hot bowl of water for a few minutes, your fingers will begin to feel warm, but as soon as your hands leave the water, you will instantly feel the cold sensation.
Even though you may feel cold or even colder after this treatment, the warm water has increased the blood flow in your hands, which should help the hands warm themselves after the treatment.
Bonus tip: While your hand is under water, try to fist your hands in a strong grip, since this will help the blood flow even more. To maximize the effect, try to submerge your entire arm in the hot water. We are not kidding!
Since this treatment is very simple you easily repeat it when you start to feel cold again!
Pros: It is simple and easy to do, and you will feel the effect immediately.
Cons: This effect is somewhat temporary. Ow, and it is considerably annoying to wet your hands while gaming unless you are playing in the bathtub which we do not recommend.
2.The cold water treatment
But we just suggested using warm water? – We know, it is confusing!
Even though this tip seems contradicting to the previous one, it is based on the same principle: blood flow.
This trick is performed in the same way as the hot water treatment. Submerge your hand or entire arm in ice cold water for as long as you can. The purpose is to shock your body, in order for it to increase the blood flow to your hands. As soon as you reemerge your arm from the water, your body will start pumping blood to your cold hands.
This treatment is widely used among people who battle bad blood circulation. It is considered healthy to practice winter swimming, though we do not recommend any of you to jump into a pool of ice before every game. We might dare you though!
Pros: You will feel the effect immediately.
Cons: Temporary effect. Takes time to prepare. And, well… It is freaking COLD!
3.Warm your hands with friction
This is perhaps the most obvious and old-school tip on this list.
We know from the hot water treatment, that the heat from the water increases our blood flow. We also know from our old science class, that friction creates heat. Rubbing our hands together to increase the blood circulation in our hands may then seem pretty straightforward, but it is effective and easy.
Even though the effect of this method is temporary, it is easy to do while gaming. It is not the ideal treatment, but it is something you can do when no other option is available.
The biggest flaw in this treatment is that it requires energy from the player. If you are suffering from very cold hands while gaming, you might have to repeat this trick many times, which will become tiresome and affect your game performance.
Pros: You can do this often and feel the effect immediately.
Cons: The effect is a temporary effect and it may be tiresome for most players to do this repeatedly.
There is a reason why top eSports athletes use a lot of time exercising. It is actually common for many professional teams to have a training coach. The reason why top performing players spend time away from their computer to exercise is to combat physical limitations like injuries and cold hands while playing games. In one of our previous blog posts, we covered the many benefits of healthy gaming!
We hope you all know that exercise increases our heart rate, which increases our blood flow. Exercise is a pretty straightforward method to combat cold hands, but the most dominant effect of exercise is the overall increase in health. There is a good chance that your poor blood circulation is the result of being out of shape. We know. The truth hurts.
If you suffer severely from poor blood circulation, we recommend you to get into better shape.
It is true, that exercise is a long-term solution to our problem, but it can also combat the cold hands while gaming.
If you stand up a few times during game sessions, your blood circulation will improve significantly, especially if you have bad posture while gaming to begin with. Some players also have dumbbells or hand grips nearby, so if you are feeling cold while gaming, consider doing a few hand or arm exercises!
Pros: Getting into better shape will improve your blood circulation. You can get temporary warmth in your hands with small exercises while gaming.
Cons: Getting into shape takes time and effort, and the effect is mostly long term. It may also be tiresome for many players to exercise while gaming.
An apple a day improves your gameplay.
This tip is pretty much an extension of the previous tip. Healthy foods like fish, nuts, fruits, and veggies will increase your overall health. Healthy gaming equals better blood circulation. For a short-term effect, it is actually possible to boost body heat by eating certain foods. You should consider spicing things up in your diet. Certain spices can increase the ability to gain body heat. According to studies, spices like black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, and cayenne will warm you up.
So how about a spicy snack between games?
Pros: It will increase your body temperature as you become healthier. Having a healthy lifestyle will improve other senses which will benefit your gameplay in general.
Cons: It is time-consuming to plan meals and cook healthy foods. It also requires a lot of commitment and discipline.
6. Consider using a heating device
And we are not talking about gluing your hand to the radiator!
If you are not interested in watering your hands every 30 minutes or rubbing the skin of your fingers, there are other solutions to increase and maintain a competitive temperature in your hands.
Let’s be honest. Even though the previous tips seem logical and effective, most players are looking for a more permanent solution that will not compromise their daily routine.
Hand warmers and stationary heaters are not unusual on the professional gaming scene. The biggest value from an infrared heater is the reliable and constant feeling of warmth in the fingers, without it being uncomfortable at any time. Furthermore, infrared radiation has a number of health benefits which will make your gaming experience even better.
Because this improves gaming performance without consequences like having to stand up or even submerge your arm in the water, heating devices are becoming more known and popular in the gaming industry. You can see the Envavo Heatbuff here, a product developed to combat cold hands through the use of natural infrared waves. You can also see a comparison of different devices that help to heat your hands while gaming here.
Pros: Completely eliminates cold hands while gaming without having to make a major effort. No changes in gaming performance, since the effect, is constant. Even the coldest hands will feel optimal within a few minutes.
Cons: Whereas a bowl of water is relatively free, heating devices will cost you around $200.
The gaming industry has become more aware of the player’s possibilities and limitations when it comes to competitive gaming. Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid cold hands while gaming, so you too can be at the top of your game.