Computer Gamer Concentrating On The Game 2021 08 27 22 39 10 Utc Scaled Uai Nutrition21

eSports (Gaming) & The Supplement Industry

Gaming and esports can be described in many ways…

It’s a vibrant and fast-growing sector of the market. It’s a legitimate means of monetization in today’s attention economy. It’s an entertainment medium for billions of enthusiasts around the globe. It might also be one of the most misunderstood opportunities in the supplement industry right now!

Gaming and Esports 101

With an increasing number of people playing, broadcasting, and watching esports, the already booming, multi-billion-dollar gaming ecosystem is without a doubt cementing itself as a straight up cultural phenomenon. Gaming and esports are distinct yet integrated ecosystems. They share a common value chain up to and including game distribution, after which esports continues through events and other consumption-driven adjacencies.

Esports is a subset of gaming and is simply defined as competitive gaming, played individually or in teams. Just like any sport, there’s many levels of competition from a group of friends self-organizing tournaments to more professionalized amateur competitions to well-established professional leagues with multimillion dollar prize pools. It’s important to not anchor yourself to an elitist competitor bias because you’ll miss the massively valuable opportunities that could be available to your supplement brand.

But before I dive deep into that, I want to thank the sponsor of this article Nutrition21.

Nutrition21 is the developer and marketer of efficacious, high-value, clinically substantiated ingredients for use in dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages, such as nooLVL®, which is a non-stimulant nootropic ingredient that enhances cognitive performance in fast-paced esports competitions.

nooLVL was the first nootropic ingredient clinically studied in a population of gamers and has been shown to work within 15 minutes to increase energy*, focus, reaction time, and accuracy.

If you’re interested in obtaining more information around why brands are utilizing Nutrition21 ingredients to ensure they have cutting edge formulations, head over to or reach out to me directly and I’ll connect you with the relevant team member.

*Perceived energy measured by the validated Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire

Massive Potential, But…

It’s hard to deny that esports has massive potential. In 2022, the global esports audience is expected to grow just shy of 9% YoY to reach 532 million. That means the global esports audience is almost five times larger than the one that watches the NFL Super Bowl annually.

Here’s the problem with throwing a sensationalized data point like that out…it gets you excited, but it doesn’t give you the deeper context needed to assess the opportunity. That data point was an aggregation and doesn’t reflect the opportunity in any one esport. Each video game is essentially a new sport with its own esports athletes (gaming personalities) and ecosystem built around it.

Pick Your Esports Communities Wisely

Although numerous video games have competitive formats, popularity is highly concentrated around the top 10 games, which account for almost 90% of all esports hours watched. When picking a community to target, I believe assessing the competitive elements strategy of the video game is integral. These competitive elements are a rising tide with the potential to increase retention and monetization. This, in turn, drives stronger community, as well as encouraging higher skill levels among players, both of which support stronger consumption of gaming streams and videos.

Recognizing a strong pattern forming, it has sent esports organizations scrambling to expand into broader gaming culture and beyond, treating esports more like a customer acquisition funnel. This paradigm shift is important for any business looking at the gaming and esports market because organizations like FaZe Clan®, 100 Thieves™, and handfuls of others have become culturally relevant across intersections of gaming, fashion, music, and entertainment to name a few.

Gaming Personalities = Entertainment

There is a growing trend toward gaming content as a form of entertainment. Whether it be fans watching an esports competition, gamers looking for tips and tricks to improve their play, or simply community members following their favorite influencers’ content, I’d argue streaming audiences in any form is more valuable than typical sports. This is because the power of community and real-time chat features on a streaming platform drives and deepens engagement and stickiness.

Since esports competition and entertainment are now acutely intertwined, it’s important to not understate how influential individual gamers are to this opportunity. Like traditional sports and entertainment, gaming is becoming more personality-driven by the day. Gaming influencers are today’s most effective channel for esports marketing and are a major trusted source for brand discovery. So, the key to successful esports marketing is to meet the target audience where they are and deliver your message in a way that will resonate with them.

But…who are you delivering that message to and are they receptive to it?

Gamer Demographics & Marketing Receptiveness

Let’s start with some gamer demographics that might surprise you because they’re no longer the stigmatized nerdy and overweight young white males who live in their parents’ basements. In fact, one-third of the global population would be considered a gamer with the gender mix being 60% male and 40% female. The average gamer is in their mid-30s, owns a house, and has children. They also tend to be successful professionals, with 49% of the cohort earning over $100K a year.

In terms of audience interest in non-endemic brands marketing efforts, a lot has changed in a short amount of time. It went from gamers fearing non-endemic brands would corrupt the community to them now embracing partnerships and sponsorship revenue as an integral driver of esports growth. While “buying a seat at the table” will always be available for non-endemic brands in esports, each day it gets more expensive as the gaming community increases its loyalty towards authentic brands.

Authenticity is Undefeated

I cannot overstate this extremely important lesson enough; authenticity matters…A LOT to the gamer community! Any supplement brand that is looking at the trending esports category with money signs in their eyes should understand that authenticity is key to having any success the market. Gamers want to support their own, so supplement brand owners should be asking themselves what can we do to impact this community genuinely and positively. Those actions should be in process even before launching a product.

It’s important to remember that the gamer nutrition category is only at the proverbial starting screen. In my opinion, the game hasn’t even technically started yet, so there is no reason for supplement brands to rush strategies and allow FOMO to create bad first impressions with the esports audience. Slapping a new label on a pre-workout product with a few extra nootropic ingredients and making some cheesy graphics for social media based on preconceived notions of gamers will get you slaughtered in today’s market.

Don’t be that supplement brand…please! It’s honestly embarrassing to our industry. Instead, stop and think about it this way…

Yes, there’s a new consumer cohort with unique desires and/or behaviors interested in performance nutrition products. That should evoke a feeling of internal examination at your supplement brand. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your supplement brand even have a right to win in this nascent market?

  2. Can you do it authentically within your current brand strategy? If not, are you prepared for an extensive strategic overhaul?

Those are just some of the things that would be going through my mind before new product development is even a discussion. That’s because to me…product is the easiest part of this equation.

Opportunities in Esports Supplements

Currently, the biggest opportunities in esports supplements are within the energy, cognition/focus, and hydration categories. I believe a product’s format and use occasion can be as important as its nutritional value, so brands should lean into convenience, familiarity, and seamlessly integrating into a gamer’s daily routines. That being said, “daily routines” of consuming supplements aren’t as ingrained into gamer lifestyles yet compared to the traditional sports nutrition customer cohort.

It's inevitable that a mainstreaming effect will happen in the gamer nutrition category (just like traditional sports nutrition), but any supplement brand looking at new opportunities for product category differentiation will need to be patient. Yes, gamers might be interested in eye-health, joint-health, and heck even general health, but they likely won’t seek these out yet in standalone products. In my opinion, the category with the biggest long-term potential in the esports market, outside of energy, cognition/focus, and hydration, would be sleep/relaxation.

Any supplement brand entering the esports market should remember that gamers are extremely intelligent, savvy at acquiring information, and a bit skeptical of outlandish performance claims. That’s why I think more clinically backed active ingredients that do targeted relevant studies on gamers, like what Nutrition21 has done with nooLVL, will be increasingly important. My stance has always been that science is important when marketing supplements, but that’s only true if you make consumers care about it.

Gaming Supplements Competitive Landscape

If we are including active nutrition categories like energy and sports drinks, then brands like Red Bull®, Monster Energy®, and Gatorade® would be the biggest players in terms of consumption dollars. If we are excluding those non-endemic functional food and beverage brands, the clear market leader would be G Fuel®. When gamer nutrition brand launched in 2012, it effectively created the largest esports supplement category (ready-to-mix powdered energy drinks). In recent years, G Fuel has evolved its product portfolio to include energy drinks and hydration beverages. Another brand offering energy drinks and powdered gamer supplements is GHOST® Lifestyle. They have quickly rose to the second biggest player in the gamer nutrition market. Moreover, rounding out the top five market leaders globally would be ADVANVCEDgg™, Sneak Energy, and LevlUp® (which is now owned by Glanbia Performance Nutrition).


Written by Joshua Schall

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Start Sharp, Stay Sharp, and Win Big with nooLVL®

In the world of esports, players have begun turning to dietary supplements to level up their performance that will keep them energized, alert, and zoned in for hours of competitive play.

To keep up with a surge in the demand for such supplements, brands have started the search for effective ingredients they can formulate into their products. Among those ingredients is nooLVL® — a patented nootropic complex of Bonded Arginine Silicate and an additional optimized dose of Inositol.

With numerous clinical studies supporting its effectiveness, nooLVL has been shown to help gamers stay sharp and focused even after hours of play.

What is nooLVL?

nooLVL, developed by Nutrition21, is a non-stimulant source of energy1 that contains Bonded Arginine Silicate which increases nitric oxide production and blood flow, allowing for a safe and enhanced delivery of oxygen and nutrients to sensitive tissues. It is the first esports nootropic ingredient to be clinically studied in a population of gamers. Nootropics have been shown to enhance cognitive function, memory, alertness, focus, and productivity.

With multiple substantiated benefits for gamers, nooLVL can be found in various esports supplements, including GHOST® Gamer, Advanced® Focus, and XP Sports™ Boost.

How effective is nooLVL?

To show the effectiveness of nooLVL, Nutrition21 has conducted multiple double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in healthy men and women who spent five or more hours per week playing video games.  In addition, Nutrition21 has conducted multiple studies to show the effectiveness of the Bonded Arginine Silicate in nooLVL.

Here is what the results have to say:

1.) Start SharpMental acuity and focus

When it comes to gaming, players want to make sure that they finish as strong as they start out. To determine if nooLVL could enhance mental acuity and focus, the study first used a Trail Making Test.

The Trail Making Test measures how attentive the subjects are, as well as their ability to switch tasks. For the study, two Trail Making Tests were conducted with increasing complexity and the results were analyzed to determine how long it took subjects to complete a task and their cognitive flexibility scores.

After conducting the tests, the results revealed that:

a.) The Bonded Arginine Silicate in nooLVL showed a 33% improvement in completion time 15 minutes after receiving the first dose.

b.) Subjects demonstrated a higher cognitive flexibility after one dose of Bonded Arginine Silicate.

These results show that nooLVL significantly increases cognitive function specifically in relation to mental acuity, focus, and cognitive flexibility.

2.) Stay SharpAttention and reaction time

It’s been shown that “professional FPS (frames per second) players clock reaction times between 100-250 milliseconds.” But after gaming for hours, it’s no surprise players might want a jolt of energy to maintain their attention and reaction time.

To address this need, Nutrition21 studied nooLVL’s cognitive performance benefits, specifically attention and reaction times. The results showed that:

    • nooLVL significantly improves attention and reaction time in gamers even after 60 minutes of gaming.

This result shows that nooLVL can not only enhance focus and cognitive abilities in esports athletes, but it can also make them more consistent throughout the duration of the game.

3.) Win Big Accuracy

One of the most sought-after benefits for any gamer is accuracy. It’s a skill that is based on precision and reliability, both of which can increase (or decrease) the likelihood of winning.

nooLVL was tested for accuracy by observing changes in error reduction. The results found that nooLVL resulted in 66% less errors, significantly improving accuracy.

By pairing accuracy with enhanced reaction times, energy1 levels, mental acuity, and focus, nooLVL presents an ideal blend of benefits for gamers to get an edge up on their competition.

Overall, multiple clinical studies show how nooLVL can enhance the performance of esports gamers in terms of focus, reaction time, and accuracy. If you’re looking for a way to improve your game, find out where to buy your favorite esports formulas that feature nooLVL and get ready to game on!

1Perceived energy measured by the validated Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire

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A Year in Review: The Rise of nooLVL® — Nutrition21’s Patented Ingredient for esports

nooLVL is a patented, non-stimulant ingredient that has been studied in a population of esports gamers and has been clinically shown to boost cognitive performance.

What sets nooLVL apart in the esports supplements industry? It works fast (in 15 minutes!) and delivers increased energy[1] safely, without negatively affecting heart rate or blood pressure. The unique complex of bonded arginine silicate and inositol in nooLVL also supports enhanced cognitive function and increased blood flow[2].

nooLVL had an extremely successful year in 2020 and even won Sports Nutrition Ingredient of the Year at the 2020 virtual NutraIngredients-USA Awards Ceremony. Keep reading for more of nooLVL’s achievements throughout 2020 — from noteworthy news and press coverage to esteemed product reviews.


nooLVL in the News and Press

Supplements that can be taken in various forms and support energy levels, cognitive function, and focus have been rising in popularity among esports athletes.

To provide insight into the gaming industry and explain why authenticity is key to earning the respect of gamers, Nutrition21, LLC teamed up with NutraIngredients USA to present an exclusive esports webinar. The panel of experts included Daniel Lourenco (CEO and Founder of GHOST®), Richard Kreider, Ph.D. (Professor, Executive Director of the Human Clinical Research Facility, and Director of the Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab at Texas A&M University), and Sara Perez Ojalvo (Director of Research & Development for Nutrition21), among others. In addition to sharing industry knowledge, the webinar discussed the science behind Nutrition21’s patented gaming product, nooLVL.

Due to its effectiveness as an ingredient in esports supplements, nooLVL was highlighted in two reports by Nutritional Outlook: one referencing its clinical study and the other highlighting its ability to boost brain health.

Recognizing this potential, numerous brands have worked the patented ingredient into select formulas.

nooLVL made its official gaming debut with AdvancedGG — the first brand in the esports industry to use the cognitive boosting nootropic. Drawn to its myriad of unique capabilities, which are backed by clinical study results, AdvancedGG chose to include nooLVL in its Focus product formulas. 

XP Sports also launched four new supplements in fall 2020, with nooLVL highlighted as one of the main ingredients in three of the four products. The three products — Boost Energy Drink, Boost ready-to-mix powder, and Zero-Lag capsules — all deliver 1.6 grams of nooLVL's energy-enhancing benefits in two distinct, easy-to-take forms.

In response to the explosive growth of the esports industry during the pandemic, GHOST® launched their highly anticipated GHOST® Gamer product with nooLVL for improved cognitive performance. GHOST® Gamer ultimately took the lead in the gaming supplements realm and became Fitness Informant’s 2020 Product of the Year

Neurofactor chose nooLVL for its Quality Nootropic Energy shot due to its various key mechanisms. Rule One Proteins also took note and created its Player1 product with nooLVL.


The Rise of esports and nooLVL

Esports has become one of the most profitable industries in America with over $1 billion in annual revenue. As gamers and esports athletes spend more time playing, the demand to up their performance also increases. This has led to a large boom in the market for gaming supplements. To keep up with this explosive industry growth*, companies have turned to clinical studies on powerful ingredients like nooLVL in order to create products that meet the dynamic needs of gamers.

A 2019 study published in Nutrients and summarized by Nutraceuticals World further showed how oral supplements containing nooLVL, can improve accuracy, decision making, and reaction times. GHOST® CEO and Founder Dan Lourenco also sat down with the host of PricePlow Podcast, Ben Kane, to further explain how ingredients like nooLVL are taking gaming supplements to new heights.

Ultimately, nooLVL’s complete ingredient profile, ability to elevate brain power, and reliable testing on gamers were all key factors* when GHOST® Gamer and AdvancedGG’s Focus 2.0 chose to include the patented ingredient in their innovative formulas. Outbreak Nutrition F.P.S. also offers a mood, focus and energy boosting formula that recently replaced citrulline malate for nooLVL* in its ingredient list.


The Ever-Evolving Gaming Supplement Market

When the pandemic hit, video gaming also surged. As the trend sustained popularity through much of the year, traditional sports supplement brands began rethinking their strategies and positioning their products toward the booming esports industry. NutraIngredients emphasized how ingredients, delivery, and authenticity are needed for brands to successfully pivot within the supplement market and highlighted a handful of exemplary brands and ingredient suppliers, including nooLVL and Nutrition21.

As gaming continued picking up steam, so did the use of nootropic supplements. The nootropic supplement market is now predicted to increase to $4.94 billion by 2025. This demand has, in turn, led to a battle between pharmaceutical and natural nootropics. In one article, Natural Products Insider examined the difference between the two and how nooLVL’s clinical study sets it apart as an approved dietary supplement ingredient.

Brand Marketing Strategies for nooLVL

When it comes to marketing a gaming supplement and making it stand out among the competition, brands have taken several different approaches.

For example, AdvancedGG's strategy noted nooLVL as a main ingredient in their Focus supplements — placing it front and center on the product labels — and incorporated popular esports athletes to successfully market the product collection.

To promote the new GHOST® Gamer product, Dan Lourenco sat down with NutraIngredients-USA and talked about the product launch. For added credibility, he also touched on the brand's new partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to explain how GHOST®’s product development expertise will pair well with AB InBev’s distribution strength to bring new ready-to-drink products to the market.


Product Reviews

Based on its capabilities for vasodilation (increased blood flow), energy1 levels, mood, and cognition improvement, nooLVL has earned a top spot in the world of gaming supplement ingredients. Below are reviews from respected gaming sites that highlight how nooLVL factors into various pre-workout, post-workout, and esports supplement formulas.

GHOST® Gamer

GHOST® Gamer offered an exciting new way for esports athletes to increase energy levels and improve cognitive function at the same time. With their unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and eight main ingredients, including nooLVL, the GHOST® Gamer drink mix gives players a one-up on the competition. Fitness Informant reviewed the supplement and gave it an 8.9 rating based on its effectiveness, flavors, mixability, value, and ingredient profile, which features nooLVL.

Stacked3D deemed GHOST® Gamer a reliable, smooth, and longer-lasting energy drink that can be used for many purposes — whether it’s a morning commute or a gaming session — thanks to its potent formula, which includes nooLVL.


XP Sports

XP Sports debuted three eye-catching products in summer 2020. Two of the three products — XP Sports Boost and Zero Lag — are both formulated with nooLVL for enhanced levels of energy, alertness, and focus.

Stacked3D reviewed XP Sports Boost Energy Drink for efficacy and taste, noting its flavorful, zero-calorie nature and potent, energy-boosting ingredients like nooLVL. They also broke down its new formula, which contains less caffeine than Boost powder, is free of sugar, carbohydrates and calories, and still features all of its original ingredients except for Neurofactor.

Fitness Informant also reviewed XP Sports’ Boost RTD as one of the better RTDs on the market in terms of its clinical dose of nooLVL, ingredient profile, cost, and unique benefits for eye health.

In a separate review, they noted Boost’s taste, mixability, and effectiveness as well as its four separate ingredient blends, including Performance Amplifier, which features nooLVL.

Fitness Informant also took a closer look at the effectiveness and value of XP Sports Zero-Lag, which features nooLVL, Serinaid®, a complex Adaptogen Plus Blend, and more.


AdvancedGG Focus

PricePlow’s own Dan Kane reviewed AdvancedGG’s Focus supplements and discussed the benefits of ingredients, such as nooLVL, which are found in its complex formula.


In Conclusion

Whether it was noted as a main ingredient in popular gaming supplements or referenced independently for its impressive clinical study, it was an exciting year for nooLVL and we look forward to seeing what is next for this powerful, patented nootropic ingredient.





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1Perceived energy measured by the validated Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire

2Compared to baseline