By Christian Philippsen, managing director of BENEO, Asia Pacific
In the past, sports nutrition products were targeted at a niche group of athletes with specific dietary needs. In recent years however, consumers have been adopting healthier and more active lifestyles, leading to a boom of the sportification trend and widespread demand for sports nutrition products in the market.
An additional key driver of this development is the rising popularity of e-sports. The pandemic has further intensified the number of gamers worldwide1, with the largest percentage of players located in the Asia-Pacific region (roughly 54%, or 1.741 billion players)2. In 2022, the games market in this region was worth a whopping US$87.9bn3. With e-sports gaining traction worldwide, this also comes with a global audience, more competitions, and higher prize money, leading to immense pressure for many professional e-athletes.
The mental and physical strain of e-sports
One of the unique characteristics of e-sports is that oftentimes the transitions are fluid, meaning a hobby gamer can very quickly become a professional. And, even gamers who have no ambitions of an e-sports career spend a lot of time in front of the computer and want to continuously improve their gaming performance.
However, what many do not know is that the e-sports industry is known to have a comparatively short career span, with a majority of contenders retiring in their mid-20s — much earlier than traditional sports like basketball or football4. One reason for this is poor health. Within the world of e-sports, the eyes, back, and joints of gamers come under particular physical strain as a result of long periods of sitting, along with one-sided movements of the shoulder-arm area. In addition, the brain is under constant intense pressure, as mental performance and endurance are crucial to success.
With this in mind, there is an enormous opportunity for manufacturers to cater to both e-sports athletes and the wider target group of gamers by formulating sportified products that can help serve their nutritional needs.
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