By Gabby Buchholz
In the digital age, Esports has boomed. High schools have clubs and competitive teams, and students can join teams at the university level for athletic scholarships. Lindenwood has their own Esports team, and the Exercise Science department is getting in on the action.
Dr. Petey Mumford, an assistant professor of exercise science, is overseeing a project to examine “the ability of nutritional dietary ingredients to improve Esports performance, cognition, sleep quality, and stress.” In other words, the study aims to understand the science of Esports’ effect on its athletes, as we understand for other sports.
“These gamers typically play video games for long hours or late at night, which can impact sleep quality and stress leading to burnout. Therefore, players have started looking for ways to manage their stress, improve sleep quality, and improve Esports performance,” Mumford said.
One focus of the study has been the different nutritional dietary ingredients and their ability to improve performance. In particular, the project focuses on two different doses of Phosphatidylserine, a type of fat, and Paraxanthine, a metabolite. These ingredients help to improve various cognitive functions, like concentration.
The study is not only a passion project for Mumford but also involves his students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Connor Gaige, a graduate student in Health Sciences, is the study coordinator for this project and is responsible for scheduling, data collection, and management,” Mumford explained. “Additionally, the undergraduate students have helped with piloting the project and data collection.”
Lindenwood students working on the project have the unique opportunity of a deep understanding for planning and conducting a research study. As Mumford stated, he “hopes that [his students] will learn that research can be a fun and enjoyable experience, which may lead them to new career opportunities.”
The study not only benefits the athletes and their quality of brain health but also the students who are gaining real world experience. The practical, hands-on work takes them beyond the classroom in their education, which Lindenwood strives for.
“Conducting this type of research here at Lindenwood gives more students the opportunity to get involved with research and see the benefits and success it can have on their time here at Lindenwood,” Mumford said.
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