Given how poker players are often compared to other sportsmen, it’s a wonder why how their diet influences their performance rarely goes under the spotlight. Becoming a professional poker player is no mean feat—becoming successful at it is virtually an insurmountable task. The existence of rake ensures that 90% of players never achieve that status. For the other 10%, fighting to keep their top positions keeps getting harder. Because the odds are stacked against them, poker players have to take into stride everything that may give them a winning edge. That’s where dietary issues come into play.  


While you won’t exactly burn a lot of calories playing poker, what you eat affects your cognitive performance. Outside the stereotypes of players who smoke and drink whiskey while playing, nowadays sports poker professionals are very careful to plan their nutrition before every important event. Therefore, even the less experienced should try to follow our advice before approaching a game session on one of the platforms present on The various demo games and welcome bonus offers allow you to start with marginal investment.


Since poker players spend a lot of time sitting down and playing the game, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a good diet is vital. If players don’t prepare properly and follow basic dietary principles, they risk falling short of energy at critical stages of tournaments or their career. Fortunately, a lot of information is now available for food and performance-building habits. Let’s look at some of the most basic principles.

Maintain Proper Nutritional Balance

Virtually every poker player has a favourite food that they swear they can live on for the rest of their lives. For some, it may be pizza, for others a good steak. As you may guess, too much of either isn’t the best way to balance your diet. That doesn’t mean you should drop all the special treats you love. On the contrary, it’s important to include your favourite food in your diet. The end goal is to have a balanced diet. If you’re a professional player, then you may need to consult a nutritionist.

Avoid Unhealthy Snacks

When you’re looking to maintain a proper diet, it’s vital to get healthy snacks. It’s tempting to quickly grab a bag of chips and start gobbling it up. What you should opt for instead is a mixture of berries, nuts, or even a protein bar. Remember that it’s not only what you eat that matters, but also how much you eat that could be a deciding factor. If you’re going to eat one piece of candy while taking a break, the world won’t stop spinning. However, it may virtually be impossible to stop at one candy—and that’s where all your troubles begin.

Give Yourself a Cheat Day

Maintaining your discipline can be quite a challenge, so it’s important to constantly take a break and pat yourself on the back. Letting loose and eating junk food on your cheat day can massively boost your motivation when you start changing your dietary habits. You just need to remain aware that such radical changes to your lifestyle may take a bit of time to adapt to. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.  

Eat At The Same Time Every Day

Another easy way to help your body squeeze out the maximum amount of energy from what you’d have eaten is to eat at the same time every day. Your body will adjust to a particular routine, which transitions to much more energy levels for you. While it may need you to shift around a few daily activities, matching your eating times may be worth it. 

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

A lot of poker players choose to drink energy drinks or coffee instead of water when they get thirsty. Such a habit may actually do more harm than good. For you to think clearly and make good decisions, you need to stay hydrated. If your body is flooded with caffeine, you’ll also have poor sleep quality, which will negatively impact your performance. 

Alcohol goes without saying, but since a lot of players splash around their bankroll on expensive drinks, we’ll mention it. Drinking alcohol before or during a game negatively affects your focus, concentration, energy, and decision making. You may be tempted to think that a few drinks won’t do much harm, but they may be the difference between a win and a loss. Having said that, avoiding alcohol may be the easiest change to make. You can have all the booze you want during non-game periods.

That being said, this is an extremely easy change to make, so just decide to leave the booze for non-game days.