Effects of TeaCrine® (Theacrine), Dynamine™ (Methylliberine), and Caffeine on Gamer Psychomotor Performance in a First-Person Shooter Video Game Scenario

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Michael B. La Monica
Jennifer B. Listman
Ian Donovan
Taylor E. Johnson
David J. Heeger
Wayne E Mackey

Keywords

esports, nootropics, cognitive workload

Abstract

Purpose: To compare the effects of purported cognitive enhancing dietary bioactive ingredients on subjective and objective measures of cognitive and motor performance during a first-person shooter video game.
Methods: Using a placebo-controlled crossover design, nine healthy men (23.4±5.7 yr, 178.9±5.8cm, 86.0±17.1kg) completed four 20-minute gaming sessions designed to assess cognitive, motor, and perceptual skills via artificial intelligence-driven battery of tasks (Aim Lab). Participants ingested either a placebo (PL), caffeine (CAFF), or caffeine + methylliberine (Dynamine™) + theacrine (TeaCrine®) (CMT). Before and after each gaming session participants rated various feelings of affect. Data were analyzed using mixed factorial ANOVA, bootstrapping post-hoc tests with 95% confidence intervals, and effect sizes.
Results: Compared to PL, self-assessed performance was significantly increased in CMT vs. PL (p=0.035) and self-assessed jitteriness was increased by CAFF vs. PL (p=0.043). CMT was associated with a greater improvement of participants’ visuo-spatial working memory from baseline vs. PL (p=0.04) and CAFF (p=0.033). CAFF had a greater decrease in reaction time for false alarms (indicating diminished cognitive control) from baseline vs. PL (p=0.002) and CMT (p=0.001) and a greater increase for time on target tracking vs. PL (p=0.008) and CMT (p=0.047). Compared to PL, CMT was associated with a greater decrease in median kill time (indicating improved speed) (p=0.017). Compared to PL, systolic blood pressure was significantly increased by CAFF (p=0.025) and CMT (p=0.020) but remained within normal limits.
Conclusions: Acute CMT supplementation improved cognitive and motor abilities in recreational gamers. The addition of theacrine and methylliberine to caffeine may lessen some undesirable effects of isolated caffeine ingestion on cognitive control and jitteriness.

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