I am planning to participate in a tournament, and I was thinking about using energy drinks or caffeinated drinks to enhance my performance.

Is this a good idea? I normally don't take any energy drinks. Will it be counterproductive if I suddenly take up energy drinks, or is it better since I won't develop reliance on energy drinks?

If it is good, how much energy drinks should I take (in milligrams of caffeine), and when is the best time to do so?

Or does energy drink has no effect on chess performance whatsoever?

The only side effect I know about energy drinks is that it is diuretic, but it won't be much of a concern as the time control for the tournament is long.


  • i've seen nakamura and others drinking energy drinks
    – Lynob
    Feb 27, 2015 at 16:57
  • Wonderful question, but only if we actually see answers that refer to serious sources backed by research instead of just another set of guys in the Internet saying things.
    – JiK
    Feb 27, 2015 at 21:06
  • I usually drink gatorade. WE've seen nakamura drink red bull often. Mar 3, 2015 at 17:10

5 Answers 5


From a guy that drinks for too many energy drinks.


They give a rush for 40 minutes tops and then a crash.

Anxiety is also massively induced/increased.


Caffeine increases 'manual productivity' while decreasing creativity commensurately. That is, if you're packing groceries or stocking shelves, tank up. If you need to think, ease up. YMMV of course.

There is no silver bullet. Eat right, sleep plenty, and exercise.


It probably depends on the person and how often you drink energy drinks to begin with. If you don't ordinarily drink them, I would advise against it. I made the mistake of taking an energy drink before a tournament even though i ordinarily didn't drink them. It increased my energy at the expense of focus. My mind was racing and i couldn't concentrate. Instead of an energy drink, i would recommend plenty of rest, and good breakfast is instead.


It is best not to drink them before a tournament. At best you can drink coffee however do not buy energy drinks as those really won't help you win at all.

You should always go refreshed and have a good meal (2 hours or so) before heading off to a tournament. I have been on many tournaments and from personal experience, I can tell you this will work best in the future.


This is the abstract of the paper 'Effect of caffeine upon chess problem solving', authored by Harold Holck and published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, Vol 15(2), Apr 1933:

There was a slight but insignificant increase in efficiency after injections of 0.4 ml. containing 200 mgm. of caffeine sodium benzoate. Injections of saline solution were used for control purposes. The author, who served as the subject, did not know when he was injected with saline solution and when he was injected with caffeine. The improvement following caffeine was 7 to 9%.

Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/com/15/2/301/

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