A team of researchers at Texas A&M’s Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory has published a new study in Nutrients, where they put Nutrition21’s nooLVL gaming supplement ingredient to the test and discovered some incredible results just 90 minutes after supplementation.
Nutrition21 is a leading ingredient developer in the supplement industry that also serves as a groundbreaking research company. They supply some of the most well-studied ingredients on the market, such as Chromax (chromium picolinate for diet applications) and Nitrosigine (inositol-stabilized arginine silicate for nitric oxide / pre workout applications).
This latest research study, however, was performed using nooLVL, a supplement ingredient developed and patented for gaming and esports applications which uses inositol-stabilized arginine silicate but adds an optimized amount of additional inositol to boost cognitive performance in addition to its nitric oxide and blood flow improvements.
nooLVL Increases Short-term Memory and Reaction Time
The trial, which was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, was performed on 26 participants (experienced gamers) and found that nooLVL supplementation enhanced some measures of short-term memory, reaction time, reasoning, and concentration. It was sponsored by Nutrition21 and presented as a poster at the 2021 ISSN conference (International Society of Sports Nutrition).
Nutrition21 published a press release announcing the study, but we get into further details below. First, make sure to sign up for our Nutrition21 news alerts to ensure that you don’t miss out on any future research:
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Nutrition21 leads the way in gaming supplement research with nooLVL
With the surge of competitive gaming and esports, there has been an explosion of products marketed towards gamers. Alongside the numerous devices and software packages made to improve gaming performance, gaming supplements have had a major rise in popularity.
However, before Nutrition21’s involvement, there were no gaming supplements or gaming supplement ingredients that were tested on actual gamers playing modern games. That changed with nooLVL’s research in gamers, the world’s first clinically-studied gaming supplement ingredient, which is made by combining inositol-stabilized arginine silicate with an optimized amount of additional inositol.
If this is your first time reading about nooLVL, we provide the full background story and original study in our article titled nooLVL: Next-Gen Focus Ingredient for Gaming Supplements. Below, we get straight into the new research out of Texas A&M in 2021:
The 2021 Texas A&M nooLVL study: analyzing short-term effects
While we’ve seen nooLVL improve various cognitive, energy, and accuracy metrics on experienced gamers playing modern games, this study aimed to look at the ingredient’s short-term reaction time and cognitive effects. This is important to understand because supplement users prefer to see results as soon as possible, and gamers generally expect gaming supplements to be experiential.
The methods: 26 experienced gamers, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover
The Texas A&M researchers recruited 26 healthy participants (average age 23 years old), and ensured that they recorded their diet from four days and could not drink atypical amounts of stimulants or foods rich in arginine or nitrates for three days before study visits. The researchers randomly assigned them to the nooLVL group or the placebo group (maltodextrin) to start.[1,2]
On the test day, the users fasted for eight hours overnight, and then completed a battery of cognitive tests before taking their assigned supplement.[1,2]
Pre-Gaming Tests and Gaming
The participants were then given their treatment (nooLVL or maltodextrin placebo). Fifteen minutes later, they repeated the same cognitive tests
The gamers then played their favorite video game for one hour.
After their hour of gaming, the mentally fatigued participants then took the battery of tests again, for the third time. At this point, they were done for the day, and the first half of their trial was over.
7-14 day washout and crossover
The researchers had the participants head home and “wash out” for 7-14 days, and then replicated the same pre-study protocols (monitor diet for four days, no atypical stimulant usage for three days).
After that, the participants went through the same exact process described above on the first research day, but instead were given the alternative treatment that they hadn’t received the first day (maltodextrin placebo or nooLVL).
The results: nooLVL improvements in mental reasoning and reaction time!
The biggest improvements were in the Sternberg test, where the nooLVL group had statistically significant improvements compared to the placebo group.[1,2] This test specifically measures reaction time, short-term memory recall, and mental reasoning and is given with ascending difficulty and complexity, making it an all-around fantastic test for gamers.
Analyzing the test, the researchers discovered that the nooLVL group was able to significantly improve their mean present reaction time in both the pregame and postgame scenarios. Interesting to note is that present reaction time was faster than absent reaction time, indicating a faster ability to recall information with recent memory – something quite relevant to gaming.
Per the data table below, nooLVL performed admirably in nearly all tests, even when statistical significance wasn’t achieved:[1,2]
These results — especially in reaction time — demonstrate that nooLVL can significantly improve effects that are highly relevant to gaming.
Some of the improvements came before the game (just 15 minutes after supplementation!) while a majority of them were in the post-game tests (90 minutes after supplementation). For instance, 4-letter Absent Reaction Time, 6-letter Present Reaction Time, 6-letter Absent Reaction Time, Mean Present Reaction Time, and Mean Absent Reaction Time were all significantly improved with nooLVL over placebo after one hour of gaming.[1,2]
This suggests that using nooLVL gave the participants a better ability to store and retrieve random data through short-term memory, especially as it increased in complexity.
Additional benefits in the nooLVL group
Additionally, there were some improvements in the nooLVL group that were positive, but didn’t reach significance. This includes the Pre-Game Sternberg 4-letter Present Reaction time test just 15 minutes after supplementation, and better changes maintained in Go-No-Go Mean Accuracy and Reaction Time, Psychomotor Vigilance Task Reaction Time, and Cambridge Post-Game Visiospatial Processing and Planning.[1,2] Importantly, the Sternberg test is often used as a test of working memory. In this study, nooLVL was able to significantly increase the speed and reaction time of the Sternberg Test in multiple letter lengths versus the placebo group. This aligns with earlier research on tests where nooLVL also shows significant improvements.
Lessons learned: nooLVL works in the short-term and after mentally fatiguing game play
Ultimately, this study is extremely encouraging, because it showed improved effects in just 15 minutes as well as at 90 minutes post dose, leading us to believe that the improved nitric oxide levels and blood flow provided with inositol-stabilized arginine silicate on top of the additional inositol that composes nooLVL makes for a gaming supplement ingredient that improves some important short-term metrics – the first time gamers use it!
The study’s conclusions
The researchers close their abstract with the following, which sums things up nicely:
“Results provide evidence that ASI + I [nooLVL] ingestion prior to playing video games may enhance some measures of short-term and working memory, reaction time, reasoning, and concentration in experienced gamers.”
In addition, the conclusion begins with the following, which also indicates the strength of the study:
“In conclusion, results of the present investigation provide additional evidence that acute supplementation of ASI + I can affect cognitive function and memory in competitive gamers. The strength of this study was that it evaluated the acute effects of ingesting ASI + I on a spectrum of cognitive function tests in experienced gamers.
Will better short-term memory and reaction times lead to better gaming?
It’s important to note that this study was performed on well-known cognitive tests, but not on gaming performance itself. Although this makes it difficult to claim that gaming performance would specifically be improved, it lends itself to greater scientific credibility, since the tests are standardized and trusted in the research community.
The good news is that nooLVL’s performance improvements were found in a test that closely resembles what is needed in gaming: short-term memory and reaction times in a scenario where tests get more difficult as the test progresses.
On top of the previous clinical study showing non-stim energy and improved accuracy, Nutrition21 now has two incredible bullet points showing efficacy for both short and medium-term cognitive performance, and supplement brands and consumers using the ingredient can be confident of its effects.
To learn more about nooLVL’s composition and the original study published in 2019, see our article titled nooLVL: Next-Gen Focus Ingredient for Gaming Supplements. You can also see Nutrition21’s official nooLVL page on Nutrition21.com and their articled titled “Start Sharp, Stay Sharp, and Win Big with nooLVL“.
This article may be updated when the Texas A&M’s study is fully published, so if you’re interested, please sign up for our Nutrition21 news alerts below:
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Note: This article was originally published on July 29, 2021 and updated on November 15, 2021 once the data was formally published in the journal.
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