What do you drink while gaming?

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Do you match appropriate drinks to games like you're pairing them with wines? (When playing Gears of War you want a tannic wine, something astringent to help you break down all the solids in those beefy boys. You're welcome.) Does anyone actually drink the cliché gamer juice, Mountain Dew—Flamin' Hot or otherwise? How about pixel-flavored Coca-Cola? Maybe we should all calm down and have some refreshing water. Or stop risking spills on our keyboards.

What do you drink while gaming?

Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.

Nat Clayton, Features Producer: I've been the craven Dr Pepper fiend, and spent countless uni nights rendered sleepless by Monster binges. But I'm old now, and so, so tired, so my gaming tends to be accompanied by a nice cuppa tea, a home-brewed coffee (I've become a snob after my partner gifted me an Aeropress, ordering grind by the kilo from a lovely wee place down Portobello), or a hot choc for some chill late night gaming sessions. 

Lauren Aitken, Deputy Guides Editor: I once had a Chinese and champagne when playing Halo 3, but really it depends on the game. Usually a cool pint from my PerfectDraft machine or some wine, but if it's during the day then endless cups of tea.

Tim Clark, Brand Director: In the day: Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke for caffeine, various flavours of La Croix (but not the Limoncello, which is trash.) After hours: Good single malt whiskey.

A cabaret club hostess signals for a towel with a hand gesture

(Image credit: Sega)

Imogen Mellor, Features Producer: Depends on the game. If it's something I'm savouring with a good story or adventure, a lager, IPA, or a glass of wine (probably red). But if I'm playing Valorant, as I have been a lot recently, alcohol slows reactions so I keep off the bevs and go for orange juice, water, or black Aeropress coffee. Nothing worse than losing MMR to pinot noir. 

Mollie Taylor, Trainee News Writer: I gotta admit, I'm terrible at staying hydrated. I'm trying to be one of those put-together adults who drinks a ton of water, but instead I'm probably quickly grabbing a can of Coke Zero before I do some raiding in Final Fantasy 14. Sometimes I'll treat myself to a nice cider, but I don't tend to drink much inside the house.

As a side note, I drank an absolute butt ton of elderflower cordial and lemonade when I played the Kingdom Hearts series as a kid. Whenever I go back to those games, I always get the urge to drink that. Weird how we associate the daftest things with our favourite games, huh?

(Image credit: EA)

Robin Valentine, Print Editor: As the guy who doesn't drink alcohol, caffeine, or fizzy drinks, my answer to this is very boring. I usually just have a glass of fruit squash (does that have a US equivalent?) or a bottle of water next to me, and I can't say I've ever tailored my beverage to the game I was playing. 

Tim: Squash basically doesn't exist in the US. You can imagine how I feel about this.

Robin: Barbaric country.

Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: The celestial light of Whirlyball may one day touch your grey island, and on that day you will be enlightened.

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: I don't know what the heck Aeropress coffee is (sounds like it involves jet propulsion), but I can't imagine sipping something hot while playing a game. You'll often find me with two drinks on the desk: one can of some sort of energy drink (I really like NOS because it tastes like orange juice) and a tall cup of ice water in an insulated bottle because un-iced water is tragic. I try to drink both equally so I'm never dehydrated. If it's too late to caffeinate I'll dip into some Crystal Light lemonade mix and make a pitcher.

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: How much trouble am I going to get in for admitting that I drink coffee from 8am until 11pm, regardless of the game?

Tyler Wilde, Executive Editor: Lauren, I feel like I've just learned that you're a novelty character build in an MMO. And Morgan's observation that he'll "dip into" his Crystal Light stash is so astute: I also treat powdered drinks as if they're non-renewable stores of value. I love to sneak a packet of generic red electrolyte dust now and then. I used to drink alcohol, but my relationship with it wasn't working out for anyone except Suntory Holdings, so the most potent beverage I drink these days is tea made from Douglas fir spring tips (it's slightly sweet, and all tree-flavored). Morgan is right, though: Hot beverages are inconvenient while playing games. Forget to keep sipping for 15 minutes and you've got lukewarm spring tips—a risk I don't take lightly.

Sarah James, Guides Writer: I'm with Lauren on this. It's coffee for me, regardless of the time of day (or night). Occasionally I'll switch things up with squash, but yeah, mostly just coffee.

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: I'm mostly a water guzzler, but in the evenings or on weekends if I'm hopping onto a game with my Discord friends, I'll often have a beer. Whatever I have on hand, but my go-to grocery store picks are Modelo Negra and Blue Moon. Both are fairly light and refreshing which is nice for a chill hangout sesh. Now that I think about it, I could really go for some Hefeweizen...

Jorge Jimenez, Hardware Writer: I'm a Red Bull poured into a frozen beer mug type of guy. I'm the worst. Maybe water at some point. 

Morgan: That sounds divine, Jorge.

Andy Chalk, NA News Lead: Monday to Thursday, it's water. Fridays are all beer, generally cheap German or UK imports as they're available and on sale (Pißwasser ahoy!), but I'll occasionally indulge in overpriced local microbrews. They're not worth the extra cost (and really, there's only so much you can do with an IPA before you start to look silly) but I like to think they lend me a certain air of sophistication as I sit alone in the basement playing Shadow Warrior 3 and yelling at my cats.

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Alan Dexter, Senior Hardware Editor: My drinking habits are chaotic evil: red wine, homebrewed beer, quality single-malt whisky, tea, water, coffee, anything goes really and at any time of the day—unless you're asking my boss, in which case I definitely don't start the serious drinking until my working day is done. I won't touch so-called energy drinks though, because my body is a temple. Obviously.

Jody Macgregor, Weekend/AU Editor: I drink tea when I play videogames, but I also drink tea when I read books, watch TV shows, and work. I'm drinking tea right now. The only time I don't is when I play board games or roleplay, when I switch to beer or cider because I like to get loose when the dice come out and also whenever I'm expected to talk to people for any length of time. 

There's an apple cider called Golden Axe brewed by Kaiju Beer that I drink both because it's tasty and because it's got the same name as an arcade game I played a lot of as a kid.

(Image credit: Curve Games)

From our forum

Slasken: I drink Coca Cola Zero, no ice cubes. If I am playing racing games, maybe a beer.

Withywarlock: Mostly Diet Coke, but water is my preferred energy drink.

Frindis: I always have a bottle of Diamond Water on the desk. Filtrated through real diamonds it cleanses my corrupt soul and sharpens my gamer senses. Jokes aside, I drink either water, cider, or beer. On rare occasions, I buy a nice bottle of wine or whisky.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Pifanjr: I usually forget to drink while gaming. I might notice every once in a while that I'm thirsty and decide to get up after finishing just this one thing. And this one other thing. And then when I finally stop playing I chug half a litre of water in one go.

Vikash Pradhan01: Enervy drinks as they are very good for health

Kaamos_Llama: Kombucha. It's like soda but its not quite as terrible for you, or coconut water. Can't drink alcohol even a little and play anything.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.