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I’m sure we all have the same memories of going to school during winter, only to fail miserably at writing for the first few hours due to our hands being far, far too cold.
Well, surprisingly, the same thing can happen to gamers! Cold hands are ridiculously unpleasant and can prevent you from performing at your normal standard, so it is only natural to find a solution. The solution that has been found is… hand warmers.
It makes sense when you think about it. You can be wrapped up in a big hoodie with comfy slippers on your feet but your hands are always left exposed while gaming, so it is natural that they will get cold before the rest of you does.
As their title would suggest, their sole purpose is to warm your hands. This may seem like quite a simple solution, but you would be shocked at how creative and complex some hand warmers can be.
The most general use, disposable hand warmers get their job done by creating an exothermic chemical reaction. Exothermic reactions produce heat as a byproduct, not to be confused by endothermic which is the complete opposite.
While the way they work may vary, hand warmers are typically held in your hand and they emit heat. Some may be glove-shaped with heating pads in the middle for extra warmth.
This might sound like an obvious question, however, there are a lot of benefits behind it.
When our hands are cold, movement is restricted. The fingers do not move as effortlessly as they normally would and your entire movement will seem a bit slow.
With this said, you can understand that anyone who plays games competitively would not put up with such a disadvantage. It would be incredibly difficult to be any good at a video game while your fingers are stiff due to being cold.
Competitive gaming requires a staggering amount of precision and dexterity, especially so at an Esport level. This is why it comes as no surprise that if you watch Esports players closely, before and after matches they will use gaming hand warmers to keep their hands warm and agile.
The argument could be made that if you are playing in your own house, you should have the ability to put on the heating, but that would eventually cost a fortune whereas hand warmers are very cost-efficient.
While this may seem pretty unorthodox, it is no different to an athlete or sportsman who performs outside. When they are cold, they will warm up so it is no different for Esport professionals.
As said previously, the main premise behind hand warmers is that they emit heat and warm your hands. There are still a lot of different ways that this can be done, so the market is still quite diverse and varied.
One of the more cost-friendly ways to fix cold hands is to buy a disposable hand warmer. They usually come in bulk but are less environmentally friendly than the other options.
They work by usually having a soft packet submerged in a liquid. Inside the package will be a chemical that you can release into the liquid by popping the package like a balloon, this can be done by gently pressing it with your thumb and fingers. Once the two have mixed, an exothermic reaction will take place and heat will be provided to your poor cold hands.
Arguably the best type of hand warmer on the market, battery-powered hand warmers not only last for quite a while but can be recharged and used the next day over and over again.
Rechargeable hand warmers are simple to use as you just turn them on and hold them until your frozen hands are fixed. The dual-sided heat emitters will provide lasting reliable warmth for long periods of time without too much of a hassle. While the chemically activated disposable hand warmers have better reaction times, the rechargeable hand warmer can maintain a high temperature for much longer as its battery lasts longer than the chemical reaction will.
Rechargeable hand warmers are considerably more expensive as they cost more to manufacture but will last a lot longer and be a better investment than any other. They can be charged using the same cable that you charge your phone with, or a battery pack and any compatible devices that use the same cables. If they come with a USB cable then you can also charge them at any power source as long as you possess an adapter.
Their reaction time may be slower as they will gradually heat up but they keep your warm hands under control for much longer.
Like everything technology-based, there will always be a leading brand. In this instance, the Zippo gaming hand warmer is one of the most highly rated and reviewed products that are recommended for gaming and sport.
Catalytic hand warmers can easily resemble battery-powered ones in appearance, however, they depend on lighter fluid to provide any heat.
Refillable hand warmers will reach the same temperatures as battery-powered ones but will oftentimes last a lot longer and have better reaction times.
The biggest downside to catalytic hand warmers is that filling them can be a nuisance as they must be placed upside down for at least 2 minutes so that the liquid can spread throughout them. This could be quite the pain if you were to forget to fill them up before an event where you would need them.
While not as effective, some can argue that using a hand warmer is a type of heat therapy. It certainly helps keep your muscles relaxed and feels nice, which eases the mind. Heat therapy is also good for countering and preventing carpal tunnel. Warm hands are needed as the cold temperatures are never good for anything, especially when you are trying to play games and require dexterity.
If your hands ever get cold while you are gaming then it is most likely worth it to invest. My recommendation is that you go with any battery-powered gaming hand warmers that you want as they are rechargeable, environmentally friendly, and do not require any extra expenses after the initial purchase, as the refillable hand warmers do.
Esports professionals need to do everything in their power to make sure that they have the ability to play to their best standard, that is why they use hand warmers to make sure not even the cold can stop them. On top of this, they will also be using the best technology they can such as 144Hz monitors and the best mice on the market, whether they be quiet gaming mice or high DPI gaming mice.
It is also important for Esports players to be sat ergonomically to help keep their bodies comfortable and healthy while they play for hours upon end. To do this, they sit in ergonomical chairs specifically designed to support them.
The arenas and locations that pro gamers perform in are typically cooled down a lot as there are so many people in the building. However, the stage can get very cold so the Esport Pros need to keep their hands warm otherwise they will get cold and stiff, and they will be at a disadvantage.
When gaming, you require a lot of speed and dexterity to perform at your best, and if your hands are cold this is simply not possible. So yes, if you are wanting to be as best as you can while gaming, preventing cold hands with a hand warmer is a good idea.
Zippo sell both refillable and rechargeable hand warmers. Despite using lighter fluid to provide warmth, the Zippo refillable hand warmers are still absolutely safe to use, as are the battery-powered ones they sell.