Best After Game Snack Ideas for Athlete Recovery


After game snack ideas are a game-changer in helping athletes recover right away after the final whistle.

In my guide for after game snack ideas for youth sports, I’m sharing my dietitian recommended post game snacks, that as a mom I know are also athlete-approved.

These are some of my favorite delicious and nutritious soccer snack ideas designed for athletes to refuel, repair and rehydrate before they even leave the field. And then I share even more ideas for snacks to eat to continue recovery.

From fresh fruit options to protein-packed bites, my list of snacks for after the soccer game snack have you covered for optimal post-game recovery, both for individual athletes and for your soccer team.

Keep reading to uncover the must-have list of post soccer game snacks that will supercharge your post game sports nutrition refueling and elevate your next match.

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After game snack ideas to eat at the field

After a game or soccer match, athletes should immediately eat an after game snack that is high carbohydrate, and if possible, this post game snack should have some protein too.

This will both start the refueling of energy and repairing of your muscles.

Field-ready after game snack ideas

My list of post game snack ideas include easy to digest, high carb, nutritious and soccer player-preferred foods.

Consider having a cooler at the field and stock your gear bag with team snacks that you and your teammates can start eating during your post game team meeting and cool down recovery session.

While some athletes may not feel like eating after a game, it’s important to get some form of calories in.

In these cases, I usually recommend refueling and rehydrating with a carbohydrate rich drink like fruit juice, chocolate milk or a post game smoothie.

If the game ends late in the evening, eating a snack rich in casein and also drinking tart cherry juice will refuel your energy stores, help with rebuilding muscles and promote sleep.

Recovery drinks for post game snacks

Adding a sports drink or recovery drink can help replace fluids and electrolytes lost during the game and adds additional carbohydrates for restoring energy.

Sports drinks are specially formulated with sugar and electrolytes to support refueling and rehydration.

  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Protein shake
  • Tart cherry juice
  • Fruit juice

It’s ideal to start refueling right away at the field, with the simple carbohydrate after game snacks ideas.

Then, continue with smaller mini meals, recommendations below, over the next 1-2 hours or a regular meal within 2-3 hours.

21 after game snack ideas for youth sports-mini meals

With these 21 post game snack ideas, I combine carbohydrates and protein to refuel your energy stores and help your body repair and rebuild muscle.

1-Trail mix

Mix together unsweetened dried fruit, nuts and high fiber cereal or granola. A 1/2 cup serving provides approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of protein.

2-Fresh fruit and string cheese

Pair a piece of fruit like an apple or banana with a string cheese. You’ll get about 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 7-8 grams of protein.

3-Energy bars

Look for bars that are high in complex carbohydrates, such as oats or whole grains, and contain at least 5-10 grams of protein. A 1.5-2 oz bar typically provides around 20-25 grams of carbohydrates and 5-10 grams of protein.

4-Rice cakes with nut butter and honey

Spread nut butter like almond or peanut butter on a rice cake and drizzle with honey. This provides approximately 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 6-7 grams of protein.

5-Greek yogurt and fruit cups

Look for single-serving cups of low fat greek yogurt and add fruit, such as blueberries or peaches. This snack contains about 20-25 grams of carbohydrates and 10-12 grams of protein.

Picture of yogurt with granola and fresh berries for an after game snack idea

6-Whole-grain crackers and hummus

Pack pre-portioned servings of whole-grain crackers and hummus in a small container. This provides approximately 20-25 grams of carbohydrates and 4-5 grams of protein per serving.

7-Turkey or tofu roll-ups with whole wheat tortilla

Roll slices of deli turkey or and a slice of cucumber or bell pepper in a whole wheat tortilla. This provides approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein.

8-Chocolate milk

Single-serving containers of chocolate milk are a convenient and delicious way to replenish carbohydrates and protein. One cup provides approximately 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.

9-Banana and almond butter packets

Squeeze packets of almond butter onto a banana for a quick and portable snack. This provides approximately 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 5-6 grams of protein.

10-Whole-grain cereal cups

Look for single-serving cups of whole grain cereal, such as oatmeal or granola. When you add high protein milk or yogurt you boost protein. This after game snack has 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 5-10 grams of protein.

11-Chocolate banana smoothie

Blend one ripe banana, one cup of almond milk, one scoop of chocolate protein powder and a handful of ice cubes. You’ll get about 50 grams of carbohydrates and 15-20 grams of protein.

12-Toast with whole grain bread topped with avocado and hard-boiled eggs

Spread mashed avocado on two slices of whole-grain toast then top with two hard-boiled eggs. This provides about 30 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein.

Avocado toast with hardboiled egg for post game snacks

13-Banana and almond butter sandwich

Spread almond butter on a slice of whole grain bread and top with sliced banana. This provides approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein.

14-Energy balls

Mix together rolled oats, honey, peanut butter and chocolate chips, then form into small balls. This provides approximately 20-25 grams of carbohydrates and 5-8 grams of protein per ball.

15-Turkey or tofu and avocado wrap

Fill a whole-grain wrap with sliced turkey, mashed avocado and veggies like lettuce and tomato. This tasty snack has about 30-35 grams of carbohydrates and 15-18 grams of protein.

16-Cottage cheese and fresh fruit

Mix one cup of low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of mixed berries then sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon. Since this snack has about the same carb to protein ratio, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 25 grams of protein, you’ll want to add another carb option.

17-Roasted chickpeas

Toss cooked chickpeas with olive oil and spices like cumin and paprika, then roast in the oven until crispy. This provides approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates and 7-8 grams of protein per serving.

after game snack ideas, post game ideas

18-Greek yogurt and fruit smoothie

Blend one cup of plain Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. This provides approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates and 25 grams of protein.

19-Sweet potato and black bean salad

Combine cooked sweet potato chunks with black beans, roasted veggies and a dressing or salsa. Or bake a sweet potato and stuff it with the bean and veggie filling.This provides approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein.

20-Tuna salad and crackers

Mix canned tuna with chopped veggies like celery and onion and a dressing made from Greek yogurt and mustard. Or if you’re on the go, you could opt for a tuna packet that’s ready to go.

Then serve with whole-grain crackers. This provides approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates and 15-18 grams of protein.

21. Overnight oats with fresh berries

Combine oatmeal, low fat greek yogurt, high protein milk and chia seeds in a jar then refrigerate overnight. This snack provides a filling 40 grams of carbs and 15-20 grams of protein.

Overnight oats with sliced banana and walnuts and jar with raspberries and banana overnight oats

FAQs: after game snacks ideas

The best soccer snacks for teams should be easy to eat and pack to the field.

Try post game snack ideas like granola bars, apple slices, sports drinks, chocolate milk, string cheese, orange slices, rice krispy treats and bagels.

These high carbohydrate foods will start athletes’ recovery post game until they can have a larger meal.

The best post game foods are those with the ideal 3:1 carb to protein ratio that has been shown to best support an athlete’s recovery after a game.

When planning after game snacks for youth sports, it’s important to prioritize food safety. Perishable food items should be kept cold during the game to prevent the risk of bacteria growth and foodborne illnesses.

If you are planning snacks for the entire team, it’s crucial to consider whether any athletes have food allergies. To ensure safety, opt for allergen-free snacks.

Final thoughts

Remember, these after game snack ideas provide carbohydrate rich choices for athletes to start replenishing their energy stores.

But this is just the beginning of recovery nutrition for athletes.

You should also eat a balanced performance plate based post game meal within 90 minutes of your game so you can continue to replenish your energy stores, support your muscle recovery and recover for your next activity.

Check out our other posts on what to eat on game day, including eating snacks during halftime and the basics of recovery nutrition.

Tell us your favorite after soccer snacks in the comments!

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