Ultimate After Game Snack Ideas for Youth Sports


After game snack ideas are the game-changer for helping athletes recover and excel after the final whistle.

In this comprehensive guide, we share our favorite delicious and nutritious after game snack ideas designed for athletes to refuel, repair and rehydrate.

Providing healthy and convenient after soccer game snacks is the key to fueling your growth, development and performance.

From fresh fruit options to protein-packed after soccer game snacks, we’ve got you covered for achieving optimal post-game recovery, both individually and for your soccer team.

Keep reading to uncover the must-have post game snacks that will supercharge your sports nutrition and elevate your performance.

after game snack ideas cover page

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Key goals for nutrition for recovery

The keys to recovery following a game are often called the 3Rs or 4Rs. We like to add in rest for the additional R because rest and sleep are essential for best recovery.

  • Refuel: Consume high carbohydrate foods immediately after the game to replenish energy stores.
  • Repair: Add moderate protein to your post-game snack to aid in muscle recovery and repair.
  • Rehydrate: Drink plenty of fluids to replace lost fluids and electrolytes from sweating.
  • Rest: Allow your body sufficient time to recover and regenerate after the game.
post game and after game snack goals list

When should you eat after game snacks

Generally, athletes and soccer teams will want to start recovery right after the game, even before leaving the field.

You should eat an after game snack within 30-90 minutes after your game to begin your recovery and refueling.

So, start refueling right away with these after game snacks ideas.

Then, continue with smaller mini meals, such as our recommendations below, over the next 2-4 hours and a regular meal as soon as possible.

Since it takes about four hours for carbohydrates to be digested and stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, you want to eat high carbohydrates right away.

Also, it tends to take around 24 to 36 hours to fully replenish the carbohydrates used during your activity. 

This means that if you don’t have much time before your next game, you’ll want to start your recovery right away with our recommended between game snacks ideas!

After game snack ideas to eat at the field

Following competition athletes should immediately eat high carbohydrate foods and if possible, post game snacks that have moderate protein content too.

Consider having a cooler at the field with easy after game snacks that athletes can start eating during their post game meeting and cool down.

Field ready after game snacks

Also, adding a sports drink can help replace fluids and electrolytes lost during the game and adds additional carbohydrates for restoring energy.

after game snack ideas and post game snack ideas

If your 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. (1

Despite knowing you need to eat after a game, sometime you may not feel like eating. Therefore, you should focus on refueling and rehydrating with a carbohydrate rich drink like fruit juice, chocolate milk or a post game smoothie.

Recovery drinks for after game snacks

  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Protein shake
  • Tart cherry juice
  • Fruit juice
list of the best recovery drinks for after game snack ideas

How to plan after game snacks

Eating after game snacks that are a combination of high quality protein and carbs promotes muscle protein building and recovery of muscle glycogen after exercise. (2)

Some of these after game snacks can be easily packed in a backpack or cooler and eaten at the field. But some may make a better snack once you’re back at the hotel, restaurant or home.

Additionally, you’ll need to adjust the serving size based on your weight and activity because energy needs vary for athletes.

You can mix and match additional carbohydrates to meet your needs and likes.

Open cooler with apples, sliced cheese and after game snacks

21 after game snack ideas-mini meals

These 21 post game snack ideas 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Whole-grain cereal cups: Look for single-serving cups of whole grain cereal, such as oatmeal or granola. When you add milk or yogurt you boost protein. This after game snack has 25-30 grams of carbohydrates and 5-10 grams of protein.
  1. 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.
  1. 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
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Sweet potato and black bean salad: Combine cooked sweet potato chunks with black beans, roasted veggies and a dressing or salsa. This provides approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein.
  1. Tuna salad and crackers: Mix canned tuna with chopped veggies like celery and onion, and a dressing made from Greek yogurt and mustard. Then serve with whole-grain crackers. This provides approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates and 15-18 grams of protein.
  1. 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 for youth sports

The best after game team snacks should be easy to eat and pack to the field.

Try post game snacks 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.


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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