Ultimate After Game Snack Ideas for Youth Sports

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After game snack ideas are a game-changer in helping athletes recover right away after the final whistle. In addition, they are a great way to bring the team together at the end of the game.

In this comprehensive guide for after game snack ideas for youth sports and we share our favorite delicious and nutritious snack ideas designed for athletes to refuel, repair and rehydrate before the leave the field and then continued recovery.

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, our after soccer game snack ideas have you covered to achieve optimal post-game recovery, both individually and for your soccer team.

Keep reading to uncover the must-have after game snack ideas for youth sports that will supercharge your post game sports nutrition refueling and elevate your performance.

after game snack ideas cover page

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Key goals for nutrition for post game recovery

The key goals for post game recovery highlight the importance of an after game snack for soccer players.

The goals for post game recovery are often called the 3Rs or 4Rs. However, we like to add an 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 should eat a post game snack right after the game, because you will want to start your 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.

It takes about 24 to 36 hours to fully replenish the carbohydrates used during your activity. 

So 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

After a game or 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.

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

Our after game snack ideas include easy to digest, nutritious and soccer player preferred foods.

Field ready after game snack ideas for youth sports

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 snack ideas

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
list of the best recovery drinks for after game snack ideas

How to plan for the after game snack

Eating an after game snack that combines 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 post game 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 and create a mini meal.

Open cooler with apples, sliced cheese and after game snacks

Ideally, you can start refueling right away with the field ready after game snacks ideas.

Then, continue with smaller mini meals, such as our 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

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.

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.

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 for youth sports

The best after game snacks for teamsshould 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.

Conclusion

Remember, these after game snack ideas for youth sports 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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