Whether you play for fun or competitively, you need to refuel after a game to recover and prepare for the next one. But what are the best snacks after soccer game? And how can you make sure they are convenient, tasty, and nutritious?
In this blog post, I will share some tips and ideas for choosing the best snacks after soccer game that will help you fuel your performance and satisfy your hunger.
These healthy snacks easily pack in a cooler or store in your gearbag, so you can enjoy them at the field or on the go.
Read on for some after game soccer snack ideas!
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Why snacks are important after a soccer game
After a soccer game, your body has used up a lot of its stored energy (glycogen) in your muscles and liver. This means that you need to replenish your energy levels as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes of finishing the game.
This will help you prevent fatigue, muscle soreness, and injury, and also enhance your adaptation to training and improvement.
The best snacks after soccer game should contain a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will restore your glycogen levels and provide you with quick energy, while protein will repair your muscle tissue and support your immune system.
An easy rule of thumb is to try to eat a snack with a ratio of 3:1 of carbs to protein to help you begin to recover better.
Therefore, you need to drink enough water or sports drinks to rehydrate yourself and replace the lost electrolytes. You should drink about 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during the game.
Examples of the best snacks after soccer game
Now that you know the basics of what to look for in the best snacks after soccer game, here are some examples of soccer snacks that athletes I have worked with prefer. You can easily prepare and enjoy these soccer snack after a game.
Some of these can be combined to make a heartier snack. These healthy after game snacks are also portable, delicious and nutritious, and will help you fuel your performance and recovery.
Rice krispy treats and chocolate milk
One of the tried and true post game snacks is chocolate milk and rice krispy treats. The rice krispy treat provides easy to digest carbohydrates while chocolate milk has the right balance of protein and carbs, plus calcium for bones, to kickstart your recovery.
Fresh or dried fruit and string cheese
Consider having some easy to eat fruit like watermelon, orange slices and grapes ready to eat on the sidelines after the game.
Some of my favorite combinations are apple slices with cheddar cheese, grapes or orange slices with mozzarella cheese, or string cheese with trail mix.
Granola bars, fig bars or protein bars
These are convenient and satisfying snacks that you can easily store in your bag or cooler. Granola bars, fig bars or protein bars are packed with carbohydrates and protein, as well as fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients.
One of our favorite snacks are these fig bars that you can pair with chocolate milk for ultimate recovery.
Yogurt, granola and berries
Yogurt parfaits are a refreshing and nutritious snack that you can enjoy after a soccer game. Low fat Greek yogurt, granola and berries provide a good mix of carbohydrates and protein, as well as calcium, antioxidants, and probiotics.
One of our favorite snacks are these yogurt cups topped with crunchy granola and fresh berries that you can customize with your favorites.
Smoothies or shakes
Smoothies or shakes are easy to digest and absorb, and they provide you with a lot of carbohydrates and protein, as well as fluids and electrolytes.
You can use a blender to make your own smoothies or shakes, or buy ready-made ones from the store. Some of the flavors that I love are banana-strawberry, chocolate-peanut butter, or vanilla-almond.
Sandwiches or wraps
For something more filling and satisfying, you can make yourself a sandwich or a wrap using some whole-grain bread, tortilla, or pita, and some lean meat, cheese or nut butter.
Sandwiches or wraps are great sources of carbohydrates and protein, as well as fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients.
Also, you can add some lettuce, tomato, cucumber, or avocado for some extra fiber, vitamins and minerals. Some of the combinations that I enjoy are turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese.
Bagel and cream cheese
A bagel is a good source of carbohydrates, while cream cheese adds some protein and fat. When you choose a whole grain bagel, you’ll get more fiber and nutrients. Adding some sliced fruit or jam adds extra flavor and sweetness.
Pretzels and hummus
Pretzels are crunchy and salty snacks that provide you with carbohydrates and sodium that can help replace electrolytes lost through sweat. Hummus is a good source of plant based protein, healthy fats and fiber.
String cheese and crackers
String cheese is a fun and easy snack that provides you with protein and calcium, while crackers are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. You can choose whole-grain crackers for more nutrition, and add some sliced meat, cheese, or nut butter for more protein and fat.
Nut butter and apples
Nut butter, such as peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter, is a delicious and nutritious snack that provides you with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, while apples are a crisp and juicy fruit that provides you with carbohydrates, vitamins, and antioxidants.
You can slice the apples and spread the nut butter on them, or dip them in the nut butter for a satisfying and refreshing snack.
As you can see, there are many options for choosing the best snacks after soccer game that will help you fuel your performance and recovery.
The key is to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein within 30 to 90 minutes of finishing the game, and to drink enough fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate yourself.
By doing this, you will not only feel better, but also play better in your next game due to better recovery.
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Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.