50+ Ideas for Soccer Snacks from the Sidelines to the Table


For soccer players, maintaining energy levels is key to staying competitive on the field for 90 minutes. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of soccer dietitian recommended, soccer snack ideas tailored to meet the specific needs of soccer players. 

From pre-game fueling to halftime refueling and post-match recovery, these snacks will provide the energy and nutrients necessary for peak performance. 

Whether you’re an athlete, a coach preparing your team or a parent supporting your athlete, these convenient and nutritious options will help ensure that soccer players have the fuel they need to succeed.

Let’s dive into the best soccer snack ideas loved by athletes and some of my favorite recommendations!

soccer snack ideas for best fueling

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Optimizing timing for soccer snacks

The timing of soccer snacks is crucial, aiming to sustain energy levels and prevent stomach upset during play. By planning the right snacks and key timing before, during halftime, and after matches, you can have the fuel needed for peak performance. 

You don’t want to run out of fuel during the last sprints of the game, or lose your focus on the first touch for the winning goal.

I like to tell my athletes that the more time you have until your game, 3-4+ hours, the more “regular” your pre game or pre practice meal can be. Following the performance plate guide, you can customize a game day plate to optimize fueling.

But the closer you get to game time, the less fat, fiber and protein you want to eat, and the more easy to digest carbs, so you start your game without anything sitting in your stomach that might cause gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort.

And another key is to always try new foods on a practice or rest day, never on game days.

chart showing to eat a regular meal 304 hours out, mini meal 2-3 hours before, light snack 1 hour before, then a recovery snack

Soccer snacks less than one hour before

When it comes to eating right before a game, it’s important to choose easy-to-digest carbohydrates that won’t cause stomach discomfort or cramping.

These soccer snacks ideas are great for getting 30-60 grams of carbs as a top off when you have about an hour before your soccer game starts. Start slowly with these snacks and add more over time as you train your stomach.

Pair a couple of these snack ideas, double up the servings to make a 30-60 gram snack, or pair with 8-12 ounces of a sports drink.

  1. Bananas: Bananas are a classic carbohydrate-rich snack, providing around 27 grams of carbs per medium-sized fruit. They’re easy to digest and contain potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps.
  2. White bread or ½ bagel: White bread or a bagel offers approximately 20-30 grams of carbs per serving, making it a quick and easily digestible option before a game.
  3. Applesauce: With approximately 22 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving, unsweetened applesauce provides a gentle energy boost without causing digestive distress.
  4. Low-fiber cereals: About 1 cup of cereal like corn flakes, rice krispies, or cheerios offer around 15-30 grams of carbs per serving, making them ideal for pre-game fueling.
  5. Rice cakes: A single rice cake contains about 12-15 grams of carbohydrates, making them a light and easily digestible snack option.
  6. Sports drinks: Gatorade or Powerade sports drinks provide quick-digesting carbohydrates and electrolytes, offering approximately 20-30 grams of carbs per serving to fuel athletic performance.
  7. Honey: With about 17 grams of carbs per tablespoon, honey is a natural source of quick energy that can be easily consumed on its own as a honey stick for quick fuel, or added to snacks like toast or yogurt. 
  8. Orange slices: A medium-sized orange provides around 15 grams of carbs, along with hydration and vitamin C to support immune function.
  9. Fig bars: Each fig bar contains approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates, making them a convenient and portable snack for pre-game fueling.
  10. Crackers: Whole wheat or multigrain crackers offer around 15 grams of carbs per serving and can be paired with protein-rich toppings like cheese or nut butter for a balanced snack.
  11. Raisins: A small box of raisins provides roughly 22 grams of carbohydrates, offering a sweet and portable source of energy for athletes.
  12. Energy gels: Energy gels typically contain 20-25 grams of carbohydrates per packet, providing a concentrated source of fuel for endurance activities like soccer.
  13. Pretzels: A serving of pretzels provides approximately 20 grams of carbs, along with a satisfying salty crunch that makes them a popular choice for pre-game snacking.
  14. Tart cherry juice: A small glass of tart cherry juice contains around 25-30 grams of carbs, offering a quick and refreshing source of energy before hitting the field.
  15. Graham crackers: Graham crackers offer approximately 20 grams of carbs per serving and can be enjoyed on their own or paired with toppings like peanut butter for added protein.
  16. Bagel chips: Bagel chips provide around 20 grams of carbs per serving and offer a crunchy texture that makes them a satisfying pre-game snack option.
  17. Honey Stinger waffles: Honey Stinger waffles are a favorite among athletes, offering 21 grams of carbohydrates per serving for quick energy. They’re easily digestible and come and their thin, crispy texture makes them ideal for on-the-go fueling.
  18. Granola bars: Convenient and portable, granola bars provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats for sustained energy. With around 15-30 grams of carbs per serving, they’re perfect for pre-game fueling or mid-game snacks.
  19. Fruit snacks: Fruit snack gummies are a convenient and tasty option for quick energy before a game, providing around 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. They are easy to digest and offer a burst of flavor making them a go-to snack. 

Soccer snacks for 1-2 hours before

Here are some ideas for soccer snacks when you have at least 1-2 hours before your soccer games start. These healthy snacks provide high carbohydrate and low protein for easy digestion and maximizes energy stores.

20. Banana or apple slices with almond butter: This snack provides a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein to keep players energized and satisfied before the game.

21. Granola or energy bars: These bars are a convenient and portable option for players stash in their gear bags to eat before the game. Look for bars that are high in carbohydrates and have a balance of protein and healthy fats.

22. Whole grain bagel with cream cheese: This snack provides a good amount of carbohydrates and protein to fuel players before the game. Top with sliced banana or berries for a sweet and satisfying snack.

23. Smoothie: Blend together fresh or frozen fruit, low fat greek yogurt, and milk or juice for a refreshing and high-carbohydrate snack. Add in some spinach or kale for added nutrition and flavor.

24. Oatmeal with fruit: A bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced banana, is a great high-carbohydrate option for players before the game. Instant oatmeal packets make an easy on the go snack.

25. Turkey and cheese sandwich: Use whole grain bread and lean turkey and cheese to make a sandwich that provides a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

ideas for soccer snacks

26. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich: Spread peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread for a classic and easy high-carbohydrate snack. 

27. Trail mix: Combine your favorite high-carbohydrate nuts and dried fruits in a small plastic bag, such as almonds, cashews, raisins, and dried apricots. This snack is easy to grab on the go and provides a quick burst of energy.

28. Whole grain crackers and hummus: Spread hummus on whole-grain crackers, and top with sliced veggies like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers.

29. Fruit and yogurt parfait: Layer yogurt, granola, and your favorite fresh fruit (such as bananas, berries, and sliced mango) in a small plastic cup.

30. Chocolate milk and banana: This snack is a delicious and nutritious way to refuel before a game or as a recovery snack. Chocolate milk has protein and carbohydrates, as well as calcium.

31. Roasted chickpeas and dried fruit: This snack is a vegan and gluten-free option that provides protein and fiber. Roasted chickpeas provide protein and crunch, while dried fruit provides carbohydrates and sweetness.

32. Toaster waffle with nut butter and banana: This snack is a warm and satisfying option that provides a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

33. Roasted chickpeas and dried fruit: This snack is a vegan and gluten-free option that provides protein and fiber. Roasted chickpeas provide protein and crunch, while dried fruit provides carbohydrates and sweetness.

Ideas for halftime soccer snacks

Eating carbohydrates as halftime snacks has been shown to help improve performance and sustain energy for the second half of the game.

Halftime is usually the first chance players have to replenish energy stores, rehydrate and replace electrolytes. Halftime snacks should provide about 30-60 g of carbohydrates and contain electrolytes.

Easy to digest carbohydrates help to keep your blood sugar levels steady and usually don’t cause stomach upset.

Since every athlete is different, you’ll want to try different foods to see what works best for you. 

Here are our top picks for soccer halftime snacks

  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Animal crackers
  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruit–dates, mangos, pineapple
  • Fresh fruit–orange slices, bananas, grapes and watermelon 
  • Applesauce
  • Sports drinks
  • Gummies
  • Sport chews
ideas for soccer snacks halftime snacks list

What is a good snack for after a soccer game

Good ideas for soccer snacks for after a soccer game include a high carbohydrate food or drink within 30-90 minutes after a game. Typically a post game snack includes a carbohydrate and a protein to aid in muscle recovery as well.

Some easy post game snacks include:

  • chocolate milk
  • rice krispy treats
  • pretzels
  • fruit-watermelon slices, banana, oranges, grapes
  • bagel
  • dry cereal
  • granola bar, fig bar, fruit and nut bar
  • peanut butter and honey sandwich
  • dried fruit-apple rings, apricots, mangos, tart cherries, cranberries, raisins
  • sports drinks
  • tart cherry juice

You should continue eating mini meals until you can have a regular post game meal

What should I pack for team snack

When you bring a soccer team snack, choose wrapped, snack size and portable options. Not only does this make it easier for a team manager, there’s less risk of food safety issues with these team snack ideas.

Make sure to keep cold foods cold in a cooler with ice packs. You’ll also want to check with your players to make sure you know if there are any food allergies.

Some ideas for soccer snacks for teams

  • Boxes of raisins, cranberries or dried fruit
  • Fruit cups
  • Pudding cups
  • Rice krispy treats
  • Granola bars
  • Energy bars
  • Trail mix with dried fruit
  • Chocolate milk
  • Pretzels
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Animal crackers
  • Satsumas
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt tubes
  • String cheese
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Individual cottage cheese packs
ideas for soccer snacks

What foods should soccer players avoid

Soccer players should avoid eating foods before a game that are high in fat, fiber and protein. Additionally, fried and greasy foods can leave you feeling bloated, nauseated and may cause vomiting. 

Also you’ll want to avoid foods that you haven’t tried before, especially if it’s before a game. You want to eat foods that you know won’t upset your stomach and instead will help your performance by providing you the energy boost that you need. 

Final thoughts on ideas for soccer snacks

Soccer snacks are an important part of a soccer player sports nutrition plan since the energy demands are so high. Making sure you are eating enough throughout the game and fueling well before is key to success.

Check out our posts on tips for players to eat a good pre game meal, fuel up at halftime and ensure that they eat enough for recovery.

What soccer snack will you pack for your next game?

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