The Best Pre Game Snacks for Athletes

For athletes, the importance of nutrition cannot be overstated. What you eat before a game can impact your performance on the field or court. Pre-game snacks serve as fuel, providing the energy and nutrients needed to excel during competition.

In this article, we'll explore the best pre-game snacks for athletes, discuss what makes them effective, and delve into the optimal timing for consumption.

What Makes a Good Pre Game Snack?

A good pre-game snack should strike a balance between carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and are crucial for sustaining endurance and performance during physical activity. Protein aids in muscle repair and recovery, while healthy fats provide sustained energy and promote feeling fuller for longer.

In addition to these macronutrients, pre-game snacks should also be easily digestible to prevent any discomfort or gastrointestinal issues during the game. Foods that are too high in fiber or fat may sit heavily in the stomach and have the opposite effect that you’re looking for!

When is the Most Beneficial Time to Eat Before and After a Game?

Timing is key when it comes to pre-game nutrition. Eating too close to game time can lead to discomfort, while consuming a snack too far in advance may result in decreased energy levels during play. Here's a breakdown of the most beneficial times to eat before and after a game:

1 Hour Before

Consuming a snack containing carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein about an hour before the game is ideal. This allows enough time for digestion and absorption, providing a steady source of energy without causing gastrointestinal distress.

30 Minutes Before

If you find yourself in need of a quick energy boost right before the game, opt for easily digestible carbohydrates such as fruit or a sports drink. Avoid foods high in fat or fiber, as they may cause bloating or discomfort or make you feel sluggish.

Best Post Game Snack

After the game, it's essential to refuel your body to support muscle recovery and replenish energy stores. A combination of carbohydrates and protein is ideal for post-game snacks to promote muscle repair and glycogen replenishment. Some excellent options include a protein shake with fruit, chocolate milk, or even a turkey and cheese sandwich. 

Best Pre Game Snack Ideas

PB&H (Peanut Butter and Honey)

A classic combination of peanut butter and honey on whole grain bread or toast provides a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. The natural sugars in the honey offer a quick energy boost, while the peanut butter provides sustained energy and satiety.

Trail Mix

Trail mix containing a mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit is an excellent option for athletes due to its portable nature and nutrient density. The combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats makes it an ideal pre-game snack for sustained energy.

Veggies and Hummus

Fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, and bell peppers paired with hummus make for a nutritious and satisfying pre-game snack. The vegetables provide carbohydrates and hydration, while the hummus adds protein and healthy fats.

Low Fat Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Low-fat cottage cheese is a rich source of protein, making it an excellent option for athletes looking to support muscle repair and recovery before a game. Pair it with some fresh fruit or whole grain crackers for added carbohydrates.

FATTY Meat Sticks

FATTY Meat Sticks provide a convenient and portable source of protein that's perfect for on-the-go athletes. Packed with flavor and protein, these meat sticks offer a quick and easy way to fuel up before hitting the field or court.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right pre-game snacks can have a significant impact on athletic performance. But not just any snack will do - you need to be smart about what you’re choosing to fuel up with. 

Carbs are a must, but having protein and fats added in is a good idea, too! We recommend opting for nutrient-dense foods that provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats so that you can stay fueled and focused on the field.