Best Snacks for Baseball Players

Baseball players burn through lots of energy during the day, and with busy schedules and sometimes long gaps between meals, snacks can be super helpful in meeting energy needs and staying energized and healthy.

The best snacks for baseball players are dried fruit, smoothies, trail mix, PB&J sandwich, Greek yogurt and fruit, pretzels and nut butter, and more. Baseball snacks should contain a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat as well as other nutrients like vitamins and minerals that provide added benefit to the body. Some teenagers have trouble eating around exercise. If this is the case, the best snack for you is one that makes you feel good!

Read on for more information about what makes up a healthy snack, new balanced and healthy snack ideas, and what to eat before and after exercise.

Is Snacking Healthy for Baseball Players?

Sometimes “snacking” gets a bad reputation, but it can actually be a very healthy practice for baseball players. I strongly encourage healthy, balanced snacks for all athletes!

Baseball players usually have high energy needs, especially when they are training or in-season. When you are burning through so much energy, it is hard to get in enough calories during the day unless you include snacks between larger meals.

Snacking is also a great way to keep energy levels high so that you feel good during your entire day, including during workouts and games. You may start to feel a dip in your energy levels if it has been a few hours since you ate last, or if you didn’t eat a balanced meal. Baseball players should listen to their body and respond to those hunger cues by eating a snack!

Snacking needs will be different for everyone. If you are able to stick to a good meal routine, you might not need as many snacks. However, baseball players and other athletes often have odd and ever-changing schedules which makes snacking even more important.

Long bus trips, late nights, early practices, double-headers, delayed games, and more are just a few of the things that might change up a baseball player’s schedule. To prepare for potential changes, always have snacks on hand to keep up with your needs, even when things don’t go according to plan.

So yep, snacking is “healthy” as long as you are choosing nutrient-dense foods and listening to and responding to your body’s needs! Develop a good relationship with your body and it will let you know when it needs an extra snack.

Important Nutrients for a Healthy Baseball Snack

Not all snacks have to be “ultra-healthy.” It can be easy for athletes to become obsessive about healthy eating and choosing the “best” foods. Luckily, all foods can fit into a healthy diet and eating foods that you enjoy won’t negatively impact your performance!

Focus on how different foods make you feel. While eating carrots every day might get old and not necessarily make you feel super great after a while, eating tons of candy might also not make you feel good. Choose foods that make you feel good and also that nourish your body and mind.

One of the most important things to understand about snacking is the role that different nutrients play. When you understand these nutrients, what foods they are found in, and what they do for your body- you will be better able to choose foods that will nourish you and help you feel your best.

Let’s talk about the main nutrients to be aware of and include at your snacks:


Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. Carbs are what keep your brain, muscles, and other organs going strong! They are also the main fuel your body wants to use during exercise- making them extra important for baseball players!

Carbohydrates are found in a lot of different foods such as:

  • Fruits (Including fresh, dried, canned, frozen, and juice)
  • Grains (Such as bread, rice, pasta, crackers, pretzels, etc.)
  • Vegetables (Especially starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas)
  • Some dairy products (Like milk and yogurt)


Your body uses protein for lots of different things. Protein is known as the “building block of the body” because it is essential to a healthy body. Your muscles, skin, hair, and nails are all made up of protein! 

Protein is especially important for when you have worked your body hard, like after a workout. To get the most out of their protein intake and for it to have the greatest effect in the body, baseball players should work on spacing their protein intake throughout the day rather than eating a huge quantity in one sitting. They should also make sure to eat a good source of protein soon after they finish a workout.

Protein is found in a variety of both plant and animal foods. A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of protein sources. Here are some of the main food sources of protein:

  • Poultry and meat
  • Fish
  • Legumes (Such as lentils and beans)
  • Dairy products (Including milk, greek yogurt, and cheese)
  • Eggs 
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds


Fatty foods are sometimes thought of as bad- but fat is actually an important part of your diet! However, there are some kinds of fats that bring more benefit to the body than others. Unsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your heart healthy, reduce inflammation, and even help your body absorb certain essential vitamins.

Saturated fats- the fats found in butter, high fat meats, high fat dairy products, fried foods, and many desserts and baked goods- should be eaten in moderation. Eating lots of these saturated fats can have a negative effect on heart health.

There are quite a few ways to add healthy fats to your diet. Here are a few foods that are good sources of fat:

  • Oils (Including olive oil and canola oil)
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds
  • Avocado

Vitamins and Minerals

Most people are aware that vitamins and minerals are really helpful for the body. For baseball players that are consistently working their body hard, the body’s vitamin and mineral needs actually increase! 

The best way to make sure your body has the appropriate vitamins and minerals it needs is to eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, protein, and healthy fats.

Each food has a different makeup and therefore has a different nutrient content, making it even more important to include lots of variety within each of the food groups.


Yep! Water is also an important nutrient. Some foods like fruits and vegetables are more hydrating than others, but it is also a good idea to drink some water with your snacks as well to make sure you are meeting your hydration needs.

Baseball Pre-Workout Snack Tips

It is so important to eat something before you exercise, no matter what time of the day your workout is. The closer you get to exercise, the more you should focus on carbohydrates. If you are eating a snack at least an hour before your workout, you might be okay to add in a little bit of protein. Liquid protein works well, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. 

Here are a few carbohydrate sources that are lower in fiber, fat, and protein that I recommend for baseball players that need a snack closer to exercise:

  • Applesauce
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit juice
  • Milk
  • Fruit snacks
  • Fruit leather
  • Fresh fruit (like grapes, oranges, bananas, etc.)
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Toast with jam
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Sports drinks

If baseball players need a snack during a long practice, it is also helpful to stick to straight carbohydrates. This is why many athletes turn to simple sugars or liquid sugars like sports drinks for an energy boost during exercise.

See also: The 25 BEST Pre-Workout Meals and Snacks For a Teenage Athlete

Baseball Post-Workout Snack Tips

After a workout, your body needs the nutrients to help your body recover. I recommend getting a good source of protein to help with this recovery. Aiming for around 20 grams of protein after a workout is usually appropriate for most athletes. 

It is also important to eat a good source of carbohydrates after your workout. Pairing carbohydrates with your protein will help to maximize recovery and restore the carbohydrate stores that your body used up for energy during your workout.

You can also include some healthy fats with your post-workout snack. This is a great way to help boost calorie intake and promote healing and decrease inflammation.

Even doing a small snack after your workout to hold you over until you can get in a full meal will be helpful. If you can eat a good amount of protein and carbs within an hour of working out, that will be best.

Here are some of my top post-workout snack recommendations for baseball players:

  • 16 oz (2 cups) homemade protein shake or fruit/veggie smoothie
  • 16 oz (2 cups) chocolate milk
  • Energy bar with 1 fruit (my favorite is Larabar)
  • 12 oz Greek yogurt with 1 serving fruit and ½ cup granola
  • Nut butter toast with 1 glass of milk and 1 banana
  • ½ cup hummus with 12 crackers or veggies plus 1 string cheese
  • 2 string cheese and 8 oz (1 cup) 100% juice
  • PB&J sandwich
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat cereal and 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese and fruit
  • Rice cakes with 1-2 tablespoons nut butter and a banana
  • Clean protein shake made with: 1-2 cups milk, handful of spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 Tablespoon chia/flax seeds, and 1 Tablespoon nut butter.

See also: The BEST Post-Workout Snacks for Teenagers – Dietitian Recommended!

Best Balanced Snack Ideas for Baseball

If you want to include more healthy snacks in your day but still don’t know quite where to start, I usually aim for pairing either a starch and a protein, or a fruit and a protein. Here are a few snack ideas that you might want to try out:

  • Cheese stick and blueberries
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter and banana
  • Fruit smoothie made with Greek yogurt and milk
  • Chocolate milk
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Protein bar and applesauce
  • Beef jerky and fruit leather
  • Bagel with cream cheese and milk
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Cheese and crackers


Healthy snacks are super helpful for meeting nutrient and calorie needs for baseball players. Including carbohydrates, protein, and fats in your normal snack routine will help you feel your best and perform your best in your sport. Baseball players should choose snacks that make them feel good and give their body energy- but remember that all foods can fit into a healthy eating pattern, so also snack on foods you enjoy.

Katherine Harmer, RDN

I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a love for coaching others to success in their health goals, especially teenage athletes. Tennis was my sport of choice in high school. Now I'm a little bit older, a little bit smarter, and a little bit worse at tennis.

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