Top Healthy Swim Meet Snacks You Should Be Eating In 2023.

Nutrition and hydration during a swim meet are EXTREMELY important. Probably, more important than your training.

Swimming is a physically demanding sport that requires LOTS of energy. Thus, proper nutrition before, during, and after the meet ensures your competition goes well and you have enough energy to win the big race.

And don't forget your water bottle. High-intensity work can dehydrate you fast.

Now that we established that you should be eating and drinking water (duh?), you're wondering:

  1. Can I eat Cheetos? (No)
  2. Can I drink Pepsi? (No)
  3. Then, what am I supposed to pack in my swim bag?

Don't worry, I have a list of healthy food for you.

And I promise not to include hardboiled eggs on the pool deck. Only snacks that are easy to pack and taste good.

Let's get right into it.

What are the Best Healthy Snacks for Swim Meets? - Wandering Swimmer

Nutrition and hydration during a swim meet are EXTREMELY important. Probably, more important than your training.


Swimming is a physically demanding sport that requires LOTS of energy.

Thus, proper nutrition before, during, and after the meet ensures your competition goes well and you have enough gas in your energy stores. However, the foods you eat will affect your energy levels as well.

The sad truth is many swimmers underestimate the importance of nutrition. We snack on junk food that gives us a quick burst of energy that doesn't last long.

Exercise Science expert, Brigette Peterson, says, "Some competitive swimmers see intense training as an excuse to eat whatever they want and usually constitute eating way too many of the wrong kind of calories."

Remember, it's not all about calories = energy. Quality of foods matters.

But that's not all.

You can eat as much as you want, but without proper electrolyte balance, you won't be able to turn stored energy into use. What does it mean?

It means that Pepsi is not the way to go. You have to bring electrolyte-rich sports drinks to the swim meet.

Now that we established that you should be leaning towards healthy foods (duh?), you're wondering, "What are my options?"

Don't worry, I have a list of healthy food for you. Forget about running to the concession stand for snacks.

And, I promise, no hardboiled eggs on the pool deck. Only snacks that are easy to pack and digest.

Also, those foods will taste GREAT.

Let's get right into it.

Fresh fruit

Fruits are an excellent low-calorie energy source with lots of natural sugars and carbs.


Bananas are a go-to natural source of electrolytes, sodium, and potassium. Electrolytes take your stored energy and put it to work.

High-intensity work during swim meets causes potassium loss. Low potassium levels are the leading cause of weakness, cramps, and fatigue in your muscles.

Fun fact: bananas contain essential amino acids like glycine, leucine, alanine, and aspartic acid.

Additionally, bananas are an excellent way to restore energy levels with carbohydrates.


Apple is a great snack that will keep you full for longer during a swim meet. It consists of healthy sugars, fiber, and water.

Additionally, it's easy to prepare and pack: cut it, and bring apple slices in your swim bag.

With less than 100 calories, it's a great snack to eat when you're just a little hungry.
swimmers snack


You probably heard that oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Yep, they will keep sniffles away.

But that's not all.

Oranges are also one of the best snacks for athletes due their nutritional properties.
They are low in calories and high in water content, making the best healthy and hydrating snack during the big meet. One orange contains natural sugars, fructose, and glucose, which provide a quick energy boost.

Additionally, your body will have no problem digesting it before the race because oranges are a low-fat, rich-in-fiber snack.
swim meet snack


Strawberries are among the best healthy snacks for swimmers due to their rich nutritional value.

It's a low-calorie, nutrient-dense fruit full of Vitamin C, folate, and potassium fresh fruit.

For swimmers, strawberries can improve hydration with their high water content, and the potassium will enhance muscle function and prevent cramping.

Strawberries are filling, easy-to-digest fruit that will fuel your body right before the race.
healthy snacks for swimmers


Vegetables are low-calorie and high in a fiber energy source that will fuel swimmers the right way.

Baby carrots

One of the healthy options that many swimmers underestimate is baby carrots.

Why are they so good?

Carrots are a low-calorie snack that won't occupy much space in your swim bag. There's no preparation needed, just purchase a bag of pre-washed carrots, and you're ready to go.

It's a filling snack that will keep the hunger away for a long time.

Carrots are packed with fiber and healthy sugars and contain zero fat. Before you know it, your body will digest them, and you are ready to swim a big race.
healthy snacks for swim meets


Consider snacking on celery if you're looking for something extra light for your stomach.

It's extremely low in calories source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and natural sugar.

Additionally, celery combines micronutrients like potassium, folate, choline, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and sodium.

Have I mentioned enough that potassium will prevent muscles from cramping?!

So, pack some celery for your next meet.
healthy snacks for swim meets

Other healthy snacks for competitive swimmers

Not into fruits and veggies? No problem.

I've got more healthy options for you.


Get granola if you are looking for an ultimate snack for endurance athletes.
It's a valuable source of carbs, and carbs are our primary energy source. Your body will need those carbs before and after the swim race.

Snacks like this give a quick energy boost that can help one swimmer maintain their performance, delay fatigue, and recover faster.

Besides being an excellent energy supplier, the best companies enrich granola with fiber. Why it matters? Because fibers regulate digestion and prevent upset stomach, which is crucial for your swim meet results.

Additionally, companies like Quaker offer protein-rich variations with 1og per serving. Protein amino acids will kick-start muscle repair and recovery after a swim meet.

Granola is a cheap, convenient, and portable leader among swim meet snacks.

P.S You'll have so much of it that you can share with the whole swim team.
healthy snacks for swim meets

Protein Bars

Protein bars can aid recovery after physical activity by providing a quick serving of protein. Both are important for repairing muscle tissue that can be broken down during swimming.

Protein bars are also a great source of sugars and carbs, which help our body restore glycogen stores.

Additionally, they are an excellent go-to snack after the swimming meet that will kick-start your recovery and help you prepare for the next race.

My favorite brand is Rxbar. This company makes delicious and natural protein-rich bars that taste just like regular candy.

Nut butter

Nut butter, like peanut butter and almond butter, can aid recovery after high-intensity work due to its high protein and healthy fat content.

The best of it: spreads like peanut butter can make a wholesome meal by adding whole wheat bread to the plate.

However, athletes should be aware that nut butter can be really hard to digest, so it's important not to munch on it before the big race.

Otherwise, the combination of protein, healthy fats, and the versatility of the spreads like peanut butter can support the recovery process at a very low cost.

String cheese

Foods like string cheese are convenient and cheap snacks for swimmers.

It's a filling, mess-free snack full of protein that will enhance a swimmer's recovery and prepare you for the next swim meet event.

Swimmers who cannot tolerate lactose should look for lactose-free products.

Additionally, choosing a low-fat cheese can speed-up digestion time, which is important for a good swimming performance.

Trail mix

A trail mix made with a combination of nuts and raisins can be particularly beneficial for recovery after physical activity.

Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts, are a sufficient source of protein and healthy fats. Additionally, nuts have important vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and potassium, which can support muscle recovery and reduce fatigue.

On the other hand, raisins provide a natural source of carbohydrates and sugars, which can help to restore glycogen stores that get depleted during swim meets.

Fun fact: In 2007, "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Resistance" studied raisings and athletic performance. Results? Athletes who consumed raisings before physical activity got the same performance benefits as those who consumed sports drinks.

Thus, a healthy combo of protein, carbs, sugars, and healthy fats in a trail mix with nuts and raisins can enhance your performance, speed up recovery, and fill you up at a low cost.

Grain Crackers

Whole grain crackers can be helpful for recovery after a swim meet or swim practice due to their high carbohydrate content.

And why do we need carbs? A swimmer will replenish their glycogen stores and be ready for the next race.

The best of it: there are so many variations of crackers on the market.

My favorites are Wheat Thins. These crackers are low in fat and sugar but high in carbs and packed with fiber.

On their own, they can taste pretty bland. For a picky swimmer, I recommend eating crackers with cream cheese or peanut butter to add more flavor.
By Maria Rezhylo
3x World record holder in swimming & swim school owner
Feb. 4, 2023
Remember to always make healthy choices during swim meets, and after that - enjoy your life to the fullest.

Now, it's your turn.

What your favorite thing to snack on during swim meets?

Are there any unhealthy habits that you need to change?

Let me know in the comments below!