Healthy snack alternatives for hungry gamers

As with any other entertainment, gaming's better with a snack, but there are healthier options for hungry gamers.

As with most marathon entertainment sessions, folks enjoy snacking while gaming. In fact, given the mental stamina you need to stay at peak KDA performance, it's even more understandable that you want to keep your energy up while on a win streak with your pals. Sadly, for many of us, this can lead to less than peak performance elsewhere in our lives.

High energy snacks that are just easy to snatch in between drops in Warzone aren't always the healthiest, but that doesn't have to be the case. Healthy gaming snacks do exist, we can prove it. And even if you aren't thinking of making the switch to healthy gaming snacks for your health, please consider it for your controller or keyboard. That orange cheesy chip dust doesn't come off easily.

Fruit

Fruit is the easier healthy gaming snack you could ask for. © Lisa Fotios/Pexels

Fruit is the easiest healthy gaming snack you could ask for.

© Lisa Fotios/Pexels

It sounds incredibly simple, and that's because it is. Fruit's good for you, there's like a billion flavors (more than your favorite chip brand, in any case) and you can cut them into easy bite-size pieces for snatching in between matches. Try not to eat too many, the sugars are deceptively high and while they'll keep your energy up during a marathon sesh, simple carbohydrates don't do much else for your body. Other than potentially cause teeth cavities, so make sure you brush as well.

Veg and dip

You don't have to give up your favorite dip along with the chips. © Polina Tankilevitch

You don't have to give up your favorite dip along with the chips.

© Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels

If you want something more savory then consider the classic combo of dip + dip vehicle. While we usually default to chips as the standard way of getting dips inside our mouth, that's not the healthiest way. And when you think about it, if the dip is what's giving you all the flavor then why add the unnecessary fat and carbs of the fried or baked potato to the mix? Cut up carrots, celery or bell peppers into strips for easy conveyance of your favorite dip to your mouth.

The benefit of strips is you can't get a real good shovelful of dip, which at this point is the least healthy part of the equation after removing the chip. Less dip per bite means better overall nutrition. Plus you save on dip, win-win. Of course you may need to get a healthier version of your favorite dip, but thankfully hummus comes in low-fat varieties, and there are also a wealth of alternatives like Tzatziki which the Greeks have been eating for centuries and they're still kicking about. Must be good for you.

Sushi

Sushi isn't that hard to make, plus you can just order some in. Easy. © Foodie Factor/Pexels
Sushi isn't that hard to make, plus you can just order some in. Easy. © Foodie Factor/Pexels

Want to go a bit more extra with your snacks? Sushi is bite-size, easily grabbable and the rice is pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it. The very definition of sushi being uncooked fish means that's also the closest you need to get to any actual cooking as well. If you're unsure of the age of your fish, don't risk slicing up a salmon filet unless you know it came out of the water the same day you're eating it. There are plenty of safer ingredients for the at-home sushi chef, though, including pre-cooked prawns, surimi or crab sticks, avocado, cucumber, radish, even tuna mayo. Rolling is easy, and nori (seaweed) sheets are at every major supermarket, so you can easily make your own. Or just order some from your favorite local restaurant. Treat yo'self.

Nuts

Go nuts for 'em. © Public Domain Pictures/Pexels

Go nuts for 'em.

© Public Domain Pictures/Pexels

The above take some preparation to get ready, even though it really isn't much. But if you're looking for fast snacks and don't have time to break out the chopping board, just grab some nuts. Any of them, really. Try to avoid overly salted peanuts, but honestly once you start getting really into nuts you'll realise they're unreasonably basic anyway. Go for a sriracha coated almond, or a maple-tossed pecan. There's some really great options down at your local farmer's market, or just stock up at Christmas when the German market comes to town.

Granola Bars

Store-bought or bake your own, also doubles as breakfast. © Annelies Brouws/Pexels

Store-bought or bake your own, also doubles as breakfast.

© Annelies Brouws/Pexels

If there's no farmer's market near you, you can get a pretty tasty alternative to those fancy nuts above with some of the granola bars they have in the breakfast aisle. Just check the pack to make sure you're not getting too much sugar, but really they're the healthier option than other candy bars like chocolate or nougat. Also double as a quick breakfast if you don't have time for a bowl of cereal as you run out the door (because you overslept from this late-night gaming marathon you're on, we see you).

Popcorn

Not the kind you get at the cinema, though. © Kelly Lacy/Pexels

Not the kind you get at the cinema, though.

© Kelly Lacy/Pexels

While the stuff you get at the cinema isn't exactly the healthiest alternative, there are less buttery, salty, toffee-coated versions of popcorn out there. Some chip manufacturers are even starting to experiment with flavors and dust you'd usually find on their potato or corn tortilla versions. Extremely bite-size so easy to just grab a handful during some downtime while gaming. If they're a little on the salty side, you'll need something to drink, so...

Smoothies

Worried about fruit getting your fingers sticky? Mash them into a glass instead. © Element5 Digital

Worried about fruit getting your fingers sticky? Mash them into a glass instead.

© Element5 Digital

You'll need something to stay hydrated while gaming as well, and though soda and energy drinks are the de facto norm for gaming culture, you can do better. If you're not too into the idea of chopping up your fruit to snack on while playing, then just mulch them up with a blender instead. There are literally thousands of recipes for great smoothies, but you can't go far wrong by picking the fruits you like the flavor of and throwing them all together. Our secret tip is: strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, banana and mango with a very very small pinch of fresh mint. Refreshing.

Water

Come on. It's water. Just drink it. © Alex Azabache/Pexels

Come on. It's water. Just drink it.

© Alex Azabache/Pexels

Of course, the king of hydration is the elemental classic: H2O. There's nothing fancy here, just grab a massive jug of it and keep chugging. It's absurd how much better you feel after drinking the right amount of water all day. To help out, you can get one of those tracking bottles that tells you how much you've drunk so far, they even have WiFi-enabled ones now that can hook into your phone and remind you when you need to drink! Or you can just get a sharpie and put lines on the bottle for every 150ml. Easy. If you really can't stand the lack of taste, just drop like two chopped up berries or an orange in as well.

Editor-in-Chief

Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing chris.higgins@allgamers.com or finding him on Twitter. 

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