Sports Betting Snacks That Will Soothe Your Nerves

There are more legal gambling venues in the U.S. than there were just 20 years ago, and the most popular form of betting is on sports.  If you are putting money on a game, you should ensure you are cool, calm, and collected. Choose what you eat wisely and you will find foods that can soothe stress, improve brain function, or at least offer a comforting munch to calm nerves.

Whether analyzing picks, or trying to stay unruffled while your fortune hinges on a field goal, snacks can come in pretty handy throughout the sports betting day. From the health nuts to the nervous grazers, to the traditional eaters and quirky eaters, there are four kinds of sports betting munchers. Which type of snacker are you?


CONSUMERS: Health Nuts and Nervous Grazers

PEAK SNACK TIME: If you’re sports betting, nuts make you think clearly at critical moments

NUTRITION: 100-200 calories per ounce; good source of protein and Vitamin E; low cholesterol

Not a Big Rock Candy Mountain, but a healthier climb.

Most pubs and bars have obligatory bowls of nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are high in vitamin E, which can help counter memory loss, helping you remember which dogs never cover the spread. If you are analyzing your picks, go for the almonds; they are full of phenylalanine, a brain-boosting chemical.

Considering the hygiene habits of some people, it is best to commandeer a bowl of nuts for yourself and your friends. Another option is to bring your own small container, and share your treat selectively.


CONSUMERS: Health Nuts

PEAK SNACK TIME: Boosting mental capacity, veggies should be eaten before placing a bet

NUTRITION: Negligible calories (close to zero for celery); high fiber; no fat

Your mom told you to eat these, remember? It’s best to skip the dip.

In trendy and health-conscious Marin County, north of San Francisco, even the sports pubs have to cater to the local tastes; the Wipeout Bar & Grill is noted for its vegetable platters. The carrot brings you brain-boosting beta carotene while celery dishes up the fiber, big time.

The boron in broccoli positively impacts short-term memory and proper blood-sugar levels, all conducive to a soothing feeling of wellbeing. Avocados, whether eaten in slices or guacamole, are full of the mono-unsaturated fat that helps promote healthy blood flow, and helps improve circulation for better brain function.

 3. FISH

CONSUMERS: Health Nuts

PEAK SNACK TIME: Fish is an ideal snack for sports bettors who lose, to soothe anxiety

NUTRITION: High protein, low fat; omega-3 nutrients; always a wide selection

You don’t have to catch it yourself, but it might make you a local hero.

Seafood in general is a stress reducer due to omega-3 fatty acids, but such fatty fish as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are among the best sources of it. Studies consistently show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce anxiety, are good for heart health, and contribute to lower blood pressure – all of which are conducive to that cool, calm, collected feeling that sports bettors need to achieve.

The fish portions of tuna melts, sandwiches, salmon burgers, and even calamari are all healthy. You should be careful how much mayo, melted cheese, or fries you add to the meal, to keep it healthy.


CONSUMERS: Nervous Grazers

PEAK SNACK TIME: During the height of excitement, these snacks will give you something to crunch

NUTRITION: High fat, carbs, and sodium; little nutritional value; 120 calories per ounce

Album from the 1970s, price from the 1930s.

The Germans and Swiss who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1800s brought pretzels to America, and to this day Pennsylvania manufactures 80% of pretzels sold in the US. Eating carbohydrates (especially without protein) can impart a calming affect depending on the kind, amount, and time of day.

Pretzels, crackers, and chips made with ingredients low on the glycemic index can provide a serotonin release, which will give you calm and focus while chasing away that sluggish feeling.  Soft pretzels may even slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream (not an excuse to drink more, pal).


CONSUMERS: Nervous Grazers

PEAK SNACK TIME: Popcorn (and chocolate!) are a perfect snack for calm bettors who pace themselves

NUTRITION: 1 cup popped corn without butter, 30-50 calories; with butter/chocolate, 100+; high fiber, low cal

Traditional popcorn is only one of a zillion varieties now available.

For Nervous Grazers seeking comfort along with good auditory feedback, popcorn is among the best sports betting snacks available. If you don’t drown it in butter or soak it in caramel, it could even make the Health Nut list.

For maximum effect, though, you can flavor your popcorn with your favorites, from sweet (sugar, cinnamon) to snappy (chili powder, onion salt). Some people enjoy chocolate sprinkles on their popcorn, while others like to eat chocolate separately. Either way, these two treats are sure to go well together.


CONSUMERS: Nervous Grazers and Traditional Grubbers

PEAK SNACK TIME: These good eats soothe nerves; eat them during critical game plays

NUTRITION: 60 calories per ounce; almost half the calories are fat; great source of potassium

If they’re sort of orange, they’re sweet potato fries, not Mickey D's.

Potassium is essential for higher brain functions like learning. It is also involved in regulating blood pressure, making it important in the prevention of heart disease and hypertension. For people experiencing stressful mental states such as anxiety and fear (like sports bettors watching a game), potassium has proven to be an excellent stress-reducer.

All potatoes have potassium, but sweet potatoes have more of this – and won’t spike your blood sugar like white potatoes, which are sometimes called “sugar bombs.”


CONSUMERS: Traditional Grubbers

PEAK SNACK TIME: Clearing the brain, these messy snacks are best for after-game consumption

NUTRITION: Bone-in full wing, avg. size, 35-40 calories baked; good protein, low fat; sauces extra

“Utensils? Who needs utensils? They had to talk me into using a plate!”

Chicken wings, barbecued and otherwise, are official sports eats. Lovers of traditional pub grub and “heartland cuisine” have crafted an almost endless variety of chicken wing sauces, from spicy and sweet-‘n’-sour, to honey-glazed to flame-inducing hot.

The chicken will give you good protein for energy, and the mustard and horseradish varieties will also keep your head (and sinuses) clear. Once again, the basic item is healthy enough, but the sauces and breading add fat and carbs.


CONSUMERS: Traditional Grubbers

PEAK SNACK TIME: Giving you energy and a mess, these snacks are best before the game

NUTRITION: 2 ribs (app. 4 oz.) with sauce, 240 calories; high in fat and carbs; good protein

There are other things you can add to BBQ, but this "good ol' boy" recipe is pretty popular.

BBQ isn’t just prized by lovers of traditional American grub. It has become almost a religion for some people. Throughout the U.S. there are scores of regional styles and specialties, with Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, the whole state of Texas, and other regions, claiming supremacy.

Protein gives you energy, but the taste and effect of good BBQ pork is almost magical to BBQ lovers – they get downright happy noshing ribs! Sometimes comfort food is the most soothing thing of all.


CONSUMERS: Quirky Eaters

PEAK SNACK TIME: A half-time treat to gross out your friends, squid eyes reinvigorate you

NUTRITION: About 30 calories per ounce; low fat and sodium; good source of protein

If "you are what you eat," these just might give you X-ray vision.

In Korea and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as U.S. cities where immigrants from that region have settled, one of the quirkier sport pub snacks is squid eyes. Somewhere between crunchy and chewy, at least they don’t stare at you like the eyeball soup Indiana Jones was served on one of his adventures.

This snack is packed with protein for energy while you watch the game, and has the added advantage of being an instant conversation starter—or  ender, depending on whom you’re talking to.


CONSUMERS: Quirky Eaters

PEAK SNACK TIME: These heavy, messy treats are ideal for those not sports betting, merely observing

NUTRITION: 1 wonton with cream cheese, 120 calories (60% from fat); some protein

Chinese pastry flowers stuffed with cream cheese? Delicious Asian-American comfort food!

It makes no sense to have boring snacks at the sports pubs where the action (on field and off) is being followed intently by bet-makers and bet-takers. There may never be a four-star “sports cuisine,” but cream cheese wontons and other quirky, upscale treats can bring a little cachet of uniqueness to sports betting snacks.

The wontons strike a great balance between crispy and soft, and the delightfully decadent taste and feel slow the action of a game down—f or a moment, anyway!


Fact is, there are good, healthy, brain-boosting and calming munchies for sports bar denizens of every kind, no matter what kind palate they have. These are just a few of the best sports munchies, for the quirky, the health-conscious and the typical eaters.

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