14 Guilt-Free Game Day Snacks That Put Nachos To Shame

Five-layer dip, napkins stained with buffalo wing sauce, and far too many beers—that’s what football season looks like for a lot of people. But this season, you can arm yourself with better-for-you eats in hopes of making it to Super Bowl time with your jeans still buttoned.

We took one for the team and chowed down on tons of snacks to identify the MVPs. (It’s hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it…) Here are the ones that made the cut—and why we liked them so much:

1. Chocolate Almond Butter Pretzel Dunkers

For the perfect combination of salty and sweet, go right ahead and dunk your favorite pretzels (we like Glutino’s gluten-free pretzel twists) in some nut butter. We kicked the snack up a notch by dunking our pretzels in Angry Mills’ Chocolate Chaos caffeinated almond butter.

“This combo tastes like the chocolate-covered pretzels you’d get at the candy store.”—Jessica Prinzi, international regulatory specialist

“This almond butter is really chocolatey, and the caffeine and extra protein are major bonuses!”—Thomas Li, product development specialist

2. Kettle Brand Moscow Mule Potato Chips

Who needs booze when you can enjoy cocktail-flavored potato chips! These thick, crinkle-cut chips are also flavored naturally with ingredients like ginger, lemon, and lime oil.

“Literally a Moscow mule drink in a chip! So good!”—Jennifer Peña, video editor and producer

“These are really flavorful, with a nice hint of spice.”—Nick Marinelli, Director of Regulatory Affairs

3. Epic Bar Sesame BBQ Chicken Jerky Bites

These chicken jerky bites are totally swappable for fat-loaded sesame BBQ wings. And for just 90 calories, you’ll still enjoy a filling eight grams of protein (and just two grams of fat).

“Nice smoky barbecue flavor that’s perfect for summer!”—Jessica Prinzi, international regulatory specialist

“Very soft with a great mouth feel, and very easy to chew. A good light barbecue flavor.”—Dustin Elliott, senior brand manager

4. Three Jerks Maple Bourbon Churro Filet Mignon Jerky

Filet mignon beef jerky is a real thing—and if that alone isn’t tempting enough to your taste buds, a flavor like ‘maple bacon churro’ should be! Three Jerks describes it as “sweet and boozy.” Are you sold yet?

“You can definitely taste the bourbon in here! It has an interesting sweetness to it.”—Lauren Del Turco, associate editor

5. Krave Chili Lime Beef Jerky

Yes, a third jerky option is necessary when you’re opting out of fried wings and hot dogs galore. Krave’s chili lime jerky is so zesty and tender you’ll forget every piece of tough jerky in your past.

“A great combination of spicy and sweet—with a serious kick.”—Andres Arce, international relationships analyst

“This is the perfect spicy, high-protein snack!”—Jessica Prinzi, international regulatory specialist

6. All-Natural Chips and Salsa

Steer clear of sketchy ingredients in chips and dips and go for the more natural ones with Garden of Eatin’s Sesame Blues tortilla chips and Green Mountain Gringo’s medium salsa.

“One of the best salsas I’ve ever tasted.”—Brian Tanzer, Manager of Scientific Affairs

“The chips have a nice crunchy texture that feels really hearty.”—Lauren Del Turco, associate editor

7. Toffee Nut Butter-Dipped Dark Chocolate

Indulge your sweet tooth with clean ingredients and zero guilt by slathering protein-packed Nuts ‘N More Toffee Crunch high-protein peanut butter onto a piece of Endangered Species Chocolate Co.’s Supreme dark chocolate.

“This is a beautiful, luscious combination.” – Lauren Del Turco, associate editor

“A bonfire essential.” –Andres Arce, international relationships analyst

8. Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Cheddar White Cheddar Popcorn

There’s something really satisfying about licking cheesy goodness off your fingers after a snack. Angie’s white cheddar popcorn lets you do just that—without any of the usual artificial colors and flavors.

“I will sneak this into the movie theater.” – Carl Borman, social media specialist

“Light and tasty, with a nice natural flavor.”—Nick Marinelli, Director of Regulatory Affairs

9. LIFEAID PARTYAID Drink

When you’ve been up late watching the game (or feeling groggy after a few beers), a can of PARTYAID is just what you need. The drink provides electrolytes to keep you hydrated and a whole slew of vitamins (including a bunch of Bs, C, and D) to help you bounce back.

“Tastes like a light-sugar version of my favorite energy drink. So yummy.”—Jennifer Peña, video editor and producer

10. Quest Sour Cream and Onion Protein Chips

Quest’s protein chips satisfy crunch cravings and pack all the intoxicating flavor of sour cream and onion without sacrificing your nutrition. At just 120 calories a bag, they’re fat-free and contain just five grams of carbs—with a whopping 21 grams of whey protein.

“These have that super-pungent but amazing odor of regular sour cream and onion chips—so satisfying.”—Lauren Del Turco, associate editor

11. Icon Meals Canadian Maple Protein Popcorn

If you’re going to treat yourself to some candied popcorn, you might as well get some protein out of it, right? With three grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein, Icon Meal’s maple popcorn is a more balanced sweet tooth-satisfier than your average treat. Good luck stopping after one serving!

“Breakfast waffle meets popcorn! HEART EYES.”—Carl Borman, social media specialist

“Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.”—Brian Tanzer, Manager of Scientific Affairs

12. Enlightened Crispy Marshmallow Treats

Our favorite childhood treat just got a healthier makeover. With nine grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein, they’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you full.

“I could bring these to a party and people would think they’re the original rice cereal marshmallow treats. They’re definitely a good alternative.” –Andres Arce, international relationships analyst

“This is like a marshmallow bar and a rice cake had a child. I love it.” –Thomas Li, product development specialist

13. Zenify Zero Sugar Natural Stress Relief Drink

Any true fan knows that watching their team can be downright stressful. Zenify’s stress-relief drink is loaded with antioxidants (more than 15 cups of green tea’s-worth, to be exact) to help your body fight that final quarter freak-out. It also offers tons of B vitamins and vitamin C.

“If this helps with stress, I wouldn’t mind being stressed out. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and sugar-free! Perfect.”—Carl Borman, social media specialist

“Good flavor with a clean finish and zero aftertaste.”—Dustin Elliott, senior brand manager

14. Protes Tangy Southern BBQ Protein Chips

More macro-friendly than your average barbecue munchies, Protes’ chips are sweet and spicy, with just four grams of fat and 15 grams of protein.

“Great barbecue flavor and very crunchy!” –Jennifer Peña, video editor and producer