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Getting good nutrition could be considered one of the most important parts of an athlete, after all, it directly influences his performance inside of the court. If you want to improve in volleyball, you might be wondering what to eat before volleyball practice.
What to Eat Before Volleyball Practice
Knowing what to eat and having a proper diet can highly influence both your life and your development as a volleyball player. This is because our bodies act as a machine; it needs fuel, and if you give them bad quality fuel, they will most probably function incorrectly.
That being said, one thing you need to consider before learning the kinds of food you should ingest, is that you should not be excessively strict about it. Even though you need to be consistent and have a good diet, it doesn’t mean that you should give up all the food you like.
This means that, while having a proper diet, you can still eat food that you like and enjoy (such as cookies and pizzas), you just need to remember to not eat them in excess. You are a human after all, and even elite volleyball players incorporate ‘’cheat days’’ into their diet.
One of the most important things you need to consume before going to practice is carbs. These are the molecules that your muscles use in order to function correctly. In other words, it is what your body uses as a source of energy.
This means that, if you want to prepare for an intense practice, you will want to eat a decent amount of carbs three to four hours before going. This will give you enough energy to withstand the high intensity you will go through.
Bread, Spaghetti, and Potatoes
In order to have a good intake of carbs before practicing, you can eat bread, spaghetti, or potatoes. These three ingredients will provide your body with enough carbs, which will allow you to exercise without getting too tired.
On top of that, they can be combined with a variety of ingredients that we are going to talk about later here. This means that you won’t have to eat two bland pieces of bread every time you go to the court.
When it comes to diet, nutrition, and sports, protein might be one of the most famous ingredients. This is because this molecule allows your muscles to fully recover after a good session of exercise. Every time your muscles grow and improve is mainly because of protein.
On top of that, it allows your muscles to perform better under high-intensity activities, which is highly beneficial when it comes to volleyball. Therefore, if you want your body and muscles to improve, you should eat protein-rich foods before your practice.
Chicken, Fish, Eggs, and Dairy
The best way to increase your protein intake is to eat chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Each one of these ingredients gives your body a great amount of protein, allowing your body to have a great performance every day.
As we mentioned before, you can combine these elements with your carbs in order to make better and tastier food. For example, you can eat two or three chicken sandwiches three hours before going to the court.
If you want to increase your consumption, even more, make fruit milkshakes for yourself and have them throughout the day. However, remember to avoid eating for at least three to four hours prior to training.
While fats are often seen as one of the worst things you can consume, it is actually the opposite. This is because fats are a great source of energy for the body and, on top of that, it allows it to absorb and retain vitamins, which is quite good for volleyball training.
However, it is important to highlight that not all fats are healthy fats; there are fats that you must avoid at all times. For example, you should stay away from saturated fats (such as palm oil), and trans fats (such as margarine), as they could increase your cholesterol levels.
Instead, you need to consume monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Here you can see a list of the benefits these fats can bring to your body.
- They can lower your cholesterol levels
- They can improve your blood circulation, which also helps in reducing bruises.
- They contribute to the heart’s well-being
- They can contribute to your brain’s well-being
- Consuming these fats can improve your bone health, which is great to avoid injuries while playing.
- They promote good sleep. This is also quite good for athletes, after all, they always need to have a good night of sleep to fully recover from practice.
- They can also help to regulate your sugar levels.
Avocados, Nuts, and Olive Oil
If you wonder how to have a good intake of healthy fats, you can always include avocados, nuts, and olive oil in your meals. These ingredients will provide you with enough healthy fats for you to improve your well-being as well as your performance on the volleyball court.
Just like the previous food we mentioned, they can be easily mixed so you can have better and more appetizing meals before going to training. As an example, you can take the same chicken sandwiches we talked about before, and add a couple of avocado slices.
Or, better yet, you can prepare guacamole and add it to your sandwiches. When it comes to nuts, you can always have them during the day; you can keep a little bag of nuts with you and eat them when you are craving something.
Fruits are one of the easiest ways of getting vitamins and micro-nutrients on an everyday basis. Additionally, they cover a great variety of benefits that can help you reduce fatigue and improve your performance as an athlete.
Consuming them before training can boost your energy levels as well as your stamina, which is why most people eat them right before their workout. This is because, unlike other foods, fruits are easily digested, and won’t interfere with your performance.
Of course, this only applies if you eat a small amount of them, such as one apple, or two bananas.
Bananas and Strawberries
Bananas are one of the greatest fruits for your body when it comes to sports. Bananas can substantially benefit your muscles, after all, a lack of potassium can cause muscular weakness and cramping.
Furthermore, since intense exercises and sweating can induce potassium loss, boosting your potassium intake is important, particularly after and before physical activity.
Strawberries, on the other hand, improve your muscles and bone health, which is important to avoid injuries while playing an intense match.
Here are some related questions about food in volleyball
What Food Should Volleyball Players Avoid?
Most of the food that volleyball athletes should avoid are those that don’t provide sufficient nutrition. For instance, having a bowl of cereal for breakfast should always be avoided, since it won’t give you a good amount of carbs or proteins.
On top of that, it is always recommendable to always stay away from highly processed sugar food, sodas, saturated and trans fats, high intakes of caffeine, sports drinks, and alcohol.
How Much Should a Volleyball Player Weight?
On average, the standard elite volleyball player weights from 154 pounds to 198 pounds. This also depends on how tall you are; after all, if you are tall, you have a tendency to be heavier.
Consuming the appropriate food will assist you to improve your volleyball abilities while also allowing your body to function optimally. Just remember that anything in excess is unhealthy, which is why you should always allow yourself to enjoy your meals when on a diet.