What to Eat Before and After a Volleyball Game?

March 17, 2023

Volleyball is an intense sport that requires high levels of energy and endurance. To perform at your best on the court, it's important to fuel your body with the right nutrients before and after the game. Proper nutrition can improve your strength, stamina, and recovery time allowing you to play better. 

While a lot of people in the sports and fitness industry can try to sell you on different diets and superfoods, there's only one universal truth, your body needs food to create energy, without that energy you'll be trudging across the volleyball court and playing inefficiently.

Here's what Javelin recommends you eat before & after a game: 

1. Eat a balanced meal a few hours before the game 

2. Stay hydrated before, during & after the game 

3. Bring carbohydrate-rich snacks 

4. Energize with some protein 

5. Gobble up some micronutrients for maintenance

Still curious as to what exactly you should be eating and drinking before a pickup volleyball game? Check out the tips below on what foods & nutrients you should focus on most. 

Interested in finding local volleyball pick-up games, leagues, and tournaments in your neighbourhood? Snag the Javelin Sports App today and gain access to a range of games based on your skill level! Download for Free on the App Store or Google Play 

Eat a Balanced Meal 2-3 Hours Before the Game:

Eating a balanced meal that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can provide the necessary energy and nutrients to sustain your performance on the court. Some examples of a pre-game meal include a turkey sandwich with whole-grain bread, a quinoa salad with vegetables and chicken, or a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries. 

Now it's also important to remember that you shouldn't gorge on a meal or hit up an all-you-can-eat buffet right before a game. Instead, you should focus on a filling meal that hits all the major food groups except foods that are rich in sugar. A sugar-rich meal before a game could lead to a 'crash' where your sugar levels deplete and you lose your energy. Instead, a protein and carbohydrate-based meal is the way to go! 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:

Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal performance during a volleyball game. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, cramping, and impaired cognitive function. It's recommended to drink at least 16 ounces of water 2 hours before the game and continue to drink water throughout the game.

With a busy schedule, it can be pretty tough to keep track of how much water you drink every day. We recommend grabbing a water bottle that has measurements on the side so you can see just how much water you've had before and during the game. It's important not to drink too much water before playing as this could lead to discomfort, but you should definitely stay hydrated before, during and after the game. 

Snack on Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates and protein are the primary sources of fuel for our muscles. Snacking on carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits, granola bars, or crackers can provide a quick energy boost during the game. It's essential to choose snacks that are easy to digest and won't cause an upset stomach.

In all honesty, a granola bar is probably your best bet for a volleyball pick up game, it's quick, simple, and filling, allowing you to regain some of your energy before jumping back on the volleyball court. 

Interested in finding volleyball pick up games in your local neighbourhood? Check out the FREE Javelin Sports App today and start playing! Download today on the App Store or Google Play 

Refuel with Protein and Carbohydrates After the Game:

After the game, your body needs to refuel with a mix of carbohydrates and protein to aid in muscle recovery and glycogen replenishment. Examples of post-game meals include a chicken and sweet potato bowl, a salmon and quinoa salad, or a turkey and cheese wrap.

Remember how we said not to gorge before the game? Well after you've worked up an appetite by playing feel free to eat as much as you'd like! Volleyball games are a great way to burn calories, and unless you're dieting you'll likely want to replenish those calories with a nice big meal. Just make sure that you don't overindulge, and be sure to focus on high-protein meals for muscle growth and recovery. 

Don't Forget About the Micronutrients:

Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play a vital role in maintaining overall health and energy levels. Eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables can provide the necessary micronutrients to support your volleyball performance.

Whether it's a quick orange in between games or some grapes to tide you over before the match, fruits provide you with a whole heap load of micronutrients which are essential for your overall health. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables in all of your meals before and after a game. 

Bonus tip! 

Boosting your electrolytes is another great way to ensure you're at the top of your game while playing volleyball. Electrolytes will help replace minerals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium, that are lost when you sweat while playing. It also helps with energy production & endurance. 

Proper nutrition is essential for volleyball players to perform at their best on the court. Eating a balanced meal 2-3 hours before the game, staying hydrated, snacking on carbohydrates, refuelling with protein and carbohydrates after the game, and consuming micronutrients can improve your strength, stamina, and recovery time. 

By following these simple nutrition tips you can be sure to see an increase in your energy levels before and during your next volleyball game. Interested in finding local volleyball pick up games in your neighbourhood? Download the Javelin Sports App for Free on the App Store or Google Play today! 

Looking for an easy way to find pickup volleyball games? Javelin is the easiest way to find volleyball pickups near you!

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