Food for volleyball tournaments.
Have you ever wondered what to eat for a tournament?
As an athlete, understanding nutrition is important. A lot of people struggle to figure out what foods to eat that will help with performance in volleyball.
I’m not going to tell you what to eat. I’m going to tell you the why and how so you can figure out what is best for you.
Here are the 3 key components in your meals.
1) Protein. Protein is in foods like turkey, beef, chicken, and tuna.
2) Carbohydrates. Carbs are in foods like rice, oats, potatoes, bananas, wraps, and bread.
3) Fats. Fats are in stuff like avocados, nuts, eggs, oils, cheese, and butter.
Those are the 3 components. Now when you think about a meal, the first thing that goes on the plate is protein. Every meal needs protein. This the staple of the meal. Next, bring foods that have vitamins and minerals to the meal. This is things like fruits and vegetables.
It's important to know you need carbohydrates for energy when you play volleyball. Mostly you will thrive on a high carbohydrate/moderate protein pre-tournament meals.
Everyone is different. You need to find the ratio of carbs/proteins/fat that works best for you. Once you have discovered the best ratio, use this ratio for a pre-game or pre-tournament meal every time.
Pay attention to how you feel because that will lead your assessment. If you feel good, energized, and ready to play, then that’s the formula that works best for you.
Basically, you want carbs the night before and more carbs the day of.
The want the slower burning carbs the day before. So, this would be complex carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, and rice. On the day of the tournament, you want faster burning carbs. These are called simple carbohydrates. These are the sugars that get into the blood stream quickly. These are basically the sugar in sports drinks, fruit, and most junk foods.
You can look up the glycemic index of foods to see if the food you are considering eating is slower or faster burning. Anything above 60 is basically a fast carb.
So, you have 3 macros – Protein, Carbohydrates, and fat. Your body can turn all of those 3 into energy. Even though we can use all of these for energy, that doesn’t mean you can use all 3 efficiently.
Your body breaks down those sugars into glucose. Your body uses the glucose for energy. Essentially, carbs are fastest way to use glucose for energy. The main point is it’s a much slower process for protein and fat to be converted to energy. This is why consuming carbohydrates is important.
Essentially, your body can run on protein and fat if it needs to, but if you want it to run the best, then you need carbohydrates.
You need to experiment with how much food for volleyball tournaments. Everyone is different. Water is also important. Hydrate the day before and day of. The electrolytes calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium are also important for keeping your body functioning properly. Cramping can be the result of electrolyte imbalances. Bananas and avocados are good sources of potassium.