Sports Nutrition 101 – Beach Volleyball

Healthy eating is the back bone of a fit and trim volleyball player. A diet which is high in carbohydrate and protein is important to maintain strength and agility throughout the day. Every player will have individual requirements and these will be determined by frequency of training and playing, the weather conditions and the size to the athlete.  Eating and drinking throughout training sessions and competitions can assist with meeting nutritional requirements and replenish carbohydrate stores and maintaining muscle mass.

Fluid Needs

Individual sweat losses and weather conditions are the main factors in determining someone fluids requirements. It is important to maintain regular hydration and replace any fluid debt, particularly during longer games and hotter weather, for optimal concentration. Water is a good option and for those hotter days and heavy sweaters sports drink or an electrolyte replacement may assist.

Pre-Event Eating

A meal or snack should be consumed 1-2 hours prior to the start of the playing. It is important to choose food that sits well in your stomach.

Some high carbohydrate choices are:

  • Jam or honey sandwich
  • Yoghurt and fruit
  • Rice pudding
  • Sustagen Sport
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Cereal
  • Cereal Bar

Fluid and Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise – Events 1-3 hours duration

Drink as much as is practical and comfortable in attempting to match sweat loss. Begin ingesting fluid early in the exercise and continue to ingest beverage regularly to maintain gastric volume and increase fluid availability.

Plan to consume 30-60g Carbohydrate/hour of exercise

Amount to provide 50g of carbohydrate

  • 600-1000ml sports drink
  • 1½-2 sports gels
  • 2-3 medium bananas
  • 50g jelly beans/babies/snakes

Nutrition for Recovery

Replenishing muscle glycogen and minimising muscle damage is particularly important for recovery and this means an immediate intake of carbohydrate after exercise.

Some initial recovery snacks are:

  • Cheese sandwich or roll
  • 3 medium pieces of fruit
  • 2 breakfast bars or cereal bars
  • 3 rice cakes with jam or honey
  • 250g creamed rice

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