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Cincy East Volleyball Nutrition for Performance

By Coach Kristin Leggett
Registered Dietitian and Club Performance Training Coordinator


Key Players!

1.  Carbohydrates 
-Primary fuel for muscles and brain!
-Don’t store in body, so need with every meal/snack
-Found in grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, milk and yogurt, legumes, candy and sweets and sugary drinks
-Helps hold Water in muscle!

*This is critical to keeping energy levels up for practices as well as games!

2.  Proteins
-Essential for healing broken down muscles during recovery
-Also needed to help with mental alertness
-Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates therefore helps energy last longer!
-Found mainly in animal sources and legumes/nuts/seeds

*This is also important to have with every meal and snack

3.  Fats
-Primarily a source of fuel for the body while at rest and used also during moderate intensity cardiovascular activity
-Necessary for sport for satiety and cell membrane development- Recovery
-Found in both healthy oils (olive, canola, most plant-based fats) and in various amounts in animal foods
-Too much before sport activity can lead to sluggishness
-Sneaks into many processed and convenient foods, sweets

*This nutrient is ALSO important for health and performance

4.  Water
-Makes up 60-70% of the muscle!
-Even a slight dehydration can impair performance!
-Easy to find, don’t leave home without it!

Tournament (and Practice!) Nutrition Game Plan!

1. The rest, fueling, and hydration the day BEFORE the tournament is as important as that day!  Don’t skip breakfast!  Drink water throughout the day. (if urine is bright yellow, you are dehydrated!)  Head to bed at decent time. Your lack of sleep over time can affect your performance.
2. Include a healthy carbohydrate, a protein source, and a little fat in each meal and snack if possible.  Minimal sugary foods should be eaten alone!
3. The morning of tournaments a small meal 2-3 hours before is preferred.  Include a healthy carbohydrate, moderate protein, and not too fatty. Drink water! Examples may be scrambled eggs and toast with fruit, yogurt with fruit and granola, peanut butter and banana toast with OJ, whole grain cereal with blueberries and milk, oatmeal with berries and milk.  Try not to get super full but eat something!
4. Drink water as much as can during hours before play.
5. Drink water or sports drink DURING sets to minimize dehydration, at least 4 oz. every 15 mins.  The sports drinks are good for afternoon in keeping the blood sugars from dropping, but it will NOT make up for inadequate fueling that includes protein and fat to sustain your energy levels.
6. Keep healthy snacks handy, EATING AS OFTEN AS TOLERATED but DO NOT GET STUFFED!  Frequent small amounts spread throughout the day will help to stretch your energy into the final match-up!  Some ideas may be nutrition bars that include protein and fat and not just carbohydrates or simple sugars, trail mixes, fruit cups or fresh fruit and cheese, half of a turkey sandwich, apples and peanut butter, crackers with cheese.
7. Eat AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after event to speed recovery.  Include a protein source and healthy carbohydrates.  The longer you wait, the slower the recovery for the muscles!
8. Drink following event until urine is almost clear
9. Eat minimal “junk food” right before and during event
10. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN for Fueling your amazing bodies!

Ideas for Snacks and Meals

*Sandwiches with turkey, ham, or beef and cheese on whole grain bread. Serve with water or milk and fruit
*Bean and cheese burrito and fruit
*Mixed nuts, almonds, and cheese
*Yogurt with granola or other whole grain cereal mixed in
*Personal Pizza with veggies and cheese.  Serve with a salad
*Vegetable and chicken noodle type soups with whole grain roll
*Peanut butter and banana, glass of milk
*Various nutritional bars, high protein ones should include some carbohydrates
*Smoothie made from milk, frozen berries, peanut butter, and honey
*Apple slices with cheese stick
*Cottage cheese or yogurts and peaches, tomatoes, or other fruit
*Whole grain crackers with cheese slices or turkey and fruit
*Pasta with sauce, chicken or beef, broccoli
*Stir fry chicken, pork, or beef and vegetables with wild rice
*Beef and potato stew with fruit
*Whole grain cereal with skim milk (need the protein from the milk)
*Fried egg on English muffin with tomato and cheese
*Turkey, ham, or beef and cheese roll-up (in a tortilla shell) with greens, tomato, or other veggies


“Cooler” Ideas for the Day!
  
It’s a good idea to have fuel readily available for multiple games on the same day.  When there is less than an hour between events, keep the snacks lighter, both in volume and fat.  The more time in between games, the more volume, protein, and fat you can tolerate. The goal is to keep energy levels up, not stuff or fill with junk food.  

*Crackers with peanut butter
*Dry cereal such as oat squares, frosted mini-wheats, granola
*“Energy” bars that include protein, fat, and some carbohydrates
*Bananas, oranges, or other fruits- should try to have with other protein/fat items to better sustain energy
*Apple slices with peanut butter or Nutella or cheese stick
*Half sandwiches with PB and Jelly or honey or Nutella
*Yogurts with fruit and cereal or granola
*Trail mixes including nuts, raisins, M&Ms, pretzels
*Low to moderate fat snack chips such as Sunchips™, pretzels, Tortilla chips, or Baked Lays™, Goldfish, etc. Just be sure not to ONLY eat these items without protein source.
*Gatorade™ or other sports drinks
*Bagel with PB or Cream cheese
*Pudding snack-packs
*Homemade muffin with milk 
*Portable protein Smoothies and fruit
*Canned chicken or tuna with crackers (can make own chicken or tuna salad as a healthy option)
 
Before Event

• Day before matters just as much!!!  Minimize the junk food and sugary stuff and be sure to eat fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and fats, and FLUIDS!!!
• Sweaters-eat a little something salty (pretzels, red sauce, salted potatoes, soups, lunch meat, salted veggies)
• learn your personal tolerance for eating before (day of) your workout- the closer to the “event”, decrease volume, fat, and protein.
• Water, water, water, Did I mention water?!!

During Event (if 2 hours or less)

WATER!!! Need 3-4 oz every 15 minutes minimum
Occasional simple sugars to boost blood sugar drop if needed, such as energy chews, Gatorade, or sugary candy (last resort as may upset stomach)
Assumed that pre-event fuel was eaten!

During All Day event

Small meal-type foods:  include both good carbohydrate and protein source (see previous list) but in smaller volumes.
Avoid high fat proteins if possible, such as pizza and fried foods, French fries
Stay as hydrated as possible, using fluid replacement drinks if needed for electrolytes and tolerable sugar solution
Nibble on Trail mix, including dried fruit
Meal replacement bars, breakfast bars that include protein, granola

After Event (including practices)

WATER! Drink until urine is super pale.
*Within 30 minutes of activity, replenish fuel used with a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1, such as a cheese stick and crackers, chocolate milk, yogurt with fruit on bottom, energy bar.

*Within 1 hour or so of activity, replace burned carbohydrates with healthy grains such as rice, quinoa, pasta, and carbohydrate rich vegetables such as red potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas.
Replenish protein, too, with a moderate portion (size of palm) of preferred meat or fish.  Add inflammation fighting colorful vegetables and fruit to reduce muscle soreness.

Contact Us

Cincy East VBC

1155 Old State Route 74 
Batavia, Ohio 45103

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 513-331-0889
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