Things to Eat Before Volleyball Practice

by Brian Willett

Nutrition can make or break your volleyball performance.

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Volleyball is a challenging sport because it requires both muscular strength -- for serving and striking the ball -- and muscular endurance -- for maintaining speed, strength and agility over the course of the entire match or practice. While physical conditioning is vital for volleyball success, nutrition can impact your performance as well. Try to experiment with nutritional changes prior to practices rather than games to avoid disappointing performances.

Fruit and Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Because volleyball requires muscular strength, you can support your performance by eating protein-rich foods. Protein provides the building blocks for muscle, and foods such as cottage cheese contain high levels of protein with little fat. In addition, consuming fruits can be beneficial, as fruits provide simple carbohydrates that offer quickly absorbed energy. Most fruits also contain fiber, which can keep you full during practice.

Egg White Omelet with Oatmeal

Consuming oatmeal can be beneficial for volleyball players because it provides complex carbohydrates, which are absorbed gradually by your body and can provide energy over a long period of time. Oatmeal is also rich in fiber, which will keep you from getting hungry during practice. Egg-white omelets are rich in protein and contain little fat.

Toast with Almond Butter and Orange Juice

Like oatmeal, bread provides complex carbohydrates to support sustained energy during volleyball practice. Almond butter provides healthy fats, which can keep you feeling full, as well as vitamin E. Orange juice offers carbohydrates and vitamin C. These two vitamins may aid your recovery and future performance, as a study from the December 2006 issue of the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" found that consumption of vitamin C and E reduced muscle damage associated with exercise.

Chicken and Brown Rice

Chicken is a low-cost, low-fat source of protein that can support your working muscles during volleyball practice. Brown rice is a source of complex carbohydrates that can provide energy for your performance. Both chicken and brown rice are plain, so you can have this meal often by varying the seasonings and spices. Season dishes with oregano and Parmesan for an Italian flair, or add salsa and cheddar for a Mexican-style meal.

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About the Author

Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for and He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.