7 Day Meal Plan For Volleyball Players


7 day meal plan for volleyball players. As a volleyball player, it’s important to know when to eat and what to eat before, during and after training and games. This article provides a 7-day meal plan for volleyball players, including sample meal plans with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

7 Day Meal Plan For Volleyball Players

In addition to strength and agility, volleyball also requires technique and accuracy. An elite team may have up to 12 players on each side, thus there are 6 players on the floor, allowing for regular player turnover. On the court, height is advantageous, and a lower body fat percentage can enhance agility and speed.

About Volleyball

In addition to strength and agility, volleyball also requires technique and accuracy. During play, there are 6 players on the court, but an elite team may have up to 12 players each side to allow for regular player rotation and rest periods. It is played on a global scale by people of all ages, from leisure players to top-level professionals. Males and females compete in beach and indoor volleyball at the Olympic level.

While beach volleyball is played outside, indoor competition volleyball is played on a wooden court. A match is played over three or five sets of 25 points each, with the last set being 15 points, depending on the level of competition. A majority of sets win a match, and a set is considered won when it has a two-point advantage.

A set can be any length, although most are between 20 and 30 minutes. Because of this, a match may run anywhere between 1 and 2.5 hours. Players have numerous opportunities to rest, recoup, and refuel during the match’s timeouts and brief intervals between each set.

Depending on the athlete’s level, the training load varies. At the elite/professional level, a typical week would include at least three skill-focused training sessions on the court, as well as strength, plyometric, and agility training in the gym, as well as match simulation or match play.

Weekly matchups are possible, although big tournament-style matches are more common. As a result, multiple games will be played in a single day, making recuperation and hydration crucial for consistent performance throughout the competition.

Players in volleyball are often tall since height is advantageous on the court. Because a favorable power to weight ratio can aid optimize speed, jumping ability, and agility, players often have lower body-fat levels.

Training diet for volleyball players

A healthy eating pattern off the court will serve as an essential foundation for a fit, quick, and lean volleyball player, even though nutrition on the court during matches is critical.

Lean protein sources, such as lean red meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, dairy, and lentils; healthy fat sources, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and fish; as well as fruit and lots of vegetables, should make up a player’s daily diet.

To make sure an athlete’s goals are reached, individual intake should be discussed with an Accredited Sports Dietitian. Individual intake will be decided by frequency of training, size of the athlete, individual requirements, and correction for growth in younger athletes.

Hydration needs

For volleyball players, proper hydration is crucial since it affects performance, notably skill and decision-making. Although volleyball is typically played indoors in a controlled atmosphere, players should be aware that owing to the physical demands and intensity of a match, they can still lose large amounts of body fluids when playing at these settings.

It’s crucial to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking frequently, especially with meals or snacks. Athletes should strive for consistent volumes of light yellow urine throughout the day as a reliable sign of adequate hydration. A little amount of fluid (200–300 ml) consumed before to training or competition not only aids in hydration but also primes the digestive system to absorb fluids throughout the activity.

In order to retain performance over longer games and in hot temperatures, staying hydrated is crucial. Athletes should replace any fluids they lose during practice or a game in order to maintain appropriate hydration. Water is a decent alternative, but if you plan to play for more than an hour, a sports or electrolyte drink may be more advantageous. The main factors affecting fluid requirements are environmental factors and personal sweat losses.

Eating before competition

In the two to four hours before a match, a meal or snack should be had. To prevent unanticipated issues, the person should be familiar with their options for food and liquids (e.g. stomach upset). Making sure that all food taken in the hours prior to major matches has been tested in comparable circumstances or matches is an easy method to avoid any issues.

Around the start of a game, some athletes find it difficult to eat solid foods. To avoid stomach distress, they may try substituting liquid carbs for meals, such as sports drinks, juice, or flavor-enhanced milk.

Due to the low amount of cardiovascular exercise and the downtime off court available to eat and drink during a match or between matches in a tournament context, carbohydrate loading should not be necessary for a person with the healthy foundation diet described above.

Depending on the time of day, one’s tolerance level, and preferences, some suggestions for carb-rich meals to consume before a game include:

  • Porridge with milk, maple syrup and a banana
  • Tub of yoghurt with fruit salad
  • Sandwich with meat/chicken/cheese or nut butter
  • Creamed rice and a piece of fruit
  • Vegemite and cheese sandwich or wrap
  • Toast or English muffin with avocado
  • Pasta with tomato based sauce
  • Sushi or rice paper rolls (avoiding fried fillings)

Eating and drinking during competition

For a match lasting less than 1 hour water or electrolyte drinks are appropriate. Longer games may require sports drink as a source of carbohydrate plus fluid. Alternatively, carbohydrate rich, easy to digest snacks such as fruit, cereal bars or sports bars can help to top up muscle glycogen (fuel) stores.

Some suggestions for portable, convenient snacks to eat between matches include:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Muesli or nut bars
  • Trail mix with dried fruit/nuts/seeds
  • Sandwich or roll with honey/jam/banana
  • Milk or juice tetra packs
  • Tub of yoghurt/custard
  • Crackers or rice crackers with peanut butter or jam
  • Sports bars (with carbohydrates, not just protein)
  • Homemade baked goods e.g. banana bread, muesli slice, apple scroll, fruit scone


Like with any sport, recuperation is essential and is sped up by eating a meal or snack shortly after competing that includes carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores, protein to aid in muscle repair, and fluid to replace sweat losses.

When numerous games are played quickly after one another, a recovery meal or snack should be had within 30 to 60 minutes following the conclusion of matches to ensure peak performance all the way to the tournament’s conclusion.

The ingredients for recovery are frequently provided by an initial smaller snack followed by a balanced dinner of carbohydrates, protein, and veggies.

Some recovery snack ideas include:

  • Sports Bars (combination of protein + carbs)
  • Chocolate/flavoured milk
  • Grainy sandwich with meat, fish or cheese
  • Yoghurt with fruit and added nuts
  • Milkshake, Fruit Smoothie or Sustagen Sport

To complete recovery, some suitable meals include:

  • Homemade pizzas with ham, cheese + veggies
  • Chicken and vegetable risotto
  • Grilled salmon with baked potatoes and veggies


  • Be organised Players should have snacks ready to go at the stadium as it can be difficult to rely on the venue to provide appropriate choices, especially during longer tournaments.
  • Practice As with all sports it is vitally important to trial your nutrition matches and tournaments in the lead up to the event. Be sure to test not only the type of food but also the timing and amounts.

Volleyball Nutrition Plan

Fuel the eight-week power training program designed by Penn State’s strength coaches with a well-thought-out nutrition strategy.

Get your body ready for a full season of completing passes, setting, hitting, and serving aces by doing so right away. Use the right calories, fluids, and meal time to get the most out of your workout. Please have these nutritional objectives in mind as you participate in the Nittany Lions program.

Begin workouts well hydrated. Maintain your fluid levels throughout activity by drinking four to eight ounces every 15 minutes. Afterwards, down 20 to 30 ounces of a sports drink or enough to replace fluid weight lost during exercise.


Throughout the day, try to eat five to six meals [about every three to four hours], starting with a hearty breakfast. Have a meal two hours before exercising, have a small snack an hour before, and then have another just after. Eat complex carbs, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and balance them off with small amounts of lean proteins, including skinless chicken, fish, and lean beef or pork cuts. Reduce your fat intake. Choose plant-based sources and low-fat variants of mayonnaise and salad dressing (such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and avocado). Choose items that are grilled, baked, broiled, or roasted as well.

The eight-week schedule at Penn State is broken up into two three-week “build-up” phases (Weeks 1-3 and 5-7). These times see the biggest energy consumption. Be careful to follow the following nutrition guidelines to ensure you are getting enough calories and water to promote gains in muscle, power, strength, and explosive speed:

Breakfast: Ready-to-eat cereal or oatmeal; banana; skim milk; orange juice; 1 hard-boiled or scrambled egg white or a string cheese. Alternative: Omelet [1 whole egg and 2 egg whites] with peppers, onion, spinach, tomato, mozzarella; whole-wheat toast with jam or honey; orange wedges; skim milk or yogurt.

Snack: Fat-free chocolate pudding; 1 oz. peanuts

Lunch: Sandwich made with whole grain bread, lean roast beef, slice of reduced-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard; fresh seasonal fruit; yogurt with 2 tbsp. granola; lemonade

Pre-workout snack: Low-fat granola bar; sports drink

Post-workout recovery snack: Low-fat kefir and homemade cereal mix [Cheerios, almonds, raisins, dried cherries]

Dinner: Grilled marinated pork tenderloin; brown rice pilaf; grilled zucchini; mixed greens with garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, onion, carrots and reduced-fat dressing; apple sauce; skim milk

Evening snack: Frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries

To allow for rest and recovery, the Penn State plan also includes two “down” or “cut-back” periods [Weeks 4 and 8]. During these times, your body’s demand for energy is reduced. In fact, too many calories will add unwanted weight, which can bog you down. Direct your eating patterns as such:

Breakfast: Ready-to-eat cereal or oatmeal; banana; skim milk; orange juice. Alternative: whole grain English muffin with peanut butter; banana or raisins; juice; skim milk.

Snack: Orange or other fresh fruit

Lunch: Whole-wheat pita stuffed with tuna, onions, cucumber, tomato, fresh spinach, light mayo, dill pickle; fresh fruit; lemonade

Pre-workout snack: Fat-free yogurt

Post-workout recovery snack: Low-fat kefir; dried cherries

Dinner: Barbequed chicken breast; baked beans; corn on the cob; mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, onion, carrots, broccoli, dried cranberries, reduced-fat dressing; skim milk; sliced peaches

Evening snack: Cantaloupe

Nutrition for Successful Volleyball Players

Volleyball-specific nutrition for competition

The fast-paced, difficult sport of volleyball calls for high levels of coordination and skill. Athletes who compete in this sport put up a lot of effort to improve their balance, strength, and speed. It’s crucial to establish a nutrition plan that includes meals and snacks to feed you before, during, and after game play if you want to perform at your best during a tournament. A player’s daily intake should center on nutrient-dense carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads, brown rice, quinoa, and pasta, lean protein sources, such as lean red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and lentils, and healthy fat sources, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and fish. Fruits and vegetables should also be included. To make sure an athlete’s goals are reached, individual intake should be discussed with an Accredited Sports Dietitian. Individual intake will be decided by frequency of training, size of the athlete, individual requirements, and correction for growth in younger athletes. For instance, a volleyball player’s nutritional requirements, such as those of a hitter, differ slightly from those of a libero or a setter.

Foundation Diet for all Volleyball Players

A well-balanced diet is important for each volleyball player to ensure you’ll meet your nutritional needs and help improve training and performance outcomes. 

Spread your calorie intake during the day, starting with breakfast.

  • Begin eating early enough to pre-fuel for morning workouts. Do not skip meals and spread intake over the entire day. 
  • Think ahead for snack options before and after volleyball practices, games, and tournaments. 
  • Understand what and how much your body needs.

Carbohydrates are needed for optimal performance and replenishing energy used during exercise. 

  • Players with more than 60 minutes of playing time should consume 1-1.2 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. For example: A female that weighs 160 pounds or (divide by 2.2) 72.72 kilograms should have about 72 to 87 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Players such as liberos and setters will need closer to 1.2 grams of carbohydrates as they tend to be on the court for most of the game.
  • Sources of carbohydrates: cereal, bagels, muffins, bananas, granola bars, pretzels, crackers, trail mix, mixed fruit, and sports bars.  

Protein is needed to help with development and maintenance of muscle and bones.

  • Players with more than 60 minutes of playing time should consume 0.25-0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example: A female that weighs 160 pounds or (divided by 2.2) 72.72 kilograms should have about 18 to 22 grams of protein.
  • Players such as outside, middle, and right-side hitters may need closer to 0.3 grams of protein to aid with muscle recovery. 
  • Sources of protein: cheese, chicken, beans, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, sports bars, yogurt, and turkey. 

Fat is important for having lasting energy.

  • Have a good source of fats about 3 hours before practice or matches to avoid gastrointestinal distress or cramping. 
  • Fat sources such as fried foods (cheeseburgers, pizza, donuts, French fries, etc.) should be limited, instead try having healthier sources of fat such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Include a variety of foods and food groups in each meal

  • Include a mixture of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Add different colors to your meal- eat the rainbow!

Hydrate throughout the day

  • Drink fluids before, during, and after volleyball practices, matches, etc.
  • Always keep a water bottle handy and consider a sports drink one hour before and during training.
  • Be aware of dehydration symptoms. Consume frequently with the goal of 4-6 oz every 15 to 20 minutes. 

Meal and Snack Ideas for Volleyball Tournament

Pre-event meal/snack examples (Consumed 2-3 hours before event):

  • Low in fat, small to moderate amount of protein, and whole grain starchy carbs (not too high in fiber)
  • Low fat Greek yogurt with fruit salad
  • Sandwich with chicken, cheese, or nut butter
  • Toast or muffin with avocado
  • Pasta with tomato sauce
  • Sushi (avoid fried fillings)
  • Oatmeal with dried fruit and chopped nuts
  • Bananas
  • Milk

Limited time between (back-to-back volleyball matches or early morning competition):

  • Higher fluid content in smaller amounts
  • Low sugar yogurt with low sugar cereal
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Banana and sports drink
  • Energy bar with water

Small snack options before a match (one hour before volleyball):

  • 8 oz sports drink and half a banana
  • Fig bar
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • Fresh fruit
  • Trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, seeds
  • Crackers with peanut butter or jam
  • Sports bars (with carbs and protein)
  • Banana bread

Post- Competition Recovery (30-60 minutes after finishing volleyball matches):

  • Sports bars (carbs and protein)
  • Chocolate milk
  • Sandwich with meat, fish, or cheese
  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Smoothie

Volleyball Nutrition 101

Reid hall volleyball nutrition banner

Since most volleyball players have never eaten a good diet, they often struggle to realize how crucial nutrition is to performance. Athletes who consume poor nutrition are equivalent to someone who owns a costly vehicle, fuels it with subpar fuel, neglects to get the oil checked regularly, and expects it to function at its best. Volleyball players who eat well perform better for longer, recover more quickly, feel better, and maintain a healthy body composition. This article aims to instruct volleyball players, their parents, and coaches on proper nutrition for volleyball athletes.

Here is a quick breakdown of the macronutrients that we consume 


I don’t have nearly enough time to talk about all of the vital roles that proteins play in the body. The skeleton of our muscles, tendons, and ligaments is made of protein. Athletes need to eat protein with every meal if they want to be strong, powerful, and explosive. Your body starts to break down muscle if you don’t get enough protein throughout the day so that it can use protein as an energy source. You get weaker and more prone to accidents due to this process!

Good protein sources

Turkey, Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Milk, Lean Beef, Nuts, Fish, Chickpeas, Tuna, beans, lentils etc..


The first thing that needs to be made clear is that there are many distinct kinds of fats (including trans fats, Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats, and saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats). You don’t get fat from eating fat. You get obese when you consume the wrong kinds of fat! Consuming good fats actually keeps you lean. Your fat cells can use fat as an energy source more effectively if you eat a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids (burning fat). Your body becomes less able to use fat as an energy source if you consume unhealthy fats on a regular basis.

Good Sources of fat

Avocados, olives, nuts, fish‐ particularly salmon, natural peanut butter, natural almond butter, flax seed, flax seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil.

Bad fats

Anything that comes from a package, anything processed, processed cheese, ice cream, pizza dough. Packaged snack foods, fried foods, candy bars.

Carbohydrates (sugars)

Since carbohydrates are one of our primary energy sources, they are crucial for achieving peak athletic performance. Your body turns the sugars you eat into glycogen when you eat carbohydrates. Glycogen functions much like a car’s fuel tank. The fuel gives the car the necessary energy to drive when you press the gas pedal. Starting an exercise routine causes your fuel tank, glycogen, to start breaking down into sugars, which you will need as energy to meet the demands of the work. Although there are many different kinds of carbohydrates, I will divide them into two groups: simple carbohydrates and complicated carbohydrates.

Simple Carbs (Glucose, Fructose, Galactose, Sucrose, Lactose)

Simple carbs are what people generally refer to as sugar. If someone is eating something that tastes very sweet, then it is generally full of simple carbs.

Examples of foods high in simple carbs

Sports Drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc), candy, most cereals, juices, pop, fruits

Good Things about Simple Carbs

Because your body can utilise the sugar as an instant energy source, simple carbohydrates are excellent to ingest in moderate amounts when exercising. When practicing, competing, or working out, consuming Gatorade or another sugary sports drink will keep your mind and body energized for extended lengths of time. Simple carbohydrate intake during exercise should be proportionate to how long and how hard you are working out. A full bottle of sports drink or two pieces of fruit would provide enough simple carbohydrates for a two-hour, fast-paced practice. You should eat anything from no simple carbohydrates to half of a sports drink or one piece of fruit during a less strenuous workout.

Bad things about simple carbs

Simple carbohydrates should be avoided (with the exception of those found in fruit) unless you are engaging in vigorous exercise. More and more people are becoming overweight in general. Diets high in simple carbohydrates are more closely linked to weight gain than diets high in fat (but it is a combination of the two). Simple carbohydrates are readily digested and absorbed, so they are converted to fat if you aren’t moving and your glycogen stores are full, which they typically are.

Fruits*‐ fruits are composed of simple carbohydrates, but are digested much slower than sport drinks or pop because fruits also contain a high fiber content which slows down digestion. Which means less fat storage!

Complex Carbs

The sugars you ought to eat when you’re not exercising are called complex carbs. As comparison to simple carbs, complex carbs breakdown much more slowly. Even when you aren’t exercising, your body is constantly burning sugar to meet the demands of essential biological functions. Complex carbohydrates can steadily supply your body’s basic energy needs, refill your glycogen stores, and prevent fat storage because of their delayed digestion. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are absorbed very rapidly, provide your body an excessive amount of sugar, and are then stored as fat.

Complex carb sources

Sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, lentils etc…


Each meal should include a half cup of vegetables! Vegetables are rich in the vital vitamins our bodies need to function at their best. Vegetables include a lot of fiber. Fiber slows down the rate at which food is digested. Simple carbohydrates, for example, which are easily digested, are deposited as fat. Vegetables help to increase fiber content, which slows down digestion and allows your body to absorb nutrients more gradually. Despite having few calories, vegetables help you feel full. Consuming a lot of vegetables reduces overeating by reducing hunger cravings.

Balanced Meals

Every meal should have a good balance of healthy fats, proteins, carbs, and vegetables. A healthy meal should contain 45 to 55 percent carbohydrates (unless at night), 30 to 40 percent protein, and 20 to 30 percent fat. Use the percentages as a general guideline rather than placing undue emphasis on them.

Frequency of meals

It is far preferable to have four or five balanced, smaller meals rather than three large ones. Your body can’t properly absorb all the nutrients it is consuming when you consume three heavy meals. You’ll experience low energy levels as a result, and fat storage will also rise. Because your body can properly absorb the nutrients, eating four or five smaller meals is preferable. Eat every three to four hours as recommended.


For athletes, it is without a doubt the most crucial meal of the day. Your body starts producing the cortisol hormone as soon as you wake up in the morning. When you are extremely stressed, the hormone cortisol is also released. Your body enters a catabolic state when cortisol is present, which means that your muscles are being destroyed. Your body can transition from a breaking down state (catabolic) to a building up state more quickly if you can eat in the morning (anabolic).


Examples of balanced breakfasts

  • 2 eggs scrambled with added vegetables, 2 pieces of fruit, and 1 piece of whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter.
  • Plain cooked oatmeal with added blue berries, mixed nuts, greek yogurt, and a scoop of whey protein powder
  • A high fiber low sugar cereal with added berries and nuts

Examples of other healthy meals to be consumed through out the day

  • Half cup of cooked quinoa, mixed vegetables, avocado, chicken breast
  • Sweet potato, salad, Salmon
  • Brown rice, Broccoli, Lentils and Chickpeas, glass of milk
  • Whole wheat pita with mixed vegetables, rice, and turkey

Eating before practice/workouts

45 minutes before physical activity (practice or workout) eat a small to medium sized carb/protein snack.

Examples snacks

  • Piece of fruit and a glass of milk
  • Berries and nuts
  • 1 green apple, 10 raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt, with a banana, oats, and nuts
  • Half of a chicken sandwich
  • Toast with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or almond butter

Post Practice/Exercise

Your body enters a catabolic state during exercise, and it will stay in this state until you eat! This is why many athletes and bodybuilders will consume a protein drink right away following a workout. By taking modest amounts of simple carbohydrates during practice or exercise (sports drink, fruit, etc.), you can reduce the catabolic state that occurs when you exercise. Your body craves nourishment after a hard workout. Following an exercise, your body requires both simple carbohydrates and protein. A wise move is to follow your practice or workout with a Whey Protein smoothie and a banana. Have a meal rich in protein and carbohydrates 45 minutes after practice.

Good options to have immediately post workout:

  • Whey protein shake and a banana
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Tuna Sandwich
  • Greek Yogurt and Berries

Meal options 45 minutes after your workout

This meal should be high in complex carbs and protein.

  • Halibut (or another type of meat), 2/3 cup of quinoa, 2cups of greens (could be a salad, broccoli, asparagus, etc…)
  • Chicken , 2/3 cup of wild rice, potatoes
  • Meat sandwich or pita, with lots of greens and other vegetables, healthy soup, and a glass of milk

Start small with your diet by making adjustments. Doing a complete 180-degree turn and changing several things at once is difficult. I advise concentrating on enhancing one aspect at a time each week. For instance, I’ll concentrate on including more vegetables in each of my meals throughout the first week. I’ll concentrate on having a high-protein, high-carb snack right after practice in week two. You will start feeling and performing at a much higher level as you start to make more and more of these habits a regular. If you experience this level once, you’ll never want to leave!

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