Best Volleyball Snacks for Tournaments

Best Volleyball Snacks for Tournaments

Best Volleyball Snacks for Tournaments

When preparing for a full-day volleyball tournament it is important to know what snacks to pack to meet your sports nutrition needs.  Having a well-thought-out sports nutrition plan in place can keep you going strong all day long.

Volleyball Snacks: Plan Ahead

Don’t rely on concession stands to meet your sports nutrition needs at a volleyball tournament. Prior to the tournament take time to plan what food and drinks you will pack. 

When you are planning what volleyball snacks to take to the tournament, make sure to consider the following:

  • Travel: Car, bus, airplane, hotels
  • Time: Start time of first match
  • Competition: Number of potential matches your team may play
  • Cooler: How you will pack your snacks for the day

In addition to food, make sure to pack an empty water bottle you can refill to stay hydrated while you travel and at the tournament. 

For additional ideas on hydration while traveling, check out my blog on the best gas station drinks for athletes

Plan Volleyball Snacks Ahead

Travel: Pack Your Volleyball Snacks

If you are headed out of town for competition, consider what you will eat for breakfast the morning of the tournament. It can be helpful to pack snacks to eat in the hotel room for breakfast prior to a day on the court. 

Breakfast volleyball snack ideas:

  • Fruit: Banana, apples, oranges, grapes
  • Instant packaged oatmeal
  • Bagels
  • Breakfast bars
  • Nut butter

A Note on Nut Butters

Nut butters make a great topping on bagels, dip for your breakfast bars, and are delicious stirred into oatmeal for added flavor and nutrients. In addition to enjoying nut butters for breakfast they make a great addition to your volleyball tournament snacks.

Rather than packing a whole jar of nut butter, Justin’s® has a variety of nut butters available in a convenient 1.15 oz individual squeeze pack. These packs are perfect for travel and can be easily be thrown into your volleyball bag for the trip. 

SunButter® products are a great option for those with nut allergies. Their products are made with sunflower seeds and are allergen free. Sunbutter® also makes individual 1.1 oz packs that are convenient for travel.

Good Snacks for Volleyball Tournaments

Snacks for Between Volleyball Matches

Carbohydrates provide the body with the energy needed to perform at its best. As you exercise, you use up your carbohydrate stores, thus refilling these stores between events is important. 

When you have limited time between matches, make nutrition a priority. Grab a quick carbohydrate-rich snack to ensure you start your next match with a full tank of energy. 

Easy, high-carb snack ideas include:

  • Fruit: Bananas, oranges, apple slices, grapes, applesauce squeeze pouches, dried fruit, fruit cups
  • Granola bars, breakfast bars, fig bars, mini bagels, dry cereal, graham crackers, animal crackers
  • Salty Snacks: Pretzels, pita chips, snack crackers
  • Sports drinks, gels, or chews
Carbohydrate Rich Snacks

Volleyball Tournament Snacks: Mini-Meals

When you have more time between volleyball matches turn your snack into a mini-meal. Focus on eating healthy snacks that are high in carbohydrates, contain moderate amounts of protein, and are low in fat. 

Eating salty snacks between matches can also be beneficial, as they will help replace the sodium lost in sweat. Sodium also helps stimulate thirst (1), thus encouraging you to rehydrate during the break.

Volleyball mini-meal snack ideas include:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sports drink
  • Turkey wrap, pretzels, and grapes
  • Crackers, sliced ham, string cheese, and fruit cup
  • Trail mix (made with pretzels, dried fruit, breakfast cereal, nuts) and sports drink
  • Breakfast bars with nut butter and a banana
  • Pretzels, jerky, and sports drink
Mini Meal Snack Ideas

Post-Game Volleyball Snacks: Recovery Nutrition

Finally, when considering your snacks for the volleyball tournament, don’t forget to plan for snacks that can meet your recovery nutrition needs.

Recovery nutrition is particularly important for volleyball players when there is limited time between games. Thus, if the team will be competing again the following day, recovery nutrition should be prioritized.

The goal of recovery nutrition is to replace the fuel and fluid used during the volleyball matches. The three areas of recovery nutrition that volleyball players should focus on include:

  1. Fluid and Electrolytes: Rehydrate to replace fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat
  2. Carbohydrates: Refill energy stores (glycogen stores) used during the activity
  3. Protein: Build and repair muscles

Post-Game Volleyball Snack Ideas

Easy recovery nutrition snack ideas for volleyball players include:

  • Granola bars with low-fat chocolate milk
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with low-fat milk
  • Ham and cheese wrap with sports drink
  • String cheese and fig bars with low-fat milk
  • Greek yogurt, berries, granola with tart cherry juice
  • Sports bar with sports drink

Volleyball players should then follow-up their snack with a well-planned post-game meal within the next couple of hours. For a variety of team dinner ideas, check out my blog on easy team dinner ideas for sports teams.

Recovery Nutrition Snacks for Volleyball

Importance of Hydration for Volleyball Players

Make sure to pack extra water and sports drinks in your cooler for the volleyball tournament. 

Dehydration can negatively impact sports performance and increase the risk of heat illness (2). Thus, focusing on hydration is important for volleyball players competing in a full-day of tournament play.

Hydration for Volleyball Players

During activity, you sweat in order to remove heat from your body. When you sweat, you lose both fluid and electrolytes. The main electrolyte lost in sweat is sodium.

Therefore, when focusing on staying hydrated, it is important to consume both fluid and sodium.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are formulated to contain carbohydrates and electrolytes. 

When consumed during activity, the carbohydrates in the sports drink provide energy for the working muscles. The electrolytes in the sports drink help replace the electrolytes lost in sweat.

Consuming a sports drink between events may be beneficial for volleyball players, especially when there is little time between matches. 

If space is limited in your cooler, consider purchasing individual packets of sports drink mix that can be added to your water bottle. Keeping several packets of your favorite sports drink mix in your volleyball bag can definitely come in handy.

Importance of Hydration

Volleyball Snacks: Food Safety

Don’t neglect the importance of food safety when planning your volleyball snacks. Here are a few ways you can stay on top of food safety at your next volleyball tournament.

Wash Your Hands

The first step to food safety is washing your hands. Make sure to wash your hands prior to preparing or eating any of your volleyball snacks. 

When you do not have access to soap and water, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Choose a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 

To apply the hand sanitizer, rub the gel all over your hands and fingers. Continue rubbing your hands together until they are dry. 

Throw a hand sanitizer gel into your volleyball bag to ensure you have it available when needed.

Volleyball Tournament Snacks: Maintain Temperature Control

Another key aspect of food safety is maintaining temperature control. 

It is important to store food at the appropriate temperatures to prevent bacterial growth. To ensure food safety, cold food should be held below 40°F.

At your volleyball tournament, it is essential to make sure all perishable foods are held cold throughout the day. Pack items such as deli meat, cheese, yogurt, chocolate milk, and cut fruit, in an ice chest. 

When you grab your snack from the cooler, remove only the quantity of food you plan to eat at that time. Taking time to meal prep and pack your snacks in individual size serving bags can help with this.

Any food items that are held without temperature control for two hours or more should be thrown away. Don’t take the risk of getting a foodborne illness from inappropriately stored snacks.

Voleyball Snacks Food Safety

Ready to Pack Your Volleyball Tournament Snacks

You are now set with ideas for planning volleyballs snacks. Make sure to plan ahead and pack snacks to provide you with the energy needed to perform at your best through the final match. 

If you are interested in additional sports nutrition tips for athletes, check-out my recent blog: 3 Keys to Building Healthy Breakfasts for Athletes.

Join the Nutrition By Mandy Email List & Get a Free Athlete’s Grocery List

Click HERE to join the Nutrition By Mandy e-mail list. When you join you will receive a free athlete’s grocery list to print and take with you to the store.

About the Author

Mandy Tyler is a Sports Dietitian Nutritionist in the San Antonio, TX area. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Licensed Athletic Trainer, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine.  Mandy has experience working with athletes at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. She believes the key to reaching one’s full potential, both in everyday life and in sports performance, relies on a healthy nutritional foundation. 

Scroll to Top