Volleyball Tournament Tips to Keep Fueled

It’s tournament time!

When the difference between playing in the tournament or going home early may be who has fueled the best!

Pre-tournament- Give yourself plenty of time to get a healthy breakfast before the match. Preferably 2 hours or more before your first match. This will set the tone for the rest of the day.

What to eat:

  • Whole grain cereal such as bran flakes, Raisin Bran, Kashi Go Lean, Cheerios
  • Whole grain breads: Toast, English Muffins (Thomas), bagels (Orrowheat,Sara Lee)
  • Fruit
  • Scrambled eggs with low fat cheese, veggies
  • Yogurt (make into a parfait with a low fat granola or Kashi Go Lean)
  • Energy bars or bites (see recipe attached)
  • Water (try to get in at least 16 oz before match), 100% fruit juice or milk

What may leave you feeling sluggish:

  • Cereals that turn your milk colors: Lucky Charms, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, etc
  • Donuts, pastries, Danishes
  • Candy bars or sweetened breakfast bars
  • Coffee drinks full of sugar & fat such as Frappes
  • Fried foods

During the tournament you may have hours or it may be even minutes before going to the next match. Even though you are tired and just want to relax you still need to make hydrating & fueling a priority.

What to eat or Drink during the Tournament & Recovery:

  • WATER- keep sipping throughout the whole entire day
  • Fruits (banana, apple, oranges, berries)
  • Veggies ( try Greek yogurt mixed with ranch packet for dip)
  • Nuts:almonds, pistachios, walnuts and any seed
  • Dried fruit (watch the portions):Use the nuts/seeds and a dry cereal for a trail mix
  • ¼ sandwiches:pb &j, turkey & cheese
  • Energy bars & bites (see recipes)
  • Yogurt & low fat cheese wedges (Babybel/laughing cow)
  • Pretzels, popcorn, jerky
  • Milk, sports drinks (if too nervous to eat), 100% fruit juice box

What to avoid during tournament day (The Cs):

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Candy bars
  • Coke and other pops

Tips for parents and players:

  • Label all water bottles and lunch bags with players name and team
  • Designate a “tournament” lunch bag, that has some sort of thermos type padding
  • Designate a “tournament” water bottle and have extra water in the car for the ride home
  • Freeze juice boxes and add to lunch bag to act as a cold pack
  • Have players prepare and pack their own tournament lunch bag
  • Label snacks with times so the players can keep track & fuel throughout the day

Treats can be done in moderation just remember what touches your lips is fuel for performance. Don’t you want yours to be high octane fuel?

On the Go Granola Bars


½ cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted) or any other nuts
½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 2/3 cup raisins or any other dried fruit
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups rolled oats (quick oats are fine too)
2 cups whole grain cereal
½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
½ cup natural honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Coat a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine nuts, seeds, raisins, chocolate chips, oats, and cereal in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Combine peanut butter and honey in microwave save bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and microwave for additional minute or until bubbly.
  4. Add vanilla and stir until well blended.
  5. Pour half of mixture into dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until mixture in well blended.
  6. Once everything is completely mixed together, pour other half of peanut butter mixture in to bowl and continue to mix. It is important to get every little scrape into the mixture to avoid stickiness.
  7. Form mixture into a big ball and place in prepared pan. Press down firmly on the ball to flatten the mixture into the pan. You can use your fingers or a wooden spoon.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Once mixture has hardened, cut out bars. I would advise to individually wrap them to avoid molding. You can freeze half the bars for later use and put some in the fridge so you can just grab one and go.

Oatmeal Energy Clusters
  • 2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 2/3 cup Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Step-by-step directions
  • In a large bowl, mix together the Oats, Chocolate Chips, and Coconut. Add the Peanut Butter, Honey, Vanilla, Salt, and mix well until evenly combined. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour then roll out balls about an inch in diameter. Store in an airtight container & can be frozen.