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Guest Blog: Fueling the Champion Within: How Proper Nutrition Fuels Athletic Performance

By: Alyx Kruse

Katy, TX | Volleyball | Athletes | Nutrition | Lessons from Players

About the Author

Coach Alyx Kruse is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to Katy in 2011 to continue her passion for volleyball by joining the club experience. Coach Alyx played as a setter in junior high and then middle and right-side hitter in high school. As a former player from Schreiner University in Kerrville, TX, she brings experience from playing middle, right-side, and outside hitter for all 4 years. She has been coaching club volleyball for 7 years from summer camps to her own teams.

The Importance of Nutrition for Athletes

As a volleyball coach, I've seen firsthand the impact of nutrition on an athlete's performance. When I was younger, I didn't realize how much nutrition played a role in my athletic abilities. I used to think that as long as I ate something, I could perform at my best. However, I soon learned that the quality of the food I ate was just as important as the quantity.

As parents of volleyball players, it's important to understand how nutrition can impact your child's performance on the court. One key factor that can impact their performance is proper nutrition. In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of nutrition for high school volleyball players and provide some tips for fueling your child's success.

The Challenges of Eating Healthy

Growing up, my family wasn't big on the "eating healthy" lifestyle, and it was often easier to grab fast food instead of preparing nutritious meals. I thought it was cheaper to go through the drive-thru than to shop for healthier options.

"As I entered college and started making my own choices, I realized that my diet was impacting my athletic abilities. I gained weight, had less stamina, and was more prone to injuries."

The Importance of Complex Carbohydrates

What we eat before a game or practice can have a significant impact on our performance. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for athletes, and they can be broken down into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbs, such as sugary snacks and drinks, provide quick energy, but the "crash" that follows can leave athletes feeling sluggish. On the other hand, complex carbs, like whole grains and vegetables, provide longer-lasting energy that keeps athletes feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Parents should encourage their high school volleyball players to consume complex carbohydrates the night before a game or practice to store energy for the long hours of playing.

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for athletes, and volleyball players are no exception. Encourage your child to eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which provide sustained energy throughout the day.

The Importance of Protein for Recovery

During breaks in games or practices, it's important to refuel with protein-rich snacks and fruits to keep energy levels up. Protein is also essential for recovery after exercise, as it helps repair muscles and tissues. Parents should encourage their high school volleyball players to consume protein within 30 minutes of finishing a game or practice to help with recovery.

Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, which is important for high school volleyball players who are constantly using their muscles. Encourage your child to eat lean proteins like chicken, fish, and beans.

Finding a Balance

While proper nutrition is crucial for athletic performance, it's also important to find a balance. Over-restricting or obsessing over food can lead to negative consequences, both physically and mentally.

"As a coach, I encourage my players to eat a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It's also important to stay hydrated by drinking water regularly throughout the day."

Helping Your Volleyball Player Succeed

As parents of athletes, you play a crucial role in helping your child succeed on and off the court. By understanding the importance of nutrition and encouraging healthy eating habits, you can help your child perform at their best.

Remember to focus on balanced, nutrient-dense meals that provide the energy and recovery your child needs to excel in volleyball and in life.

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