Training as hard as you possibly can in any sport will only take you so far. You need to ensure that your body is getting the right fuel to keep your engine running, keep your body healthy, and improve your body. With the right foods, you can greatly improve your athletic performance on the volleyball court, which, as you will know, will boost your game massively.

So, to help you get that extra edge and improve your volleyball training, here is a bunch of different foods to help you get what you need. Each section considers various dietary needs, so all volleyball players should be able to find something to help boost their volleyball gains.

Up your calcium

Calcium is crucial to everyone’s diet, particularly athletes. While the mineral offers many health perks to athletes, its ability to build bones and keep them healthy is the biggest reason why athletes opt for calcium-rich foods.

When people think of calcium, their minds immediately turn to dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheeses. While they do boast large amounts of calcium, they can bring negative elements, such as saturated fat, with them. But, plain, non-fat and low-fat varieties of Greek yoghurt and regular yoghurt can provide high levels of calcium while keeping you full on fewer calories, but many experts agree that Greek yoghurt does have a nutritional edge between the two.

Luckily for those who need a dairy-free diet, there are plenty of quite surprising sources of calcium. One of the best non-dairy calcium contenders is white beans, which are also loaded with iron. Bok choy, dried figs, and kale also pack a calcium punch and, if you can have fish in your diet, sardines and canned salmon also offer plenty of calcium.

Pack in more minerals

Calcium isn’t the only mineral that a volleyball player’s body can benefit from greatly. Other minerals like iodine, magnesium, and iron also boost the body in a variety of ways.

For a high-mineral meal that also brings many other healthy elements, the best sushi dishes should be sought out. The nori – thin sheets of seaweed – contains a huge array of mighty minerals. It’s packed with iron, magnesium, iodine, calcium, folic acid, and antioxidant phytonutrients. Best of all, the fish that the nori is wrapped around is often high in protein, low in calories, and rich in the cholesterol-busting omega-3 fatty acids.

Don’t worry, if you’re averse to eating fish, or raw fish, plenty of the best sushi dishes are sansfish. Sushi has an understandable reputation of just being for fish lovers, but menus are often loaded with vegetarian options. For that mineral kick from the nori from a very popular dish, you can turn to the mineral-rich shiitake mushroom rolls.

Get that protein

As with any sport, improving at volleyball isn’t just skill based. You need to build strong muscles that perform to your needs on the court. This is where protein comes in. Protein is crucial to tissue repair, which in turn is crucial to building strong muscles.

As you will most probably know, meat is a huge source of protein. But to consume protein healthily, you need to seek the lean meats and avoid consuming too much saturated fat. Pork loin is a great way to go, with its huge protein upside and low saturated fat count. Skinless chicken and skinless turkey also provide similar upsides.

But, if meat is not a staple of your diet or you’re trying to veer away from meat, you can turn to the sprouted seed quinoa. Considered to be a super grain, quinoa offers about twice as much protein as you’ll find in other grains. On top of this, quinoa is a rare example of food containing all nine essential amino acids needed to recover from workouts and build lean muscle.

There you have it; get these foods incorporated into your diet to receive many healthy perks and give a boost to your volleyball training.