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Roundnet Tournament Nutrition and Hydration Strategies

Roundnet Tournament Nutrition and Hydration Strategies

Prep, Mid-Tournament and Recovery

Written By: Tom Witt - MA Kinesiology


*Strategies YOU can use PREMID and POST roundnet tournament!*

Check out the links for more roundnet related blogs!

'Roundnet World Blog - Roundnet Player/Community Profiles'

'Roundnet World Blog - Be A Better Baller Blog'

Roundnet Tournament Nutrition Strategies

How you prepare for a roundnet tournament in the days and weeks prior - as well as the day of, and the days after the tournament - can have a huge effect on your performance on the day of the tournament

Preparing yourself multiple days ahead of time in terms of nutrition, hydration and proper rest are crucial to playing your best on tournament day.

Being prepared and confident in your mid-tournament nutrition and hydration plans will only help your tournament performance! 

Unfortunately, it does not matter how many cut serves or tweeners you practice before the tournament - if you are unable to play your best due to dehydration, improper fueling and refueling, possible cramping and even serious injury

Take care of your body, YOU deserve it! 

Hydration Recommendations

Water Intake:

A good rule of thumb for athletes to follow is to drink at least an .5-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight throughout a typical day (e.g., someone weighing 160 pounds should drink 80-160 ounces of water a day).

Sweat rate per individual may vary so check the color of your urine leading up to, during and after the tournament! ‘Clear and copious’ in regards to your urine, is a great little rhyme to help with being aware of your hydration. 

I like to add pink himalayan salt to my food and sometimes I’ll pour a nickel sized amount in my hand, and drink that with a cup of water. High quality salt, such as himalayan pink salt, which also contains other minerals will help prevent cramps and keep you playing at your best! 

Rehydration During A Tournament

7-12 ounces of water about 15-30 minutes before tourney.

Drink about 6-8 oz of water for about every 15-25 minutes of activity.

Replenish your minerals lost through sweat by adding in some high quality salt, as mentioned above.

Listen to your body!

Fluids and Hydration | U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

(USADA Fluid & Hydration)

Food Recommendations

Pre-tournament food intake is all about familiarity and confidence that you know how the food you eat will make you feel

Try to fill your ‘plate’ with high quality carbs, proteins and healthy fats

Familiarity is crucial! Choose foods that you have eaten before without any adverse side effects, sluggishness, stomach aches, heartburn, etc.

I’m not big on “counting” macros, but just being aware of choosing quality foods that will help and not hinder your performance, and being aware of how you feel!

Rehearsal Meals

Have “rehearsal” meals leading up to a training day to prepare for what you will eat leading up to tournaments. 

On training days - you can plan breakfast, bring snacks, and see how it makes you feel. 

Experiment with different foods, and think about what you can take on the road with you. Foods that aren’t perishable.

Are you flying? Are you driving? Will you have refrigeration? 

Example Foods - Pre, Mid, or Post Tournament

I try to fill each meal with high quality carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

- Think of Your ‘Plate’ at Each Meal -

- About 20-40% high quality carbs (recommended daily carbohydrate intake for athletes ranges from 6-10 g/kg body weight) 

- 30-50% high quality protein (.5-.8g per lb of body weight)

- 20-35% high quality fat 


Daily recommendation for athletes ranges from 6-10 g/kg body weight - KG to LBs Calculator

Sweet potato, potato, rice, rye or sourdough bread, oatmeal, some fruit but in my opinion not all carbs should come from fruit.

High quality carbs, free of preservatives. Think of food that comes from the ground, not made in a factory. 


I try to add dark leafy greens into my diet such as spinach, arugula, kale, chard, peppers, broccoli, other seasonal vegetables. Make them into a salad, or if you have the ability to cook, sauté them with your other carbs/veggies/proteins.


Daily Recommendation - about .5-.8g per lb of body weight

Eggs, chicken, grass fed beef/elk/bison, almonds, fish, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, mixed nuts, etc. 

Choose high quality proteins free of preservatives and unnecessary sodium or added sugar and other 'stuff'


Healthy oils such as avocado or olive, grass fed butter, nuts, nut butter, avocado, yogurt, eggs. 

There is some fat in most proteins that I am listing, so some will come from there but look for cooking your foods in high quality oils such as avocado oil

Some cooking oils such as canola or even olive oil can cause inflammation in the body and that may affect your performance negatively

Adding in fats from healthy nuts such as walnuts and almonds, or nut butters are great choices as well. Avocados are great, but can be difficult to take with you on tournament day.  

(USADA Nutrition Guide For Athletes)

Tori Farlow is blazing trails for pro female Spikeball players ...

Keep It Natural

Try to stay away from preservatives, non-natural items, unnatural sugar, added sugar, etc.

It is hard to completely avoid these items, but there are ‘better’ choices you can make by reading nutrition/ingredient labels and being aware of how different foods make you feel

Example meal I use before, during and after exercise:

Scrambled eggs and sweet potato cooked in avocado oil, seasoned with himalayan pink salt, rye bread with grass fed butter and a cup of fruit

Bananas give me heartburn, so I avoid them before and during tournaments. I know this because of ‘rehearsal’ meal! 

If you aren’t able to cook your own meal try and do your best to pack foods and research restaurants around that area. If you are in the area the night before, think about ordering another meal at that restaurant to use for the next day. 

Thinking and planning ahead are crucial to success!

Plan Ahead

Cooking in bulk can help!

Carbs such rice, oatmeal, potatoes cook and store well.

Proteins such as chicken, beef, bison, lamb, etc. and hardboiled eggs can store for multiple days and are portable. 

Back Up Items to Bring

Bring items that you can use as a backup in case food is hard to come by in the area you are traveling for the tournament. 

I love RX bars, Epic Bars, trail mix, nut butter packets, dried fruit, nuts, etc. because they are portable, non-perishable, made with mostly natural ingredients and no preservatives/fake ingredients. 

Items that I can bring with me and know I can store in my bag in case I do not have access to ‘healthy foods’. 

I’ll write it again: Have a “rehearsal” meal the night before a training day way before tournament day - plan breakfast, bring snacks, and see how it makes you feel. 

Morning of Tourney:


40-80oz water, nickel sized dollop of himalayan pink salt

Protein -  eggs (2-5) scrambled

Carbs - oatmeal/potatoes/toast/bagel/tortilla/fruit 

Fat - grass fed butter/avocado oil/olive oil. 

If You Are Unable to Cook

If I do not have access to cooking materials needed, I do research and try to find the healthiest restaurant I can in the area (think local juice bar, not a Mickey D’s). 

Look for things like breakfast bagels with eggs and veggies, oatmeal with nuts and berries, burrito bowls, even add a healthy smoothie to get some more fuel on top of your solid food. 

If the restaurant/store has things you like to eat, think about buying extra for breakfast and lunch to use at the tournament. Or even bringing packets of oatmeal and getting some boiling water and a couple of portable nut butter packets to  use for fat and protein.

Penn State Wrestling Dominates Penn State Football In Epic ...

Penn State Football vs. Penn State Wrestling

During Tourney:

It’s all about figuring out what works for you

A good mix of healthy CLEAN carbs, protein and fat is crucial at lunch,

-along with remaining hydrated, and adding some salt back into your system as tourney day goes along. 

Trying to find a balance of not being so full where you feel sluggish, but also having enough fuel to take you deep in bracket play (even if it’s the consolation bracket :) ) 

Mid-Tournament Nutrition Examples

If you go to a restaurant the night before/morning of the tournament - buy a second and even third meal for later!

Egg, Bagel, Veggie Sandwich

- Protein, rice/quinoa, veggie bowl/wrap

- Oatmeal, nut/nut butter, fruit

 - Add in a smoothie

- Just in Case - I like to bring a few RX bars or Epic bars, jerky, nut butter packets, trail mix, water, himalayan salt when I’m traveling away from home for a tournament

If I have a hotel room close enough I will cook some scrambled eggs in avocado oil and whole grain rye toast with grass fed butter during the lunch breaks. 

Rehydration During A Tournament

7-12 ounces of water about 15-30 minutes before tourney.

Drink about 6-8 oz of water for about every 15-25 minutes of activity.

Replenish your minerals lost through sweat by adding in some high quality salt, as mentioned above.

Listen to your body!

Figure Out What Works For You

That is what works for me, something different may work for you. 

Think about taste, digestion, lack of stomach trouble, etc. 

I personally have an issue with heartburn and certain foods trigger that and I have been very hampered by it in the past during roundnet tournaments.

I have tested, and found foods that work for me!

Test out food and have a solid plan, and some back ups, when planning for your tournament travel.  

West Bonus Tour Stop – Spikeball Roundnet Association

After Tourney:

Rehydrate, replenish, sleep. 

If you feel you may be dehydrated, be aware of your weight before tournament day and then try and weigh yourself after the tourney to see how much weight you may have lost. 1lb lost is equal to about .5L of water needed to replenish yourself. 

If someone weighed 150 lbs before the tournament and 146 after, that would be a 4lb weight loss and you would want to try and drink at least 2 liters of water to properly rehydrate and refuel yourself.

Try and get back to your 'regular' weight by drinking water and refueling yourself with high quality carbs, proteins and fats over the hours and days following the tournament. 

Refer to hydration and nutrition guidelines referenced earlier in the article for food ideas!


Sleep is crucial in the days leading up to a tournament for playing/recovery purposes and if you are driving a long way you don’t want to risk falling asleep at the wheel.

As well as being important after a tournament for to properly recover!

Sleep is one of the body’s most important biological functions with roles in performance, cognition, learning, development and mental and physical health.

While there are numerous consequences as a result of inadequate sleepidentifying sleep problems and following the recommended sleep guidelines can help ensure sporting performance is maximized.

After the tournament it is crucial that you recover, and sleep is necessary!

How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need?

The National Sleep Foundation also set broad recommendations for hours of sleep:  

  • School age children (6-13 years) is 9-11 hours

  • Teens (14-17 years) is 8-10 hours

  • Young adults (18-25 years) is 7-11 hours

  • Age 26-64 is 7-9 hours

  • Age 64 + is 7-9 hours

*It is noted that each recommended range has an upper and lower range that, “may be appropriate” which stretches the school age range from 7-12 hours, the teen from 7-11 and the young adult from 6-11 hours.

Read more about Roundnet Athletes and Sleep

Importance of Rest - Sleep Studies

An article from titled, “How Sleep Works” states a few important studies conducted on athletes regarding sleep. “Lack of sleep lengthens an athlete’s immediate recovery time, but has detrimental long-term effects as well. In fact, if sleep issues are not addressed, they have the power to cut an athlete’s career short. 


"When women’s 
tennis players increased their nightly sleep to 10 hours, they also experienced improved sprint times by 1.5 seconds as well as their serve accuracy by 23.8 percent.” (, How Sleep Works)

“A 2014 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that adolescents who played a game following a night of fewer than 8 hours of sleep were nearly twice as likely to get injured as those who got 8 hours of sleep.” (, How Sleep Works)

Sleep and MLB Players

In 2013, a study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine followed 80 Major League Baseball players over a period of three seasons. Their sleeping habits were recorded before the start of the 2010 season and ranked according to the Epworth sleepiness scale. 

Players who scored high for sleepiness were less than 40 percent likely to still be playing three seasons lateras compared with 72 percent of players who scored low on sleepiness.” 

Feeling a Lil Sore? HEAT, Not Ice, is Your Best Friend!

Recent data shows that HEAT may be a preferable method for recovery for athletes!

The authors of “Hot or Cold Therapy, What’s Best for Muscle Recovery” state, 

Heat relaxes muscles. “While icy temperatures help reduce inflammation, heat helps dilate blood vessels and promotes blood flow,” Kurtz says. If your muscle is spasming, heat is best.”

When pain from injuries and over-inflammation are too much to handle - ice can be a good means of helping to recover. If you have an injury or too much inflammation, steer clear of heat therapy for at least two to three days. 

“After the acute phase of the injury, you can use heat to help with recovery and relax muscles,” Kurtz says. “A heat pack or submersion in a hot tub may help with muscle strains and promoting range of motion.” (Hot Or Cold Therapy: What’s Best For Muscle Recovery?, 2018, Henry Ford Health System Staff, )

As always, listen to your body!

Overall Takeaway

Do your best to stay hydrated and eat healthy ALL the time. 

The more you can practice these strategies leading up to a roundnet tournament, the better prepared you will be to perform your best. 

Have ‘rehearsal meals’.

Prepare and be aware

Listen to your body - Know what foods work and don’t work for YOU and plan accordingly.

Practice these hydration and fueling strategies multiple days before the tournament. 

Spike On,

Tom Witt

Check the links for more roundnet articles!

'Roundnet World Blog - Roundnet Player/Community Profiles'

'Roundnet World - Be A Better Baller Blog'

Witt Roundnet Round-Up’ 

Roundnet Sport in Texas | Kwaddle | Enrichment For Kids. Better ...

Who Is Tom Witt?

Hi, I'm Tom! I am the editor of the Roundnet World blogs!

I have been playing roundnet since about 2011! 

I have been ranked as high in the 'Spikeball' world as 2nd wayyyy back in the day as team 'Chico Orchards'! 

While being fortunate enough to travel to over 25 states - I have been ranked in the top 25 nationally with partners such as Spikeball Roundnet NATIONAL CHAMP - Preston Bies and Australian NATIONAL CHAMP - Mike Eberhardt. As well as being the former partner of 3x NATIONAL CHAMP - Skyler Boles. 

I earned my bachelors and masters degrees in kinesiology from Chico State University!  #ChicoYouKnow - Where I published the FIRST EVER peer-reviewed study on roundnet, "A descriptive study of roundnet". 

I like sports, breakfast foods, and ice cream!


1. Nutrition for Athletes,

2. USADA Nutrition Guide For Athletes,


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  • Richard

    Pork pie and a cheese and Branston pickle sandwich is the best mid-tournament lunch for me – elite tier lunch

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