Team USA Beach Volleyball's Emily Stockman x Ultima Replenisher Q&A
How did you get started in your sport? What was your inspiration?
I started sports at a very young age because of my older sister. I wanted to be just like her, so anytime she started a sport, I was quick to follow. We dabbled in many sports, but basketball quickly became my favorite, and I had dreams of playing in the WNBA.
Since I was so focused on basketball I didn’t start playing volleyball until high school. I was a multi-sport athlete all through high school (basketball, volleyball, track, and tennis), however, basketball and volleyball were my favorites. As a junior I was getting recruited for both sports, which was exciting, but I knew I had to pick one. I decided to go the volleyball route and got a full ride scholarship to Wichita State University.
During my time in Wichita my coach talked to me about eventually playing beach volleyball, which I had never seen until the 2008 Olympics. It was something that intrigued me, but I still loved indoor. I graduated from college in 2010 and moved to Europe to pursue a professional indoor career. I played in France, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Maldives from 2010-2014. During that time I would go to California during the summer (offseason) and mess around on the beach.
I was not very good, but I started to fall in love with the beach game. In 2014 I decided my indoor days were over and I moved to California permanently to pursue beach volleyball. I was 26 years old and very behind. Most of the players start beach volleyball at a very young age, so I have had to work twice as hard to make up for lost time. Luckily, I stumbled across one of the best coaches in the world and he is the main reason I am where I am today. It has been an incredible, but grueling journey.
Do you follow a certain diet while training? What does a day-in-your-life of eating & drinking look like?
I don’t follow a certain diet. Luckily I grew up eating pretty healthy so it’s something that’s routine for me. However, I tend to get bored with food, so I like to eat a variety of things. Breakfast is probably my favorite because it’s easy to change up everyday (although coffee is always a staple)! Some of my favorites are overnight oats, avocado toast, 3-ingredient pancakes (mashed banana, egg, 1tbs nut butter), and breakfast burritos.
Lunch is usually on the go so it’s simple, and easy to eat while driving. It could be trail mix and a smoothie, a sandwich/wrap, or some sort of bowl with meat, carbs, and veggies. Dinner almost always consists of meat and salad and/or roasted veggies. Some of my other favorites for lunch and dinner are pizza, gnocchi, mexican food, poke bowls, etc. Like I said, variety is key for me :)
How do you stay hydrated both while training and on rest days? Does the way you hydrate differ between the two?
I’m not going to lie, hydration is something that is very hard for me. I don’t really like drinking water so it’s something I have to constantly force myself to do. Thank goodness for Ultima, having that little bit of flavor to add to water is a game changer.
I definitely drink more water and electrolytes while training, traveling, and during competition. I also try to drink more a few days leading up to competition so I’m fully hydrated and don’t have to play catch up while competing.
When did you learn about electrolytes? What is your favorite kind of electrolytes to drink?
Since I’ve been an athlete pretty much my whole life I’ve been drinking electrolytes as long as I can remember. Water has never been my favorite thing to drink, so I always wanted sports drinks.
I came across Ultima a few years ago, in Sprouts, and it’s been my go-to electrolyte drink ever since.
How do you fit electrolytes into your daily hydration routine?
I always have 1 water bottle of Ultima at practice and then again in the gym. On off days I usually drink 1 bottle throughout the day. There are definitely some fun drink recipes that I’ve seen and want to try.
What is one thing you wish you would have known earlier to support your fitness & health journey?
That not everyone’s journey is the same. It’s a lot of trial and error for what works best for you. Be okay with yours looking/being different from everyone else.
And last but not least, RECOVERY DAYS ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY!!! I love spending my recovery days with my pup Gilbert. Whether it’s an active recovery day and we go on an adventurous hike or we just snuggle up on the couch, they are definitely days we both look forward to.