Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fueling Water Polo - Warriors 2013 Edition

Water polo is one of the toughest sports. It requires many skills such as speed, endurance, strength, and power.  Proper nutrition is the key to achieving your optimum performance, both individually and as a team. Eating the right foods at the right times can:
  • Allow you to train longer & with more intensity 
  • Reduce fatigue 
  • Reduce risk of injury 
  • Help you recover more quickly from practices and games
  • Improve your overall performance

Fueling Water Polo

Carbohydrates (Carbs): whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, rice, fruits, veggies, crackers, low-fat milk & yogurt.
  • Carbs are the main fuel for sports, so most of your calories should come from carbs. 
  • Your muscles use carbs for energy during practice and games, and carbs are also the main fuel for your brain. 
  • Eating carbs before practice will help keep your energy high throughout practice and allow you to train harder. This will help improve your overall performance. 
  • Carbs also “refuel” your muscles after practice and games. Refueling as soon as possible after practice increases your muscles’ energy storage (glycogen) for your next practice. Overtime, this can help you recover more quickly and make practices seem easier, allowing you to train even harder. 
Protein: fish, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, eggs, beans, soy foods, milk, cheese, yogurt.
  • Protein is necessary for muscle recovery and repair after practices and games. 
  • Protein is also very important for growth and development during the teen years. 
  • Getting the right amounts of protein will help you stay healthy, increase muscle mass, and improve your game. 
Fluids → water, sports drinks (Gatorade), milk, 100% juice

  • Fluids are very important before, during, and after training and games. Yes, even though you are in the water, you can still become very dehydrated if you don't drink fluids. 
  • Dehydration can cause headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue. This can really hurt your performance. 
  • It is important to start drinking fluids at least 1 to 2 hours before practice, take quick fluid breaks every 20 minutes during practice, and continue drinking fluids after practice so you can “rehydrate” your body. 
  • Water is fine during games as they are less than one hour long. 
  • However, it is recommended to drink sports drinks with added carbs and electrolytes (like Gatorade) during practice, because practices are long and strenuous. This added fuel will give you energy during the last minutes of practice when your energy is running low. Water with fruit during practice can also work great, but liquid calories like Gatorade tend to digest more easily while swimming.
Tips for Fueling High School Water Polo Practice
on School Days.

ALWAYS EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST AND LUNCH!  How else will you survive the school day?  Student athletes who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom than those who skip breakfast.

Some healthy examples include (but not limited to):
  • breakfastcereal with fruit and milk; large fruit/yogurt smoothie; breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, and ham; pancakes or waffles with fruit and turkey sausage; large bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit and milk; large bagel topped with PB and glass of milk.
  • lunch: brown bag it! Make a healthy lunch at home and bring it to school- PB & jelly sandwiches, deli meat sandwiches, fruits, cheese and crackers, sports bars, water or GatoradeAvoid fatty, greasy fast foods and junk foods because they can cause stomach aches and make you feel tired and sleepy before afternoon practices.

HAVE A QUICK AFTER-SCHOOL SNACK.  It should be small, high-carb food and low in fat so it digests quickly enough before your practice.**
  • Pre-practice snack ideas (have both food & fluids) 
    • Foods: Fruit, granola bar, crackers, or pretzels. 
    • Fluids: Water, Gatorade, small low-fat, skim, or soy milk.
**You now have "Healthy Vending" machines at school, but bringing healthy fuel from home is much cheaper.   

EAT DURING STUDY HALL BEFORE THE LATER PRACTICE SESSIONS:  When study hall and later practice sessions begin, there will be a very long time between lunch and practice, so be sure to bring a "2nd lunch" to eat during study hall.                                                  

REFUEL AND REHYDRATE IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRACTICEEating a snack with carbs and protein as soon as possible after practice (within 30 minutes) helps your muscles recover more quickly. The snack should be readily available in your water polo bag or backpack so you can eat it as soon as possible. Chocolate milk, sports bars, and fruit are a great post-workout recovery snacks.

    EAT A HEALTHY, HEARTY DINNER WITHIN 2 HOURS AFTER PRACTICE; DON'T FORGET FLUIDS TOO!  Your dinner meal will help you refuel and recover for the next day's practice.

    Tips for Fueling on Tournament Days:
    The best food to eat between games will be high in carbs, include a good source of protein, and be low in fat.  And, of course, don't forget fluids! 
    Fatty, greasy foods should be avoided, because they take a long time to digest and may cause stomachaches and fatigue.
    (i.e. NO donuts, fatty pastries, greasy fast foods, etc). 

    Tournament day food ideas that parents can bring and athletes can eat between games:
    -chocolate milk (low fat or soy), fruit, yogurt cups, cheese sticks, bagels and cream cheese, PB&J sandwiches, deli sandwiches like turkey or ham, sports/granola bars, trail mix, pretzels, pita chips, beef jerky, and of course water and Gatorade.

    Remember, the best energy booster and muscle builder for athletes is 
    a healthy sports diet. 

    Go Warriors!


    1. Thank you for posting this nutrition for an athlete like my brother. He will find this information helpful for his health.

    2. Thanks for all the great advice. My son see's a sports nutritionist but I also think there are a lot of great tips here as well!

    3. water is an important source for the existence of every human being...
      Nutrition and Hydration week 2014

    4. This is a very good book for starting your Sports Nutrition and this book is worth for the money. It consists all the A to Z of bodybuilding. I like it and recommend for those who are interested in bodybuilding

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Anxiety and depression are the modern days’ issues that every second person is facing. Unfortunately, lack of discussion and therapy sessions lead to the worst situations. Thus, CBT helps in countering this problem in the correct way as compared to ignoring it. Drug rehab Indianapolis

    7. Woah! I'm really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's hard to get that "perfect balance" between usability and appearance. I must say that you've done a superb job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Safari. Superb Blog!fat burner

    8. every sports man are not only missing, they are are avoiding it. and still people have blind faith in getting paid drugs from other medicals for Sports nutrition. Its important, but i will say its dead for sports man.
      As well as this post is appeared, you rock. Thanks you for give such articles.