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Nutrition Tips

By Coach Aaron Arias, 09/16/22, 5:00PM PDT


Wanna get fit for Water Polo?

Get ready for Water Polo with the right nutrition plan. This comes directly from Coach Aaron Arias, who has pulled it together from his coaches throughout the years.  

Please Download and Share the Nutrition Guide With your Player

Futures Team: Please Complete the Post Competition Weekly Goals.

MWP Nutrition Guide


At least 1 hour before AM workout

1 cup cooked oatmeal (1/2 cup dry)

2 Tbsp nut butter

1⁄2 cup blueberries or small banana

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1⁄2 cup fat free milk

Hydration: 1-2 cups water


Post weights (if morning workout is just weights)

Muscle milk or Chocolate milk or protein bar (if not able to tolerate liquid before)

Drink water during weight session

During Training

Sips of liquids- water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes

Applesauce or sports chews every 60 minutes

Post AM training

Right away- 1-2 cups water/powerade with Chocolate milk

After shower- nuts, fruit, bagel, 2 cups water



Whole wheat Wrap

Canned Tuna with Avocado to mix or 6 oz chopped chicken breast

Add handful of cooked brown rice or corn


Fresh fruit on the side

2-3 cups water


Pre-Afternoon practice

Have applesauce squeeze prior to starting PM practice

During Training

Sips of liquids- water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes

Applesauce or sports chews every 60 minutes

Post PM practice


6 oz chicken breast, shrimp or salmon

2 fistfuls (2 cups) of brown rice or quinoa (½ plate)

Stir-fry vegetables (peppers, onion, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes) cooked with olive oil

Evening Snack

Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and chopped walnuts or sliced almonds

Men’s Water Polo Healthy Snack List

- Fresh Fruit

- Hummus with whole wheat pita chips or pita bread or pretzel thins

- String Cheese

- Fig Bars

- Turkey Jerkey

- PB/Banana Honey Sandwiches

- Shelled Edamane with Sea Salt

- Any nut butter with fresh fruit

- Greek yogurt

- Raw nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)

- Trail mix

- Sugar Snap Crisps

- Baby carrots

- All natural popcorn


Healthy, Easy, and Fast Breakfast Ideas to Fuel Your Performance


Be sure to include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats into each meal!


Here are some great ideas to get you started:



  • Yogurt or cottage cheese bowl:
    • Combine 1 cup of fat free plain yogurt or cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of raw oats. Top with fresh fruit and 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts of your choice, or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter.
  • Breakfast wrap:
    • Start with a whole-wheat tortilla. Cook up 4 egg whites or 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites with any veggies that you have on hand (mushrooms, onions, and peppers are great options). Add sliced deli meat to up the protein. Optional toppings: salsa, non-fat plain greek yogurt, 1/4 avocado, or 1/4 cup of low-fat cheese.
  • Oatmeal:**
    • Cook 1/2 cup of plain oatmeal on the stove. Add two egg whites to the pot in order to increase the protein. Serve with fresh fruit and 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts of your choice, or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter.
  • Overnight Oats:**
    • In a bowl, combine 1 cup oats with 1 cup oats (or equal parts). Let sit 4-5 hours or overnight. Optional: Add ¼ cup greek yogurt, fruit of choice, raisins, 1 tbs. nut butter, or top with nuts in the morning
  • Fast egg sandwich:
    • Toast 1 whole-wheat bagel thin or English muffin. In a small bowl, microwave 3-4 egg whites or 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites with spinach leaves and a dash of salt. Place in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Watch the eggs so that they don’t overflow. Spoon egg out of the bowl (they will come out in a single patty) and place on the English muffin or bagel thin. Optional: smear a wedge of light Laughing Cow cheese on the muffin or bagel thin. Top with tomato, avocado, or any other desired vegetables.
  • Fruit Smoothie:**
    • Combine 1/2 cup of plain non-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt with 1 cup of frozen berries, a handful of ice, 1/2 banana, almond milk or milk to taste, and 1 tbsp of natural peanut or almond butter. Optional: add a handful of spinach (you won’t be able to taste it!) or scoop of whey protein powder
  • Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
    • Combine 1 whole banana, 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt, 1 handful of ice, 1/4 cup raw oats, 1 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter, almond milk or milk to taste. Optional: sweeten with 1 tbsp of honey or add scoop of whey protein powder
  • Protein Pancakes:**
    • In a bowl, mix 1 mashed banana, 2 tbs ground flax, 2 tbs cinnamon, 3 tbs egg whites, 1/4 cup applesauce, 1 scoop vanilla whey, and 3 tbs whole wheat flour. Pour small-medium drops of batter to make 4-5 pancakes. About 1-2 minutes each side. Top with cinnamon, yogurt butter, and agave syrup.
  • Whole Wheat & Flax Pancakes:**
    • Combine 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, 2 tbs ground flax, 1 tsp trivia, 1 egg white and 3 tbs skim milk. Top with yogurt butter, 1 tbs PB & drizzle lite syrup. 


A Day in the Food Life for Water Polo Champions:


Citrus fruit or juice or cup of strawberries or blueberries

Omelet with green veggies, tomato and nonfat cheese

1 small bowl oatmeal, whole grain cereal or slice of whole grain bread

1 Tbsp nut butter



AM snack

Granola Bar or Trail Mix

Fresh fruit or unsweetened applesauce




Turkey wrap or sandwich with low fat whole wheat tortilla or bread

4-6 oz turkey


¼ avocado

1 small bag baked chips

1 apple or pear

Baby carrots with hummus



PM snack

Fresh fruit smoothie with lowfat greek yogurt and ground flaxseed

Or lowfat greek yogurt with fresh fruit, chopped nuts and granola




Grilled chicken salad with whole grain roll and fruit or

Fresh grilled fish with veggies and baked sweet potato or

Sushi with edamane, miso soup and salad or

Pasta with veggies and marinara sauce (made with ground turkey)



Evening snack

Frozen low fat yogurt with fresh fruit topping or air popped popcorn with parmesan


Coach and Athlete Guide to Fueling Around Competition and Practices

Pre-Game Meal- 3 hours before

The goal is to top off energy stores to enter the competition fully fueled (should be rich in carbohydrates and contain high quality protein, and low in fat.

Fluid Needs

16-32 ounces of Powerade and water


Meal Ideas

- Veggie omelet with 2 slices whole wheat toast and fruit

- Oatmeal with banana and chopped walnuts and fruited yogurt

- Grilled chicken sandwich with a baked potato topped with broccoli and salsa

- Pasta with grilled chicken breast covered in marinara sauce

- Turkey breast sub on whole wheat bread with baked chips and fruit


Nutrition-Before, During, and After for Optimal Performance


Before Game (30-45 minutes prior to game)

Consuming lower fiber, higher glycemic carbohydrates can help the players to maintain their energy, focus, and concentration throughout play.

Provide fresh fruit, Muscle Milk bar, unsweetened applesauce cups, water

or Fluids- 8-12 ounces of Powerade


During Game

Both hydration and energy can usually be maintained with the consumption of  water/sports drink periodically throughout the game. The goal is to drink between ½ - 1 cup of Powerade after every 15-20 minutes. The body will be adequately hydrated and given quick energy!
Quick Snack Ideas

  • Unsweetened applesauce packs or banana
  • Nutrigrain bar


After Game (within 30 minutes)

Step One

Muscle Milk, fresh fruit (bananas, apples, oranges), low-fat granola bars within 30 minutes

Step Two (within 2 hours of finishing game)

Eat a well-balanced meal!


- Whole wheat pita sandwich with turkey and veggies + pretzels + low-fat milk

- Bean and Cheese Burrito (beans, cheese, salsa, avocado + on whole wheat tortilla)

- Stir fry with lean steak or shrimp, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots + brown rice

- Salmon with spinach and sweet potato + low-fat milk

Or if your goal is to gain weight you can try a diet like this –

Breakfast before workout –
1 cup Oatmeal
4 scrambled eggs
1 avocado

Post workout smoothie -
1 cup of oats
1 banana
8oz. of egg whites
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 ½ cups of frozen fruit
(You can add protein powder as well but real food is always better.  Up the eggs or yogurt before adding protein powder.  It’s about getting real and healthy carbs, protein and calorie replacement after a workout.)

Lunch #1-
Two tuna fish or turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread
½ pound of pasta with very little sauce or 1 cup of rice or sweet potatoes
Generous handful of spinach


10oz. chicken
1 cup of rice or two sweet potatoes
Generous handful of spinach

Lunch #2 -
10oz. fish
1 small sweet potato or ½ cup of rice
More spinach

Dinner -
10oz. chicken, steak or fish
1 cup of rice or potatoes with mixed veggies

Before Dinner -
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich or another smoothie (as long as your body can tolerate it before you go to bed).  If it keeps you up, do not eat before bed.  Sleep is more important.


The most important thing is to never skip meals.  This is a 4 meal day (two lunches).  Bring trail mix, builders bars, fruit, veggies, and water with you throughout the school day so you always have something to snack on.