Protein intake is an indispensable requirement
for a water polo players growth and maintenance. Every cell
in a polo players body needs protein to carry out it's functions.
The amount of protein required for normal health is variable
depending on many factors, namely, body weight, age, physical
activity, health condition, environment etc.
Generally, protein intake should be in equilibrium
with protein loss. Protein is lost in urine, feces, blood, sweat,
skin, nails, hair etc. When protein intake is less than protein
lost, it is called negative protein balance, whereas
when it is the reverse it is called positive protein balance.
Ideally, for normal adults a neutral protein balance
should be attained.
Young, growing water polo players, however, require
more protein per unit weight than adults in normal condition
and therefore should be in positive protein balance. They are
gaining muscle, bones, flesh and blood, and since for every
cell in these body parts protein is a requirement, the required
daily protein allowance is higher.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
The idea of eating more protein has gained popularity
in the past few years. Some people think the way to build body
muscle is to eat high-protein diets to increase mass & strength,
but it is also very important to think about recovery
Proteins play a key role in our bodies. They make up about
15% of the average person’s body weight. You probably
know proteins as the major component of muscle. Muscles flex
arms and legs, contract our hearts and create waves in the walls
of our intestines to move food along. All this muscle activity
accounts for most of the energy our bodies burn. The more muscle
you have, the more calories you burn and the more food you need
to maintain your weight.
Proteins also perform crucial activities within all the cells
of your body. They move molecules from one place to another,
build structures, break down toxins and do countless other maintenance
jobs. Proteins play an important structural role in cells as
well, making up a sort of miniature skeleton.
Proteins are actually chains of small molecules called amino
acids. Some of these chains are constantly being broken down,
and new ones are strung together to take their place. Your body
can make some of these amino acid building blocks, but not all
of them. The ones you can’t make are called essential
Meat in general is a good source of protein, with a full mixture
of all the essential amino acids . However, it can be high in
fat. Try to select lean cuts such as top round and sirloin.
Poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes (dry beans or peas
such as lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans) are also good sources
Types of Protein
The two main proteins that help to build power and muscle for
water polo players are casein protein and whey protein.If
used in the right context they can reduce the destructive effects
of catabolism and improve
the recovery and repair of tired muscles. ..... catabolism is
the kiss of death to anyone who wants to increase their energy
Whey is a fine liquid that is left over when cheese is produced.
This liquid is dehydrated to form whey protein powder. Whey
protexin is a relatively inexpensive protein and can be produced
in high quantities. Whey protein is a fast acting protein, it
absorbs quickly through the digestive channels. It enters the
bloodstream within twenty minutes of ingestion, and is utilized
by the tissues that need protein (muscle).
Peak production of whey protein once it enters into the bloodstream
is about fifty minutes. After that it begins to degrade in the
blood. This is why it is important to continually feed the body
with protein. Because it doesn't last long in the blood system
and must be replenished in order to keep feeding the tissues,
especially muscles. Remember, when you breakdown the tissue
you must rebuild it. It is a constant battle between protein
synthesis and breakdown. If you only take in a little protein,
the tissues won't get enough to rebuild and repair.
Casein also comes from dairy products - cheese and milk. The
protein molecular structure of casein is more bound than that
of whey protein. For this reason, casein is a slower metabolizing
protein. Casein, like whey, will travel through the digestive
channels with relative ease and will bypass strenuous hydrolysis
through the liver. Once casein enters into the blood stream,
peak production can last between three to four hours. This is
considerably longer than whey.
This is a good protein to ingest after a long intense exercise
bout. The muscles are tired and in need of a good supply of
protein. So it only makes sense that you would want to keep
an ample supply of protein coursing through the blood system
to restore and constantly feed the muscle. Keeping the muscle
fed ample amounts of protein will drastically reduce catabolism.