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Free water surface, described with triangles

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Hello! I have a huge set of coordinates, which represent single triangles. That means, that more than 200000 (small) triangles are located in the 3d-space in that way, that they describe the open water surface. I want to animate the water. Therefore I have the same huge data for every timestep. But for the moment I have enough problems in drawing the triangles for just one timestep. The easy way doing it with glBegin...glVertex3d...glEnd for every triangle is much to slow. If I want to change the view to my result via mouse movements, I have no smooth animation. Any ideas doing the drawing in a better way? And by the way: What might be an easy way to shade the triangles that they look like real water?

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