Ever wonder what foods will help to fuel your dancer’s body? Remember that dance combines both artistry and athleticism. Dancers get to stay fit and healthy, all while having fun! Just like exercise should be an important part of your health, so is eating the correct foods. What dancers eat before class can have a major effect on their performance during class. Note that I am not a Nutritionist or a Dietician. I am simply offering my knowledge and general tips on this topic :) The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science states, “Dancers need to consume sufficient quantities of energy, or fuel, from the major food groups to preserve metabolic function, hormonal and growth regulation, as well as to meet the demands required by their activity. When the body is given what it needs to function at a high level, the need for overly restrictive eating is minimized.”
FIVE QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOUR DANCER!
Fuel appropriately for all activities: eat breakfast soon after waking up and prior to class. Be prepared: plan healthy meals and snacks in advance to ensure optimum energy levels.
Seek out a variety of foods and fuel sources for optimum performance nutrition. Diets do not work. Healthy eating is an enjoyable lifelong process.
Always check the ingredients’ labels and monitor portions. Wherever possible, eat foods in their natural form rather than highly processed alternatives.
Drink water frequently and stay hydrated with meals. Stay hydrated by drinking non-sugared liquids. Don’t restrict fluids during meals or exercise. Drink more to delay dehydration and diminish a rise in core temperature. Water is the best replacement for sweat loss as sweat is mostly water and sodium. Water is easy to obtain, has no additives, and is quickly absorbed. Sodium replacement is not necessary, but for those who sweat profusely, electrolytes may be recommended.
Prioritize sleep quality and quantity; balance rest and daily training. Did you know that 80% of injury recovery is due to adequate rest, nutrition and sleep?