Dance is such a niche art form; it requires theatrics, mental dexterity, technical prowess, and athleticism. With all of these qualities, we must remember to nurture each one. Today we will focus on how to nurture our athleticism. The athletic capabilities of dance are no joke; moving and forming in ways the body does not naturally do, so it is important to take care of the body being that we only get one. Proper rest and stretching can help with recovery and energy, but what you eat is just as important. Below are some tips and information to help you make the best choices for yourself:
Food is Fuel: Without proper amounts of fuel, you will not have enough energy to perform at your best. Make sure you are eating before class and rehearsals so that you can present your best work.
Eat until you are Satisfied: Listen to your body when you eat, don’t force yourself to eat more or less. Our bodies are so amazing in the fact that they send signals to our stomachs to let us know when we are hungry and full. If you know you will be hungry right before class, make sure to pack something to snack on in the car or the lobby before class. Eat after class to regain strength and recover from exercise.
Drink Water: Our body is made of about 60% water, so it’s important to replenish and hydrate yourself! Younger dancers who might dance as much should drink around ½ an ounce of water per pound of body weight, while older dancers who dance multiple times throughout the week should drink about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight or more. Remember your body won’t tell you it’s thirsty until you’re dehydrated, so make sure you drink water during breaks, before and after class.
There are 3 main macronutrients to know about: Carbs, Protein, and Fat.
Carbs are your best source of energy. Whole grains, fruits, veggies, and nuts should be a large percentage of your consumption.
Protein helps build muscle and can be found in animal and plant-based foods. Eating protein after a class, rehearsal or show will help with recovery.
Fat is essential in our diet and should not be left out. Fat offers us satisfaction and keeps us full throughout the day.
Balance your Diet: Don’t limit or restrict yourself so much when it comes to food, it’s meant to be enjoyed!
Placing so many restrictions on yourself can create an unhealthy relationship with food; if you find yourself having trouble, find a local Dietitian Nutritionist to help you optimize your meal plans. I hope this information was helpful to you! Remember Health is Wealth, share this with a dancer or a friend!