Dancing is a physically strenuous activity that requires high energy levels and stamina. Do you find yourself incapable to make it through dance practice without feeling completely exhausted? Try changing what you eat and drink! Whether you dance randomly once a week or you have a competition or performance coming up, fuel your dancing with these nutritional tips.
Calorie Needs Of a dancer
To perform your best, dancers need to be adequately fueled for classes, practices, and performance. A huge hurdle for dancers is not ingesting enough calories of food to meet the energy requirement of dance. An easy estimate of caloric needs during heavy training for a female is 45-50 calories/kg of body weight (kg= lbs weight / 2.2 example: 100 lbs / 2.2 = 45.45 kg). The caloric needs of a male are higher at 50-55 calories/kg body weight. Eating too few calories will compromise your energy availability and of course with low calories comes low intake of micronutrients that will alter performance, growth, and overall health.
Before you even stop to think about what you should be eating, make sure you’re taking enough water. Aim to drink at least eight cups of water a day – and even more, while practising actively. Bring a refillable water bottle to your dance lessons and drink from it often. Sports drinks are also effective for renewing the vital electrolytes you lose when you sweat.
Eat Wholesome Carbohydrates before Dance Class
Ignore the fad diets out there claiming you should cut out carbs. Good complex carbohydrates give you the long-lasting strength you need to make it through extra dance practices. Portable options you can eat on your way to class include:
Eat a Combination of Protein and Carbs after Dance Class
To maintain your glycogen reserves and assure you have access to quick bursts of energy, eat a protein-and-carb-rich meal within one hour of dancing or working out. Here are some ideas:
●Tuna fish or avocado slices and whole-wheat cookies
●Peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread or rice cakes
●Cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit
●Black beans and grilled veggies
●Sprinkle Chia Seeds on Everything
These tiny, dark seeds include protein and heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acids to reduce swelling and protect your cardiovascular system. These are advantages dancers can get behind! Chia seeds also include calcium and phosphorus, two elements of strong bones that can help limit stress fractures.
Stir chia seeds into smoothies, cottage cheese or yoghurt, and sprinkle them on tuna fish, salads or grilled vegetables. It’s also simple to make chia seed pudding. Simply blend three tablespoons of seeds and one cup of almond or coconut milk and allow it to refrigerate overnight. Eat chia seeds whenever you can to enjoy their astonishing health benefits!
Avoid Empty Calories
When you’re exhausted after dance class, it’s to reach for a candy bar or soda. The sugar rush gives you energy for a little while, but then you crash. Plus, the empty calories add to your waistline without providing quality nutrition. That’s not something any dancer wants.