No matter what style of dance they perform, a dancer needs the right diet and nutrition to be healthy, active, and capable of handling those long days of rehearsals and multiple shows. There are all sorts of ways to learn about what to eat and what to avoid, but it’s a good idea to wipe away the clutter and consider the basics. You need to stay fit, you need to keep your weight under control, and you need to maintain the right muscle build to perform in specific styles. Today, let’s explore some basic tips on proper nutrition for dancers.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Many dancers don’t get enough Vitamin D, yet it’s one of the most critical nutrients out there. Why? Because it works to grow and strengthen bones, which is very helpful when you’re as active as a cruise ship performer is. Since dancers can be prone to developing issues like splints and stress fractures, Vitamin D should be added to their diets to help reduce these risks. Also, as dancers are sometimes stuck indoors more than others (depending on where they rehearse and perform), they may get less sunshine. This is another reason why Vitamin D supplements may again be a necessary addition to your diet.
There’s Usually No Need to Stack Protein
Despite the widespread belief that loading up on protein is the best thing we can do for ourselves, it’s not really needed for dancers. Getting enough calories throughout the day – yes, calories – is something we should focus on more, as most of us are already getting more than enough protein through a regular diet every day. Instead, try “topping up” your protein by enjoying a post-workout snack like a soy milk smoothie or veggie wrap with black beans. Only have as much as you need!
There are Good and Bad Carbs
We all know that carbs are the primary fuel for our bodies, and we can feel if we aren’t getting enough of them. But did you know that there are good and bad types of carbs? They don’t just generally “make you fat” or cause health issues. In fact, there are all kinds of beneficial carbs out there! Fruits, veggies, rice, and whole grains are a smart choice for dancers before and after performing/rehearsing. These beneficial carbs help to restore glycogen levels, which is energy stored in our muscles and liver. Those “bad” carbs come in the form of empty, nutrition-less syrups, sugars, and flours. Therefore, those donuts, cakes, and sodas at low prices (because they have no value) are what you should ignore instead of that crunchy apple and soy shake if you want to maximize your performance. Remember, moderation is key!
There are many other ways you can stay fit and feel great while doing it if you’re a dancer, but proper nutrition is always an essential aspect you need to keep on top of. Remember to use your diet to aim to maintain enough energy and mental focus to deliver the best performance possible, every time.