Super Dance Food by Sally Writes

Super Dance Food

Dancers, it’s important that you get your meal routine in shape!  Be sure to eat the perfect dancer’s diet, which should consist of 55-60% carbohydrate, 12-15% protein and 20-30% fat, for optimum nutrition.  This is vital for a dancer, to ensure energy levels are maintained and muscles are repaired and developed appropriately. Whatever style of dancer you are, from Jazz or Hip Hop to Burlesque or Salsa, by paying attention to your diet, your performance will excel!

Lean dancing machine

Energy and stamina from a plentiful supply of energy providing foods or carbohydrates is important, however it is necessary not to overeat carbohydrates and to aim for 55-60% of food intake.  Over consumption of carbs could lead to weight gain but not eating enough could cause fatigue giving rise to potential for injuries.  Energy providing foods include foods such as cereal, pasta, rice and bread. If a dancer needs to lose a little weight then increasing the metabolism in a healthy way is key.  The larger the  percentage of muscle mass a person has the higher their metabolic rate will be, as muscle burns calories even when resting. There are a few other tricks for increasing metabolic rate including caffeine which, consumed before a workout, has been shown to enhance performance thereby increasing calorie burn.  This is helpful for increasing fitness as well as metabolism. Other foods to increase metabolism include fish, fruits and vegetables, Green Tea (which contains caffeine), spicy foods, lean protein foods and low-fat dairy products.  It is important for dancers not to skip meals but to eat smaller quantities regularly, not exceeding gaps of 3-4 hours between meals.

On training and rehearsal days dancers should aim for a slightly higher level of carbohydrate intake, approximately 65%, to provide that extra boost of energy.  Following training a high protein meal is important as protein repairs small tears to muscle fibres and builds new muscle, however it is best not to eat large amounts just before a training session as it is slower to digest.  Healthy protein foods include salmon, chicken or pulses. 

GI – Go low for dancer’s

At a time when diabetes is an issue, eating a low Glycemic Index (GI) diet is important for the population as a whole as the GI number is directly related to the effect on blood sugar levels and insulin production.  Controlling and maintaining blood sugar levels is vital for dancers as this provides sustained energy for stronger dancing. Low GI foods tend to include more whole grains e.g. Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, vegetables and fruit.

What better way to achieve your dancing ambitions than to focus on optimum fitness and health through enhanced nutrition.  Your energy levels will peak and you’ll ease through your training routines and reach for more. Follow a dancer’s diet and your dance goals will be met with a spring in your dancing step!

By Sally Writes 

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