It’s a myth that dancers, especially ballerinas, survive on caffeine and no food. They must carefully ensure their bodies are filled with the right fuel to perform at their best. High energy foods with the right amount of calories are essential. With the amount of physical work they do daily, they can’t risk making themselves ill or injured.
Here is what is recommended for an average ballerina:
Carbs – 50-65% of daily intake. They provide the main energy source in muscles. Great options are bagels, cereals, bread, pasta, and energy bars.
Proteins – 12-15% of daily intake. These include lean meats, beans, poultry and tofu.
Fats – 20-30% of daily intake. These include nuts, avocados, seafood.
Vitamins and minerals
Fluids – they help keep the body temperature down, removes wastes, and keeps the body hydrated.
Micronutrients – Calcium to avoid injuries
It’s suggested eating small meals throughout the day, or 3 main meals and 2 snack meals, to maintain blood sugar levels, which helps prevent tiredness, weakness and fainting. Try to include protein in every meal – this contains iron which helps build and repair tissues.
Allow occasional treats.
Portion size is easy to control and helps you stop over eating and feeling sluggish, and also under-eating and losing out on vital nutrients.
If possible, try to have regular blood tests. These will help check if you’re missing something important out of your diet.
It’s suggested ballet dancers eat at least 1000 calories a day, and on busy days which involve heavy training and shows – 1600-2000 calories a day. If you’re still trying to lose weight, don’t cut calories. Simply boost your cardio training, as many dancers can miss out on this during regular training days. This will keep your cardio health up and increase stamina which is essential for performances.
This post was written by Liberty on behalf of Move Dancewear, who specialise in dance shoes.
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